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October Showers

by Kevin B. Burk, author of The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life.

Iíd like to take a few moments to talk about something very important to me: my bathroom shower. (I promise you that by the end of this article, youíll understand why my bathroom shower is actually important to you, too.)

Iím someone who really enjoys a good shower. Astrologically, I have a great deal of water in my chart, and this means that being in, around, and near water energizes me, and clears out any accumulated stress or negativity that I may have absorbed.

I absolutely love my shower now; however, it wasnít always like that.

Iíve lived in my apartment for over 12 years, and while for the most part, it serves me very well, Iíve always been dissatisfied with the plumbing. In particular, the shower was just awful. The water pressure always struck me as being horribly weak, and the shower spray was anemic at best. When I would travel, or visit my family, I would always luxuriate in the opportunity to take a real shower. When I envision my dream home, Iím particularly clear about the kind of master bath it will have.

Well, about three years ago, it suddenly occurred to me that I could simply go out and purchase a new showerhead. I realized that I didnít have to settle for the showerhead that came with the apartment: I was free to replace it if I wanted to. So, I went out and purchased a new showerhead, and lo and behold, I was able to enjoy taking a shower in my apartment for the first time.

I have to admit, however, that I did spend a little time wondering why it took me almost nine years of denying myself the kinds of showers that I deserve before I realized I could do something about it. But eventually, I chose to stop beating myself up for my lack of awareness, and instead chose to appreciate the fact that I finally had a shower I could enjoy.

And I did enjoy my shower, up until a month ago.

As wonderful as the new showerhead was, I continued to notice problems with the water pressure in my apartment. About a month ago, I also noticed that my new showerhead was getting a little clogged, so I attempted to clean it. Right after I cleaned it, however, the water pressure dropped so significantly that I could barely rinse off.

I called my landlord to complain about the water, because I was convinced that it had to be the fault of the plumbing. It seems that at least once a week, heís at my apartment complex, shutting off everyoneís water so he can fix some plumbing problem or other in one of the units. Since he had just been out to the complex that day fixing the plumbing (which is why I assumed it was his fault in the first place), he was reluctant to make another trip out for at least another day. He suggested that the problem was with the showerhead. I was less than open to that suggestion, since I absolutely knew that my showerhead had to be working just fine, thank you very much. He agreed to come out and look at it in the next day or so.

I was faced with two choices. Either I could suffer without a shower until my landlord came out to see what the problem was, or I could consider the possibility that the things that I knew to be true might not, in fact, be true. I decided to go out and buy a new showerhead so that I could prove that the problem was with the plumbing and had nothing at all to do with me.

Iím sure you can guess the rest of the story. I spent less than $20 on a new showerhead, and actually had to install a flow restrictor on it because without it, the water pressure was too intense even for me, and Iím a fan of invigorating showers.

So by now, youíre probably asking why you should care about my new showerhead. Itís exceedingly unlikely that youíll ever experience my shower personally, so what does it have to do with you?

Well, Iíd like to invite you to look at this story on a deeper level.

For almost eight years, I was unhappy with a situation in my life, and I didnít do anything about it because I believed that it was beyond my control. ďThatís just the way it is,Ē I believed. Just as the original showerhead was restricting the flow of water, my beliefs were restricting the flow of abundance and joy in my life. I truly believed that I deserved better, but I didnít believe that there was anything I could do about it.

Finally, one day my awareness shifted, and I realized that I could make a choice that would allow me to experience more of what I wanted to experience. I still believed that much of the problem was beyond my control (I believed that the plumbing and water pressure in my building was sub-standard), but I recognized that I could still choose to improve my experience.

Itís interesting to me that I donít remember where I purchased that first new showerhead. What I do remember, however, is that I didnít have many options to choose from. I simply picked the first one that appealed to me from what I suspect was a very limited selection. At the time, it was a huge step for me, and I still remember how thrilled I was at the difference. I raved about my new shower for days.

Over the next three years, however, this new, open channel of energy started to get clogged up. It was such a gradual change that it took me almost two years to notice that I wasnít enjoying my new shower anymore. I still believed that the water pressure was the problem. It never occurred to me that the showerhead might get clogged up, that it might need to be replaced, or indeed, that I might need to revisit the choices I had made in the past because they may no longer serve me as well now as they did then.

When I went to purchase this newest showerhead, I had an entire wall of options to choose from. I was truly amazed at the range of possibilities that I was now open to considering. As I was ready to accept more responsibility for my experiences, I was able to explore a much wider array of choices. After almost a half-hour of comparison-shopping, I selected a new showerhead. I did have a laundry list of concerns, however. First of all, even though I was open to the possibility that the problem was, in fact, my showerhead, a part of me still believed that the problem was the water pressure in my building. On top of that, the showerhead that I selected claimed to provide a drenching rain, with spa-quality jets. Appealing as that was to me, I was concerned that it might not fit my tiny bathtub, and was prepared to have to return it. Essentially, I had to take a leap of faith.

Granted, as leaps of faith go, spending $20 on a new showerhead isnít going to set any world records. Nevertheless, when it comes to letting go of our old, familiar, reliable, and very possibly outmoded beliefs, a leap of faith, however small, is always a part of the process.

Our beliefs define our reality: they are the words that define our world. The thing is that what we believe to be Reality (big ďRĒ) is really only our individual reality (little ďrĒ). Our (little ďrĒ) reality is made up of our own, personal, and above all limited range of experiences. Our egos extrapolate from these experiences and fill in the gaps, creating belief systems that support and justify every experience in our life. If we experience lack, limitation, fear and scarcity, we create a belief system that blames these conditions on forces beyond our control. ďThatís just the way the world is,Ē becomes our experience of (little ďrĒ) reality. If youíre not experiencing the levels of joy, prosperity and abundance in your life that you deserve and desire, ask yourself why this is the case. Look at the reasons you come up with and question them further. Most importantly, identify your underlying assumptions and question them. There are always choices you can make that will improve your quality of lifeóbut you have to become aware that the choices exist before you can act on them. You canít buy a new showerhead until you realize that you can, in fact, get rid of your old one.

But more importantly, until youíre willing to take the leap of faith and move beyond your familiar experience of (little ďrĒ) reality, you canít begin to imagine the difference that a new showerhead can make in your life.

Ultimately, our experience of (little ďrĒ) reality is entirely under our own control. Our choices, thoughts and beliefs create and recreate our world. Itís never about the other person, and itís never outside of our control. Even so, we learn to accept and embrace this truth in stages. First, we realize that we can buy a new showerhead, and that dramatically improves our quality of life; however, we still believe that thereís a problem with the water pressure. Eventually, we realize that there is no problem with the water pressure: all we need to do is to choose an even better showerhead. Each time we expand our awareness, we encounter an even wider range of options. We deepen our appreciation of the truth that our choices and our choices alone determine our quality of life.

We also learn that we can choose differently at any time. Just because we chose one showerhead three years ago, and at the time, it was a wonderful choice, doesnít mean that that choice is still the most elegant option for us today. As our choices help us to grow, we always have the opportunity to upgrade.

Now, if youíll excuse me, Iím going to go take a nice, long shower.


Kevin B. Burk is the author of The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life. Visit http://www.EveryRelationship.com for a FREE Report on creating Amazing Relationships.

©2006 Kevin B. Burk, all rights reserved. If you would like to reprint this article in your publication, web page, or eZine (which you may do for free!), click here for details.

 

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