Meaning in Drain Cleaning


I have made an amazing discovery! Cleaning the drain is an excellent personal growth exercise. So, what do drain cleaning and personal growth have in common? They could really almost be synonyms!

Recently, I noticed the drain in the bathroom sink was clogged. I noticed because the sink was filling up even though the plug wasn’t in. Then it would take a long time for the water to disappear. I looked down the drain. It was very dark and it looked sort of slimy; very unpleasant to say the least. It looked more like a job for my husband, but he was unavailable, so I found some tweezers and dug in.

What I pulled out was downright nasty. Chunks of gooey ooze that used to be nice things like soap and toothpaste. Of course, there was hair in there too. Sludge would be a great way to describe it. You get the picture. I really wished my husband could do this job so I didn’t have to be exposed to such grossness. Then I had a change of heart. I remembered the Vividly Woman practice of being able to find the meaning in any task. So I started thinking about the job I was doing and once I did so, it became rewarding. It actually felt really good to pull out those chunks of yuck. I placed the gobs in toilet paper, rolled them up and threw them away. Sometimes just a little chunk would come out and sometimes it would be a really big one, which became strangely satisfying.

On a superficial level, the meaning in this job was that we would soon have a functional drain again and our bathroom sink would be able to perform its duty as it once had. I was also doing something that expressed my love for my family. But even more than that, I was able to find meaning by comparing the drain cleaning to my own personal growth experience. In fact, it became the perfect metaphor.

First of all, it took a fairly significant event for me to notice that all was not well under the surface of the sink. I didn’t notice until the drain was almost completely clogged. The sink full of water was a big clue. Likewise, it took significant signs in my life to realize that not all was well under my happy exterior. At one momentous personal growth course, I discovered, to my shock, that I had mountains of repressed anger buried deep within me. They were choking off my ability to experience emotion.

Secondly, I wanted my husband to do the drain job for me because I knew it would be challenging and would threaten my love of pleasantness. Have you ever wished someone else could do the hard work for you? With personal growth, only I can do the excavation for myself. There is fear involved, but only beforehand. Once I get involved in the process, I actually love it. It was totally rewarding to pull out those big gobs of muck, just like it is to explore my shadowy side. After a really good cry or any other experience where stuck emotion gets to move, I feel amazing afterwards. And I work so much better, just like my drain!

As I persisted with the drain cleaning, I started to be able to see the original white surface of the plastic tube. That motivated me to clean all the sides so that the entire drain was back to its original cleanliness. So it goes with my personal inquiry. Once I get started, I feel very motivated to keep on getting in touch with the most authentic me. When my body is clogged with residue from unfelt emotions, it’s almost impossible to find my higher self. When I allow those emotions to move through me and when I can be the master of those emotions, rather than the victim, my access to my spirit is free to flow.

Finally, when I finished cleaning that drain, I felt enormously proud of myself, just like I do after deep personal inquiry. Both the drain and I were cleansed. Since then, I watch the drain more carefully and when I see signs of the muck, I clean it right away so the job is not so overwhelming or so gross. I am more attentive with myself too. I don’t let emotions pile up anymore. I give myself full permission to feel my emotions, even if, especially if they are unpleasant. It’s much easier dealing with them one by one than as a coagulation of black mire. Now whenever I use my bathroom sink, I’m grateful for its metaphor. It reminds me that life is about flow and feeling and that I’m powerful when I make the choice to be consciously aware (and that I can do “man jobs”).

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I Really Am From Venus!



Last year, I read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. After reading the chapter about men and Mars, I thought, “Wow, that sounds very familiar”. Then I read the chapter about women and Venus, and I don’t think there was a single thing with which I could identify. I was working with a life coach at the time and lamented to him, “I think I’m from Mars!” It was really news to me that women feel better when they talk out problems and issues. I was used to the masculine tendency of holding it in and trying to figure it out myself.

Thanks to my work with Leela and Vividly Woman, I am happy to say I am now totally from Venus. After Dance your Power, my husband, who is well versed in body language, even noticed that I was using more feminine facial expressions.

This new relationship with my feminine side became even more apparent to me recently. One night, after watching a biography of a writer whose mother died, I couldn’t get the thought of death out of my head. Usually, that is the furthest thing from my mind, as I enjoy living very much. However, on this night, I started imagining how I would feel if different people died.  I would try out one person and then another and another. It was so morbid and I became very unsettled. I tried just thinking about something else, distracting myself by reading positive uplifting articles, thinking about yummy food, but death kept on coming back.

What really shook me up was thinking about how I would feel if my kids died. That brought up a dark shadow for me. This thought pops into my head periodically. I believe that I’m not afraid of dying myself, but the thought of the death in relation to my children is terrifying. I have always been able to replace that dark thought with a happier one, until this night when one of my deepest fears seemed to grow and grow. I tried really hard to get through it by myself, not wanting to upset my husband, and so eventually I fell asleep, alone with my fears.

Usually things look better in the morning, but not in this case. I kept being visited by the same thought processes. I decided I did need to share it with my husband, because the vice was growing in my mind. I didn’t even really know what to say, so I started with something a little more vague around the subject of death. Eventually, I just had to get it out and so I shared what I was scared to share.

I’m so glad I did. My husband held me as I cried and asked, “What can I do for you right now?” I whispered, “Just hug me.” It felt so good to have that release. He also asked me, “Is this intuition?” (pointing at his heart) “or monkey mind?” (pointing at his head).  This comment alone took so much of the anxiety out of the situation. As soon as I remembered to check in with my body, I realized it was all in my mind.

As I began to feel more settled, he asked me where I thought that fear had come from. I said that I didn’t know and then thought about it a bit. He asked how long I had been having that fear and I said a long time; ever since we have had kids and even longer. Then I remembered something really key (which I never would have remembered if I would have tried to process this fear on my own).

When I was in high school, grade 10, I went to a psychic. She said so many things that have come true. I remember at one point, she said I would have two kids and then a little later, she said, “Oh, maybe you only have one child.” I realized that in my wish to prove to myself that she had been a good psychic, I had turned that statement into the belief that I would lose a child.

I shared that experience with my husband and he pointed out, in such a level-headed way, that likely most of what she said hadn’t come true and that it was just one possibility. I know that my thoughts create my reality and I know I have so much power. I no longer need to revisit one psychic’s view of point from two decades ago. Being able to reflect on the source of that fear and go deeper into it than I ever have before was so healing.

I’m so glad that I trusted my intuition, which continues to grow stronger, and shared my experience with my husband. There was a time, not too long ago, where I would have kept my fear in and let it grow and fester and do lots of damage. I let my body guide me. It knew that these thoughts needed to move out into the open, where they could have some light shed upon them. I feel so feminine after having processed this experience. Feminine, in a powerful way, where there is emotion moving, there are hearts connecting, there is intuition being trusted. I am SO from Venus!

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