Self Improvement

Life Lessons from a Hoover

Life Lessons from a Hoover

My apartment came with a hoover. I didn’t really give it much thought. It appeared to have most of the parts missing and I assumed it to be a broken down thing which I had to make the best of.

It had no wheels on it and no nozzles, extensions or attachments. Hoovering involved dragging it around and crawling around on my hands and knees to reach everywhere with the small nozzle. It meant that, perhaps, I hoovered less than if the task was easier but at no point did I get frustrated with this – I just accepted that was what I had to do to clean my apartment.

Each time I used it lately I thought to myself that soon it would need emptying – but so long as it kept functioning I kept using it. Today, it stopped working and started making a loud painful noise.

This annoyed me, I was mid way through cleaning and did not want the hassle of having to empty it.

Nonetheless the moment had come where I had to do it. Being the non-practical, clumsy person that I am, I anticipated that this was going to be messy and perhaps it would never go back together again!

It opened easily….and there was a liner which, of course, was completely covered in dust. I removed the lining – cue explosion of dust everywhere. Underneath the lining, in the drum, was all of my hoovered up mess but I was surprised to see some bigger things inside it….they were too big to have fit through the hose and I wasn’t sure what they were.

Inside the hoover drum….covered in all the dirt and mess……were all the brand new, still packaged accessories that came with it. Wheels, attachments, nozzles – all the things that make hoovering easier.

It was a good representation of my life and how I approach it. Not to mention how much easier things could be if I do things differently.

Right there…..inside of the hoover….all along….had been just the tools I needed to make the job easier and yet I had never thought to look inside it.

I accepted that things were damaged and made the task harder for myself without question….and yet it wasn’t even damaged.

I used those damaged things until the point of break down despite being aware that at any moment the break down was due and the longer I left it the messier it would get.

Turns out the thing is a brand new, powerful hoover suitable for cleaning wet and dry mess up so long as you use the right attachments each time….the instruction manual was right there on the lid of it all along – I just never read it.

Even if life did come with an instruction manual – I don’t suppose I would have read that yet either!

Moments of realisation are good….even if it takes sitting in your apartment covered in an explosion of dust after an hour of crawling around on your hands and knees hoovering.

Now to absorb it and apply it to the rest of life……….

A Story About a Caterpillar …….

A Story About a Caterpillar   …….

She was a caterpillar, colourful and spiky. She was only born with some of her spikes and colours.

As she interacted with other caterpillar’s she absorbed some of their colours. Those colour’s would stain her for different lengths of time.

Sometimes the other caterpillar’s around her hurt her with their own spikes. The wound’s would try to heal and they developed into spikes.

The other caterpillar’s would also help her train her spikes; cutting, filing, ripping, sharpening, etc

She was not aware that her ever changing colours and spikes were the nature of being a caterpillar – the more she tried to suppress it the more spikes grew on her.

As her awareness grew about herself she noticed more of her spikes and colours. Some of them she liked, some of them she disliked.

She realised that sometimes her spikes had hurt other caterpillar’s and her colours had stained them too.

She did not grow up around many butterflies and for a long time did not even know of their existence.

When she first found out about butterflies she did not believe that she could become one but she did want change. Some of her spikes were restrictive and painful. Some of her colours were not how she wanted to be seen.

Frantically, she set about trying to find help:

  • She tried to take on other caterpillar’s colours that she liked but this was not enough and they did not stain for long.
  • She tried to find a caterpillar to protect her so that she could remove some of her spikes without exposing too much of her vulnerabilities. This did not work because it dulled her own colours too much.
  • Some caterpillar’s tried to encourage her to remove some of the spikes, gently and slowly, and surround herself with less spiky caterpillar’s, she tried sometimes but she found this scary and kept running away. She did not want to be seen as a weak caterpillar.

Through that process she started to believe that maybe she could become a butterfly one day.

She found herself around some butterflies. She wanted to be like them and hoped they could transform her. But this could not work either because she was not them.

She wanted to become a butterfly, even though she didn’t know how. She didn’t always like the suggestions from the butterflies of how to transform because it sounded uncomfortable and scary.

Eventually, she realised that no one could transform her except herself. She became more open to the lessons from the butterflies. She accepted that the process was going to take time and that it was going to be difficult.

She started to build herself a cocoon, a safe place in which she could take off her spikes and allow the underlying wounds to heal. A place in which she could look at her colours and see which ones she wanted to enhance and which ones she wanted to fade.

She’s still there, in her cocoon….sometimes the process is painful and she’s tempted to give up and go back to being a spiky, colourful caterpillar.

But she stays in there, because she knows that deep down inside every caterpillar is the potential to become a butterfly.

One day she will get there.

(Image used from