When I first got back to Hawaii Island in 2015, I saw a bumper sticker that I actually put on the visor for easy access, if I needed the reminder. It stated “Surrounding yourself with molten lava reminds you to stay calm and centered.” ~ Big Island Love LLC. One of the many phrases that is often voiced here is to go with the flow. Oh ya, I live on an active volcano!
In 2018 I got to see what it meant to go with the flow, up close and personal, when I had just moved into the subdivision where the eruption started. I had moved into a new house sitting gig; six months, lovely home with lawn service, catchment service and a security camera that the owner could turn on if I was going to be gone overnight or for the weekend. I moved in May 1st, 2018 and moved out May 3, 2018 at 5 pm when the local warning siren started going off.
We had been feeling constant earthquakes and the homeowner had her go bag ready and in her car if needed. She needed it that night as they wouldn’t let anyone back into the subdivision they were trying to evacuate. It was an amazing experience that I will write about another time. Today’s topic is going with the flow, and that is exactly what I had to do in that situation and in many more since then.
The thing I have learned is if I will trust the Universe has my back, everything flows beautifully. It is when I get into the drivers seat, trying to drive the bus that is my life, down a sometimes narrow and windy path, that obstacles creep up along the way blocking my flow.
My most recent reminder to go with the flow has to do with a vacation rental I am helping with for a couple of months while the owners are off island. They don’t have a dryer and use a clothes line to dry all linens, towels, etc. It is more earth friendly than using a dryer that uses either gas, propane or electricity. This is the first time I have helped with a vacation rental where there wasn’t a dryer, with the exception of one, which paid for full laundry service. I dropped it all off dirty, picked it up the next day clean and folded.
When I was offered the temporary work, and the owner told me they chose not to have a dryer by design, I told myself just to go with the flow. I am pretty resourceful and this isn’t my first rodeo though this is a twist I haven’t experienced before. Last night I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, eyes wide open, no getting back to sleep anytime soon. And then the wheels started spinning.
We were under a Tropical Storm Warning with flood advisories for the next day. How was that laundry possibly going to dry on the line? I started fretting. “Worry is a negative prayer” I was once told by a local shaman. I understand that and didn’t get myself too worked up, but I had several things “against me”. Sitting here now reflecting on lessons learned, it wasn’t against me. It was for me, to practice the art of going with the flow. It must be art because it doesn’t come natural to me.
In the middle of the night when I woke up, the wind was blowing pretty strong and it was raining heavy, just as the forecast had said earlier in the warning. I couldn’t tell how strong the wind was blowing. Nothing was crashing around outside and it didn’t feel to be buffeting the house, but I could tell the trees were moving. The rain was the heavy kind that creates flooding here in our area. Fodder for the thoughts of how the laundry wasn’t going to dry, and was going to be ripped from the clothes lines.
Oh those middle of the night demons, if we allow them entrance. They can take a simple situation and make it scary, challenging and difficult. I felt intimidated by what I had ahead of me. I wasn’t worried about the cleaning, I’ve had lots of practice, but the no dryer was a change I was struggling with. The owners texted from their east coast location, not realizing I was laying awake fretting, just to update me on a couple of things. We texted back and forth for a bit. He tried to call, but where I live I have terrible cell service and I certainly wasn’t going to go outside to improve the signal. I finally fell back asleep and caught a couple more hours of sleep.
When I first woke up, I was anxious to get on the job and “face the bull”, meet the challenge and find the keys to not feeling so stressed about such a simple thing. I was waiting to hear that the guests had vacated. Cleaning is my self-comfort tool, so that is what I did. I needed to vacuum my own floors before I took it to someone else’s house anyway. Then I started getting detailed, popping off the hose and getting around the nooks and crannies, doing the extra details that I get paid to do for others.
I had a couple of days to accomplish this “turn around” as it is called in the vacation rental business. So the stress wasn’t too high, in the light of day. On a scale of one to ten, with one being the lowest, I was probably only at about a three. Part of that was that it was my first time cleaning this particular property. The weather had settled down by then and the sun was actually shining while I loaded my tools and equipment into my car.
I went over to the place. As soon as I walked in and surveyed the work ahead of me, I instantly relaxed. Other than no dryer, it was just a normal cleaning gig. Going with the flow, I realized my self induced stress during the early morning had been needless. The simple lesson was wrapping itself around me, not as a punishment, but as a comfortable reminder that everything works out perfectly when I go with the flow. It’s the same feeling as the phrase “Let go and let God” brings for many.
I stripped the beds, put the first load in and began the tasks on hand. I had previously decided I would split this “turn around” into two days as there was space and I had other things going on as well. I try to schedule the many things I’m involved with (classes, events, work, play) with as little stress as possible. Not too much on any one day. I’m not a spring chicken any more and need more down time.
Well that plan worked out perfectly as the sun went away and it was intermittent light showers. The clothes lines are under the lanai roof, so things were still drying. The sheets were dry by the time I got the bulk of the cleaning done. Tomorrow I’ll go back in, make the beds, fold the towels, do the floors and voila, mission accomplished. First day jitters were silly. I have dealt with life and death issues in the past, so why let something this simple “throw me off”? Another lesson to remind myself of, to trust myself to be able to handle whatever comes before me. Remembering who I am. Resilient, strong, capable and smart. Going with the flow and trusting myself.