I used to love to vacuum.
I know it may sound strange but I have a knack for finding joy in the most mundane things. The kids would go off to school, my husband would go to work and it would be me and my golden retriever, home alone. I’d blast my music and dance around with the vacuum as my dog chased it. It was pure bliss. Not to mention my house was really clean!
I loved my daily plans, schedules and routines. That type of “sameness” made me feel good and empowered and comfortable. Yet, I’ve learned that there is rarely any growth in my comfort zone and I’ve come to embrace that. So many of the best parts of myself and my life have come from learning how to trust God and think creatively amidst life’s challenges.
Being open to seeing new possibilities.
I remember that day long ago, when my vacuuming “fun” was forever changed by a heavy grocery bag.
I had just finished shopping at the health food store and was in a hurry. Instead of putting my heavy bag in the cart, I decided to carry it on my hip. As I walked across the parking lot, I felt my back “pop” and I knew that it was bad. It triggered an old back injury that I had from an accident in my 20’s.
My active life literally came to a standstill for the next 9 months and I had to slow down just to function. All my “plans” had to be put on the backburner until I was healed. Events that I was running had to find a new chairperson. My home decorating and sewing business had to be put on hold. Exercising became just walking for a few minutes. And vacuuming, as I knew it, was no longer an option.
Living with new possibilities.
It always amazes me how life can change in an instant and the spiritual lessons that come as a result when you are open to new possibilities.
A few months into my recovery, I broke down at one of my Doctor’s appointments. He asked me why I was so upset. I proceeded to ramble on about how I couldn’t vacuum in the morning and dance with the dog. My house was messy. It hurt when I tried to dance, and my entire morning routine was messed up. I felt defeated and powerless.
I was totally focused on what I couldn’t do and the perceived interruption in my life.
He kindly laughed and then said, “You can vacuum, you just have to be creative and learn how to do it differently.” Then he showed me some different options like vacuuming to the side. Who would have thought of that? I remember the joy I felt seeing the new possibilities of being able to do what I loved again. I just learned how to do it in a different way. Little did I know how powerful that experience and those words would be in my life going forward.
The lessons I learned from seeing new possibilities.
It’s been over 18 years since that visit to the Dr. Yet, I hear his message and apply it to my life all the time.
Whenever I hit a roadblock in my plans, can’t figure out how to do something or want to give up; I instinctually smile. I know that the message that came through him was Divinely chosen for me. Since that time, I’ve learned how to think more creatively, change directions, and do things differently over and over. To be honest, it’s one of my favorite things about myself and one of my greatest passions that I teach my clients.
And by the way, I can vacuum three different ways now.
What about you? Are you open to new possibilities in your life? Are you willing to learn how to do things differently?
Suggestions for exploring new possibilities.
Here’s a process I use with myself and my clients to get started brainstorming for new ideas. I’ll use my story as an example.
- Name your problem or obstacle. What isn’t working or do you “have” to do differently? Be as specific as you can.
I couldn’t vacuum and dance with my pup because of my back injury.
- Identify why that “thing” is a problem and how you feel about it.
It was a problem because I loved having that play time with my pup in the morning. I was a person who thrived on routine and that was a part of my morning routine. Not being able to move my body and play in that way made me feel powerless, frustrated and “broken.” I also really liked my house to be clean because of my asthma and my son’s allergy to dog hair.
- Figure out if you could do the “thing” you want in a different way. Brainstorm on anything that comes to mind. If you can’t see the possibilities yourself, ask for help. Sometimes we’re so focused on doing the thing we want our way, that we’re blinded to the other options.
At the time, all I could focus on was Not being able to vacuum my way. It never occurred to me to vacuum sideways until I was shown how. Once I was shown how, my creative juices started flowing and I came up with additional ideas.
- Lastly, if we can’t change the problem or move the obstacle, think of different ways you could achieve the same results. Here are some other solutions that my family figured out during my injury.
My husband did the vacuuming with the pup in the evening. I played a ball rolling game to the music blasting with the pup in the morning.
Just a reminder, there are many different ways to achieve the same goal. You just have to be open to looking for the possibilities.
If you’re feeling up to it, I’d love to hear from YOU.
What are some ways you’ve had to think or do things differently that opened your eyes to new possibilities for your life?
Any other thoughts are welcome too.
Leave a comment below and share what’s on your mind.
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