Inventory as a Metaphor

While attending to the usual business year-end inventory count, I was struck with how this process can be a metaphor for many things. Who knew that by counting inventory stock and reorganizing it in one’s work space, many other lessons and comparisons could be made?  It wasn’t something I went looking for, but I’m glad I found it!

The process of “taking inventory” is to note what you actually have in stock and how that compares with what you are supposed to have in stock.  Those of you familiar with the process know that what the inventory sheet says you are supposed to have and what you actually physically see and count can be very different.  What you think you have now, is shown to not be true. There is a discrepancy!

Doing an inventory count is a messy business.  Everything gets moved, piled up and put out of its normal place – complete disruption.  A great term to describe the scene is “chaos”.  Nothing is left untouched. But from this chaos came great ideas and new ways of looking at things. Here’s how it went.

As I went through each area and item, I found myself asking many questions:  Why was I holding onto these things?  What purpose did they have?  Are these things that I will likely use with clients over the next year?  Are these things I would use for myself over the next year?  Does keeping this feel like a burden or a blessing?  I found myself being brutal with letting go of things that no longer served the Centre, its clients or me. Don’t look back or second guess – just toss  it!  And those things that were still purposeful and meaningful were given extra attention and care.

Once I had only what was purposeful and meaningful, I cleaned and rearranged the store and the storage areas to be more organized and user friendly.  When all was done, there was a sense of peace and accomplishment that arose from the chaos. I looked around and thought, ” I like this now!”  Everything felt fresh and with renewed energy.

Once I finished the inventory, I realized that life is a lot like this process. The phrases,  “taking stock of a situation”, “counting your blessings”, “spring cleaning” and “analyze this!” had more relevance.  All of these phrases ask us to think about our self and our situation. We ask questions such as: “Is this a blessing or a burden for me?”  or  “Is this for my Highest Good?” We may uncover uncomfortable or painful aspects that momentarily send us for a loop (chaos?).  But after a while, and with focused intention and action, we are able to understand what it is that works for us and what needs to be tweaked.  Then we take action and tweak!

The treasure at the end of this process is a sense of personal accomplishment and satisfaction. The change we make helps us feel good about ourselves and our situation. Improvement, satisfaction, accomplishment, joy and Highest Good.
All from willing to engage with doing an “Inventory”.

Article written by Pat Antoniak Registered Nurse – Registered Aromatherapist and owner of the Natural Comfort Wellness Centre in Tsawwassen, BC.


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