Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cleaning the Drains

I’m big on looking for signs. I believe that our lives are completely interactive with our universe and our creator. We are constantly receiving feedback from the universe on the decisions we are making and how we are conducting our lives.

When things start to reoccur in my life, or some theme emerges in what is going on, I pay attention.

For the last 2 years, at least, I have been noticing that the drains in my bathroom sink and my shower have been draining continually slower. I have long hair, so that is probably most of the cause, although I suspect that all kinds of gunk builds up in pipes as the years go by.

I live in the country and am not on the city sewer line. That means I have a septic tank. For those of you unfamiliar with that pleasure, my sewage water is treated in a series of underground tanks and when it is appropriately purified it is released into the ground. Septic systems are a fragile environment and require special care. You seriously don’t want your septic system to get messed up. They are extremely costly to replace.

That is important to our story, because over the years I’ve been really afraid to put anything down my drains to clear them, for fear of upsetting the delicate balance in the septic tank by killing off the beneficial ‘bugs’ that process the sewage.

So, I plunge. I’ve been using the plunger regularly on my sink and my shower to try to clear the pipes. This worked for a while, and I would get better drainage for a time. Whatever was going on, however, was more serious than my plunger can handle.

I had a plumber come out once to do some work elsewhere in the house and asked him if he could ‘snake’ the shower to clear the pipe. The geniuses that built my house (another story for another day) grouted the drain cover into my expensive Italian tile shower, and the plumber couldn’t get his snake through the grates in the drain cover. He refused to try to pop the drain cover out, because he didn’t want the responsibility for breaking the tile.

I was convinced that I couldn’t put ANY type of chemical down the drains because it wouldn’t be safe for the septic tank. Did I ever ask anyone? Did I ever go looking at products to see what might be acceptable for my situation? Of course not. I simply assumed that it wasn’t possible and my drains continued to plug up.

My sink was no longer responding to plunging, and this was what finally propelled me to take a look at what I was doing, at least with regards to my drains! I realized that things weren’t ‘flowing’ properly and that I was cutting off possible solutions to the problem by assuming there was simply no solution. As a result, I had to do a lot of extra work (plunging) which was becoming less and less effective. Hmmmmm…. Very interesting.

I decided to examine my life and see where else, besides the drains, I might not be allowing things to flow, and specifically to look for places where I was holding on to things that I should be letting go of. I found several areas… some physical (like really needing to clean out my closet and let go of clothes that I no longer wear or that no longer fit) and some mental/emotional, like relationships that no longer served me and obligations that I no longer wanted to participate in. I started to work on these things and open the channels of release.

The Dead Sea in Israel is known to have no living organisms in it. (Ok, there might be one ameba-like creature, but there are no plants, no fish, etc.) The Dead Sea has inflows… from rivers and rain, but it has no outflow. There are no rivers or streams that flow out of it. It receives, but never gives… and it is dead.

Taking, holding on, never releasing is a recipe for a dead life. That kind of approach to life can create an overcrowded closet, an over booked schedule, draining relationships and many other destructive states. It can also show up as drains that won’t carry away the waste water that is no longer needed!

As I worked on these issues in my life I had an amazing idea! Next time I was in Home Depot I went to the plumbing section, looked at all the drain cleaning products and lo and behold found several that were perfectly safe for septic systems! Imagine that! Something I didn’t think was possible was right in front of me all the time. Time to release! I raced home and cleaned my two drains! Now I no longer have to brush my teeth in the kitchen sink and watch the water rise to alarming levels when I’m in the shower. A miracle? No, just learning that I need to allow things to flow and release them when it’s time for them to go. It was a powerful reminder that life is about taking in and letting go, receiving and giving, embracing the new and lovingly releasing all that no longer belongs in our life.

Let your life and love flow!

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