We often think that changes in our lives, have to be big to make any sort of difference to how we experience life. It’s surprising how very small shifts in perspective or little, creative changes in our routine, can make an impact. I was reflecting on how I really dislike being bogged down with housework. I fantasize about my home looking like a 5 star suite without my having to lift a finger 🙂 In my mind, I have no time/ space/ peace to meditate. I also have two small children who love me hanging around when they are playing- particularly when I’d like to be doing something else (sounds rather mean when I write it down, bless them!).
It was one such mundane moment at home when the children wanted me to be around, I wanted to meditate and the dishes needed to be done. The beautiful 4pm light streamed through the windows. My girls were within sight, drawing and joyfully showing me each masterful stroke. Unusually, I was drawn to the kitchen sink. I picked up a utensil, felt the cold water, played with the lemony freshness of the soap suds and watched the grime slip off, leaving only the afternoon, reflecting off the dishes. Water flowed and splashed. In the next room, the girls giggled and fought and giggled some more. I picked up another utensil…then another one. I noticed my thoughts, and another, and another as they slipped away, leaving no trace. It was a beautiful, peaceful, mundane moment. Something that I essentially don’t enjoy doing, turned into mindfulness meditation.
I was reminded of a coach and facilitator, who on a training call shared that he traveled very regularly and no matter how much he wanted, couldn’t fit in meditation. One morning, instead of doing a quick shave, he decided to go back in time. He took out a shaving brush and soap and an old fashioned razor blade. He had to slow down and use deliberate movements, lest he cut himself. The little change in routine, helped him exercise mindfulness; to experience all his senses before the onslaught of a crazy day. This became part of his routine. A small, simple change but one that made a huge difference.
And of course, I viewed doing the housework in a slightly different manner!
Is there a way you can turn a pain into a totally different experience? What minor adjustment might go a long way?
(Mindfulness is the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment, which can be trained by meditation practices that are described in detail in the Buddhist tradition)