"And like a family recipe, generation after generation, the instructions on how to handle your sugar jar were passed down to every member of the family nervous to adjust it, even if changing the recipe would better meet their needs." (p. 67)
My best friend, Amber, gifted me this book for my birthday earlier this year. She had mentioned she purchased a copy for herself and raved about how inspiring and helpful it was for her. And, boy, did she live up to her verbal review! The Sugar Jar is so beautifully written.
I don't know about you, but I am the type of book reader who loves to highlight and page mark inspiring quotes as I read along. Well, at least half the pages in my copy of The Sugar Jar have been highlighted and marked! I kept reading so many inspiring messages from the author that felt so important to note for myself and/or made me feel validated with my personal life experiences.
Wellness advocate and self-healing coach Yasmine Cheyenne offers a powerful guide for setting boundaries to self-heal and choose joy. From the exhaustion of performing for others as we walk through life to the need to be "the strong one" in hard moments, we all experience roadblocks to truly setting healthy boundaries for ourselves.
Cheyenne uses her signature metaphor of "the sugar jar" - in which we are the jar and the sugar is our energy, and we strive to maintain a healthy lid, or boundary - as a tool for helping us protect our energy and identify patterns in what depletes and what restores us.
Below is a simple outline of what you can expect to learn in each chapter:
Chapter 1 - The Sugar Jar
Taking the time to reflect on how our life choices affect our sugar jar.
Chapter 2 - Black Healing
Cheyenne has dedicated a chapter in her book to Black healing and shares her personal story of navigating through harmful societal norms, racism, and ignorance, and how these experiences have helped her understand what it truly means to protect her sugar jar.
Chapter 3 - Presence Over Performance
This chapter covers the importance of being honest with yourself about how a situation, environment or a certain person makes you feel. The invitation is to go from being a participant in your life to someone who is living life the way you really want to live.
Chapter 4 - How Do You Feel?
A powerful message throughout this book is about being honest with yourself. How do you actually feel about your present lifestyle? Cheyenne goes in depth about the key aspects of learning to separate what's yours vs what's not yours when it comes to living in your truth.
Chapter 5 - Boundaries and Barriers
This chapter breaks down the key differences between setting healthy boundaries and creating barriers in your life. It also highlights the reality of receiving negative feedback or responses about your boundary settings.
Chapter 6 - Find Freedom Through Acceptance
"When we aren't honest with ourselves, we can't accept what's really happening in our relationships, and therefore we happily serve the version of reality that we want to believe is true or will be true at some point." (p. 137)
Chapter 7 - Letting Go As A Self-Care Practice
This chapter is all about letting go of negative self talk, practicing forgiveness towards others, forgiving yourself, and repairing your sugar jar.
Chapter 8 - Healing As The Parent And As The Child
NOTE: This could be a triggering chapter for some readers.
Cheyenne bravely shares her very traumatic birthing experience. She also discusses the challenges of continuing to reparent yourself while parenting your own child simultaneously.
Chapter 9 - The Strong Ones
This chapter discusses how a strong jar still needs support.
Chapter 10 - Am I Healing?
"This work is tough. It requires a lot of time and attention and sometimes when we decide to choose ourselves, we lose people and things we never wanted to live without. We recognize new attributes in people that we didn't know were contributing to our stress. We learn new information about ourselves that we weren't consciously aware of. Sometimes we learn that a complete overhaul of our lives and relationships is the only way forward, and that's scary work. It can feel like the stakes for choosing our healing journey are incredibly high. We commit to healing so that we can live a life that's filled with blessings, abundance, joy, peace, freedom and everything that feels true to you." (p. 240)
Chapter 11 - Practice Filling Your Jar
Cheyenne lists a variety of journal prompts for reflecting on and improving your sugar jar.
"Healing is an educational journey where we are continuously learning more about what we need, who we are, and how the world impacts us as everything moves, shifts, changes, and grows. Healing has no graduation. We may be done with certain cycles, certain unhealthy relationships, or certain harmful behavior, and that's amazing and should definitely be celebrated. But as we grow, as people come and go, and as things change, we'll have different needs and therefore also require different healing tools, too." ~ (Yasmine Cheyenne, The Sugar Jar, p. 255)