Years ago, I learned a great tool and have been sharing it and using it ever since.
It was passed on to me by a man, a motivational speaker, during a live event. He told us about The Glass of Grape Juice and for those of us who got the message that day, it was a great gift.
This is how it goes. It starts with a question. Stay with me, here.
Visualize that you are sitting at a kitchen table and that on this kitchen table are two objects: a small clear glass filled almost to the rim with dark grape juice and a large pitcher of cold water.
You are being given a simple task: get rid of the grape juice and replace it with the clear water.
Funny thing is, the glass of grape juice is super-glued to the table and the table is bolted to the floor.
During the live event, people were allowed to talk with each other and brainstorm solutions. After a while, we were given the life-changing answer: start pouring water into the small glass and keep pouring until the grape juice overflows onto the table and has eventually been replaced with clear water.
Many of us hadn't thought about this. Possibly because we are wired to not spill stuff, possibly because we think solutions have to be clever and complicated. Possibly because we didn't think it was even possible.
A month ago, during a coaching call, I shared this story with a client. It was easy to make it make sense for her current situation. It often is.
Yesterday, I received a message from a friend who knows this client and she shared with me that The Glass of Grape Juice tool had been so useful to her that it made her cry with gladness to talk about it.
I thanked my friend for telling me this and then it occurred to me that in the last two days, I had been using The Glass of Grape Juice tool also! I had not named it that, I had just done it (when this happens, it's a really good sign that we have internalized the work and it now becomes part of our "Quiet Toolbox." Meaning, we just know which tool to pick up for a given situation, we pick it up, use it, put it back and it feels like no big deal. Until we remember that a year ago, we would have been in crisis mode for the same situation. THIS and more is why I love my work)
Back in Mexico, I walked into a house that is about 80% finished. That's sure better than the way I left it three months ago, but well... it's not done. It definitely still has the energy of a construction site, and after months of moving stuff in the US, I was very, very ready to be "home." Home without debris everywhere, home without people coming in and out, and definitely home with running water. This last part is still to be danced with.
For the first week, staying in an Airbnb at night, I tiptoed around the construction stuff. I walked around it, not sure how to make peace with it. I wanted it all gone and I wanted it all gone now. Which, in Mexico, could be the beginning of a great joke. I was resisting. I was powerless. I felt paralyzed. The more I wanted it, the less things were moving.
The darn Glass of Grape Juice just was not budging.
It felt like a war between "HOME" and "CONSTRUCTION." And the latter was winning.
Three days ago, after writing in my Morning Pages, I got clear on what I could do. I could start pouring water down the darn glass.
And so I did. First, I "took over" the bedroom, which is the room that is pretty much done. I moved all the wires and bits of stuff to the main room and ... I made the bed! I put down some rugs. In the middle of the madness, I carved myself an island of peace. I closed the door. I breathed.
Next, I rolled a few bath towels SPA-style and placed them on the beautiful concrete bathroom shelf.
I could almost feel the house breathing with me.
Then I went out and bought a fridge and plopped it into the main room. It looked funny standing there next to drills and buckets. And I was okay with funny. Eventually, I plugged it in and put a few things in it.
Meanwhile, the electrician did not show up for three days. And for some reason, I felt that I could not move his stuff. That is was ... what? sacred? Until I brought in my bright orange Le Creuset pans and placed them on a shelf under the sink, next to a bunch of plugs. The Glass of Grape Juice was getting clearer and clearer. Next came the stove and that was the final gentle push I needed (along with having talked with my friend earlier and thus having remembered to give a name to the process. I was going full-on Water Pitcher). An hour later, all the electric bits had been placed in a corner, some more rugs were on the floor and things felt darn good.
I had remembered. I had remembered that I had the power, the right, the blessing to pour my water, even if it spilled all over. I had remembered that it was up to me to wring my hands and knock on a door that would not open - to keep trying to push someone who would not be pushed - OR to advocate for my own vision, regain my sovereignty.
Does it make a difference in the way things are moving along, in the way other players are showing up? I believe it does. The energy has shifted.
The Glass of Grape Juice is almost clear and I am planning on sleeping over there Friday night. Somehow.
(PS: I will have one coaching spot available November 1st. If you think that it might be for you, let me know and let's get dancing!)
SCARED OF THE SACRED