Lessons from a leaky roof

Last week we discovered we had a leaky roof.

After realising the issue was from four different areas in the roof, we knew we had to repair the whole roof. The tiles are years old, and we had been riding our luck for a while with the house, just patching it up here and there. This time, the house had had quite enough, and was telling us about it.

The initial reaction was something I could hold with mindfulness: that shock, that annoyance at such a thing, during a lockdown, during a time when money was precious. I breathed and breathed, feeling my annoyance, smiling at it, knowing it was there and calming it. I went and made myself a cup of tea, and I sat with that, holding the mug gently, taking the time to drink it and really taste the tea. I paused in my condemnation at the universe and whatever else I wanted to blame.

I’ve learned from my practice of mindfulness. I’ve learned not to take things personally; that whatever comes our way is what comes. That every arrival to our door is a lesson – a gift just waiting to be unwrapped. At the time of the news, I had no idea what the gift of a leaky roof could be, but knowing I looked at it with curiosity rather than annoyance meant it wasn’t a threat to my well-being; I was comfortable with it.

After a few days, I sat and meditated and suddenly came up with an epiphany: one gift was shown to me. With excitement, I scribbled in my notebook, and came up with a plan to help with my income. It had been something I’d be toying with before, a change to my delivery of mindfulness courses with Zen Life Fife. Only, because I felt my needs were met, I chose not to pursue it at the time.

The leaky roof had shown me that my needs weren’t fully met; that I’d never put enough money aside to cope with things like sudden house improvements/repairs. It was always something I’d put off, not really expecting things to happen…but of course, things do happen. Also, I had noticed that I’d been offering the same things for a while in my business; in some way, I’d gotten complacent about it and wasn’t giving it my all. I realised as well that for things to improve, for things to become truly amazing, we have to give things our all. As Roald Dahl once famously said, ‘lukewarm isn’t enough’. We need to be passionate about our lives, about our service/purpose.

How fascinating, then, for a leaky roof – on the surface of it, a watery pit of gloom and doom -to be transformed into a kickstart for a new approach at some aspects of my business, and a rekindling of the passion that got me started in the first place!

Thank you, leaky roof. Welcome in, leaky roof. You are teaching and showing me so much.

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