Sunday, November 10, 2002

Is Your Valve Open?

I had an expensive lesson last week. On Wednesday a technician came out to fix my water softener.  He tested the water at the kitchen sink and proclaimed it very, very hard. Yup, that's why I called. Then he went to the basement and in less than a minute discovered that one of the many valves on the maze of water pipes in the basement was closed and should be open. He opened the valve, waltzed back upstairs, ran the water for a few minutes, tested it again and proclaimed the problems solved. He handed me a bill for $95 and was back out the door in less than 15 minutes. My incredibly hard water was meeting resistance (the closed valve) and bypassing the softener.

So what to do with the fact that I spent the price of a really nice fishing rod on a closed valve? Well if I could just remember who I called to fix the leaking pipe last spring, I'd probably have the culprit who closed the valve and didn't reopen it. Sigh. But the immediate value was the relief I experienced when I got the news that this was not going to be an “expensive” repair problem. I also got a lesson on just how water flows through my house. It seems to me it could be done with a few less valves (I counted 10 total). But what do I know?

Here's what I'm doing with that lesson now. I'm reminding myself that when I'm resisting in some way, in any way, I ought to check and see if my own valve is open.

So here are some things you might want to open before you get all rusty and have to call a technician. Open the valve to your...

...capacity to receive
...attention to the answers
...attention to the questions, they're probably more important than the answers
...enjoyment of the outcome, even if it was not the expected one
...acceptance of those who deliver the messages
...fears, let them flow through
...ability to change
...emotional reactions
...path, the one you are on now, not the plan you have made
...burning desires
...inner silence

"If a person can't see and smell the banquet, malnutrition becomes a habit." ~Coach Allison Quattrocchi.

"Keep your eyes open. If there's a problem, there's an opportunity." ~Carol L. Dannhauser

"Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open." ~~Lord Thomas Robert Dewar