The Metaphors that find us…

This last Sunday I gifted myself with a sweet simple “do” day, after I enjoyed  a very delectable brunch with a dear friend. For months I had watched and walked around the drip-drops of water or frozen ice rink on the front porch, each time thinking I would clean out the gutters, so that the water could flow where it was meant to go… Winter came, freezing the leaves, branches, and dirt, gracing me with an excuse not to get the ladder out. This week the sun kissed the earth again after a long grey period, thus the drip drops on the porch stoop began again in earnest. The time had come!!

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Key metaphors help determine what and how we perceive and how we think about our perceptions. ~M. H. Abrams

It was a glorious afternoon to do a little yard clean up, to clear out the clutter, relax through the body movement and just be; breathing deeply into the freedom to not do any work towards my expanding business. I gave myself permission to turn off the constant chatter and whirlwind of ideas, allowing myself to let everything soak in and be absorbed.

Aligning my ladder between the two parallel gutters I donned my yard gloves and climbed up to the overflowing edges filled with natural debris. Handful by handful I pulled the partially frozen gunk out of the burdened gutter and launched it into the awaiting garbage can. Each pile of organic material freed up space for the water and air to flow, it felt clear, open, and light. As I dissected the layered material and listened to my motivational recording I started to chuckle from within, for this sloppy, wet, limp, dark, semi-frozen sludge was an exact metaphor for all that I was clearing out of my body/mind/spirit. Ha…how absolutely perfect that I was finally cleaning the gutters and yard – why now? Because NOW I was ready!!

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“Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.” ― Orson Scott Card

Since moving into this amazing home we are blessed to house sit, I found myself like a glob of silly putty, spreading out with a lethargic desire to just BE. Tired and exhausted from a life where I have perpetually tried to “fit in”, to be successful in other people’s businesses, rules, ethics, and philosophies, all while ignoring the inner nagging that there had to be more. The gift of this relaxed “being time” was way overdue for this single mom. I had not realized how desperately I needed to just breathe in the powerful gift of nature and allow myself to flow.

Since the New Year I had noticed a new vigor, an intense desire, and a willful power rising within me!! The time had come! With this determined sensation came a push to clear out debris, get rid of unnecessary stuff, and sort through material possessions I never touch or wear. Mind you while the intense urge is there, the action has not followed, for all energy has been focused on developing the business. Any of you reading this that have manifested a successful business on your own, understand that  the journey from “nothing” to “something” is laden heavily with layers and layers of negative self-talk and burning fear. Each day is a walk on the edge of the cliff, terrifying fear that you fall to your death, yet invigorated by each step as it expands into exhilarating discovery fueled by a passionate desire to keep going. A paradoxical adventure.

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“Tomas did not realize at the time that metaphors are dangerous. Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give birth to love.” ― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

As a child one of my favorite children’s stories was the “The Little Engine That Could” – I read it over and over and over again. Then as a parent I joyfully made sure it was in the library and often on the top of the read pile. “I think I can…” has always been an inner mantra – today it is one I recite over and over again in each glorious day. This story has been a powerful metaphor for me, climbing the mountain when I don’t feel like I have the strength to go on; focusing on the peak when my body, mind, and spirit shake with exhaustion.

Sunday’s metaphor was not as pretty or cute as the little engine. The grimy, smelly, rotting sludge that I pulled from the gutters was perfect, for it metaphorically represented years of layered “accepted” self-doubt, negative personal disbelief and dishonoring the gifts and purpose I had been given to share with others. Each handful was a clearing, a freeing of dark unwelcome debris – each slap in the garbage can enlightened my very being. Looking up at the carefree water that now flowed to the spout made me dance with joy, for like me it could now merrily meander along.

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“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” ― Oscar Wilde

I love how life can entertain us with metaphorical awareness if we are open to the hidden messages. Listening to our bodies, minds, and souls, will often lead us to do what we “need to do” to become more from within. Our very spirit wants us to expand and dance in full joy, love, and wonder of the infinite possibilities! We all have a unique gift and presence to share, sometimes it just takes us awhile to clear out the debris that blocks our path.

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As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. ~Henry David Thoreau

Happy Valentine’s day everyone!!

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