written by RBS contributor Molly Slovnik from Minneapolis, MN
I’m a canoeist without a paddling partner this morning, my usual routine thrown off. Time to take it SLOW and get outside in a new way.
1. Stop: I live two blocks from a gorgeous chain of lakes in Minneapolis. SO much trash lines streets and drains to the water we paddle.
2. Look inside: I adopted two storm drains; perfect time to get out and clean them!
3. Open to play: As I cleaned up the trash and natural debris that would drain to lakes and wildlife habitat it built a different connection to paddling in my mind. In part I paddle for beauty and connection to the earth; my images of paddling were now directly connecting to drain clean up!
4. Willing to change: Research shows our mind’s creativity is sparked by images outside of typical routine, building new connections to these images helps us to reframe a context and make change. This new act of adopting and cleaning the drains lead me to not only clean the drains but clean both sides of the street the two blocks to the lake; it gives me a new ritual attached to paddling! It’s suddenly not just about ME getting out on the water, but about clean water for ALL, opening my mind to new attitude and action. Small drops really do make waves.
Adopt-a-drain is officially available (as of this writing in 2020) in MN and NJ. Contact them for more info if you'd like to see the service added to your state.