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The FUSE Woman -- "Where Form & Spirit Become One"
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Do It Yourself
"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my own ship." (Louisa May Alcott)
To make one's own way through difficulties is a formidable task. Most of us would choose the easier, softer way of calling in a plumber, or pest control expert, or some other craftsman to provide a quick and efficient solution to our problems.
Doing it yourself is often neither quick nor efficient. There is a reason for describing a 12” adjustable wrench as a "knuckle buster." The wrench slips and slams into one's hand. Yelps of pain and inappropriate language often ensue. We wonder, as sweat drips into our eyes, why we chose the "do it yourself" approach. But if we persist in our "trial and error" efforts, we often discover that certain tasks can be done, and that we have more abilities then we considered.
When we make the effort to solve our own problems, we receive several rewards. Not only is the leaky faucet repaired, the confidence in our own abilities is fortified. We begin to trust that we "have what it takes" to make good decisions, solve difficult puzzles, and navigate clearly through confusing or troubling situations. We also build stamina to continue our efforts even when the obstacles seem insurmountable. Sailing one's own ship is a good thing. Set your course, and may the wind always be at your back.
DIY – or, Do It Yourself – seems to have exploded in popularity in all kinds of categories. With the thriving of sites like YouTube, where you can watch videos on how to do just about anything yourself, suddenly the world of possibilities is wide open for all of us.
And it makes me think – with all these possibilities right at our fingertips, what kind of LIFE can I design for myself?
It can be so easy to get on a track that many others have followed: go to school, get good grades, get a job, get promoted, get married, have a family, grow old and wise – it’s like stepping into a river with a gentle yet strong current and going with the way it is already flowing.
Today I stop to say: what is the path I really want to traverse? When I grow old and wise, what will I reflect on?
Will I think, wow, that was something! Or will I think, hmmm, I guess I lost my chance to do those things I wanted…
In the frenetic pace of our days, it can be easy to get lost in all the things we’re “supposed” to do, caught up in that endless to-do list that carries from day to day, week to week. For me, the DIY solution starts with what is most important to me: connection to others, health, joy and ease.
So today, I am starting an experiment for one week (and I invite you to do the same!): I am building my days not from a to-do list of chores, errands and routines, but from these values. The question for me today is: how will I connect with others? What I do today will come from the answer to that question.
What is most important to you? How will you live that today – or any other day?