But growth and change are uncomfortable, and do not appear on command, at the snap of a finger. Much of growth and change happen under the surface in our lives, while we sit and wait for a break-through, a new insight, or a different vision of the future.
Since it wasn't happening yet, I decided I would be working on unfinished projects.
It was then that my friend M reminded me that the process of working on the “to-do-and-to-finish” list is like “unclogging the pipes.” (She tells me this idea is not original...but, as happens to people our age, the origins of the phrase escape her. Lost in the mists of time ... )
Aha! What I need is some Drano for my soul, some Ex-Lax for the mind to clear away the debris and gunk that impedes my growth. Unclogging the pipes means making room for creativity and new visions to flow through me.
I wonder if “unclogging the pipes” should be a regular maintenance feature for all of us periodically so that growth and change can happen in our lives. I wondered if there are ways to “be” and things to do that encourage our growth? I noodled around with that idea, and came up with a few. These ideas are not prescriptions to be followed so you can live happily ever after; rather, they are invitations to consider, just a bunch of noodling thoughts coming from a waiting heart.
Working on unfinished projects is a good start to unclogging the pipes. I finished two projects that have been hanging around since last spring. “Done” is better than “to do”. Done takes a load off your heart and conscience. It is one less piece of “stuff” to carry around, stuff that can impede your AAGH*#@ experience. It’s not just projects, however, that need to be tackled. Perhaps there are relationships that need fixing, or unsaid words to be spoken. Perhaps your unfinished project is to open some doors to the past, long closed, that need to be opened so the sun can shine in.
|Done: two baby quilts started about a year ago. They're destined for the nursery at St. Joseph's Hospital. Feels oh so good!|
|You can find a link to Joy's blog "Life by the Swake" to the right.|
about grew fewer, but were more
important. So one day I undid the lock
and called the trash man. He took everything.
I felt like the little donkey when
his burden is finally lifted. Things!
Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful
fire! More room in your heart for love,
for the trees! For the birds who own
nothing—the reason they can fly.
~ excerpt from the poem "Storage" by Mary Oliver