The accidental plumber
I fixed my own toilet once. That’s a big deal because I don’t fix anything. I’ll pay someone. Anyway, some sort of valve got loose. I went on Youtube to see how to replace it and fix it. I did it, but I most likely couldn’t do it again. Granted, I only did it the one time, but my only real motivation to fix it was to avoid asking a specific person who I was mad it. I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of asking him. When I was elbow deep in the commode, I just wanted to get it done. I got no joy from learning something new. I only did it out of spite, pretty much. Essentially, I missed out on a learning opportunity. I did experience some joy in doing something I didn’t think I could do, but I wasn’t present enough to pay attention to the process. Life is a balance between results and trusting the process.
Most of my life has been spent in the results I was getting, what I was producing. I’ve always been about the goal. Rarely was I about, how I reached a goal. I only paid enough attention to planning and executing the steps I had to take. I joined clubs in school because I knew it would look good on a college transcript. I only went to college because I knew it would help me get a good job. I chose a university that was 3 and a half hours away to get out of the house, not to broaden my horizons.
Inhaling the aromas
I didn’t step back to take it all in the way I should have. I was all about what I was doing next, where I was going next. Always thinking ahead. Not what I was doing at that moment. You can miss out on a lot when you do that: a memory, a lesson, or another blessing.
We can get a lot out of an experience when we’re not so wrapped up in an outcome. When we eat, a need is automatically met. We understand we are going to survive so we go beyond whether or not our immediate need is being met. Many times, it isn’t just the simple act of chewing and swallowing. We see the food. We smell it. We savor the flavors when we taste it. All of these factors help us enjoy our meals. When we pay attention to all the aspects surrounding it, we enjoy it so much more.
Why not apply that process to other areas of our lives? We can have that same amount of trust at other times, especially when it comes to things that we want. Sometimes, we are so focused and attached to the result that we miss what we could learn. Maybe, we could be missing something better than what we originally intended. We muddle through when we really should be inhaling the aromas of what we are surrounded by. When you’re present, and finding satisfaction in whatever you’re doing, it all enhances your experience. You may also find your goal gets accomplished without you even realizing it.
A matter of trust
From the moment we’re born, our lives are about trust. Trust that our needs will be met. Most of us don’t even have to think about it. We are fed, clothed, sheltered, and loved. As children, we have that trust, so we are exploring the world, taking it all in, and having fun. How much did we learn in that process? Things that are so much more difficult to learn as an adult, we learn with ease as children. Our minds are sponges, and we soak it all in. Sometimes, we get hurt along the way, but our needs are always met. We have that innate trust. That trust propels us forward.
We lose it along the way. We’re so wrapped up in what we think we should be achieving. We’re worried about time, how people see us, if we’re “doing it right.” Things that slow us down and actually can get in the way of what we want to do.
Show up, and it gets done
When I taught, I got so wrapped up in some form of “is it enough.” Enough for students, parents, administrators, even other teachers, Over time, I came to realize that I know more than the kids when it comes to the subject. Most of the parents were grateful that I helped their kids. Administrators and teachers were worried about covering their asses just as much as I was. That helped me to stop worrying.
When I prepared and enjoyed that process of putting a lesson or a unit together. The work was done, All I had to do was show up. Even when I did something completely off the cuff, just because I thought it would have a benefit and my students and I just enjoyed what was going on, magic happened sometimes.
Many times, if we trust, show up, and pay attention, we can do what needs to be done. We can achieve what we want to achieve. If we trust in our ability to meet our own needs and let the process unfold in a natural way, then we will have the results that we want. It’s that simple and that complicated at the same time. We make it that way when we don’t trust the process.
Until next time... look behind and beyond the veil...