Okay, I might as well come out and admit it now …
… I love housework.
I never used to have a passion for it before I incorporated it into my spiritual practice, but now I use it as a time to reconnect with myself.
I especially find it useful if I am feeling stressed or anxious.
In fact I now find myself doing housework the long way in order to prolong the experience. For example I clean all my floors by hand (by choice 🙂 ). I love the physical activity, and repetitiveness of washing the floor by hand.
By doing this recently, I discovered that the floors in my 20yo rental house were actually white, and not cream with brown flecks as I had first thought. It was a very rewarding experience to clean each tile by hand until it was sparkling white again. (Yes, I may be a little bit OCD…)
But back to housework as practice…
For me, the key is to:
- Try to concentrate purely on the chore that you are doing. For example, if it’s washing the floor, then concentrate solely on washing the floor. Try to focus all of your energy and thoughts into doing the best job that you possibly can. Not rushing, or thinking of what has be done next, but immersing yourself totally in that activity.
- Concentrate all your senses on the experience – the warmth of the water, the coolness of the floor beneath your feet, the smell of the disinfectant etc.
- When you mind wanders (which it will), gently bring it back to the task at hand.
Instead of viewing housework as a chore, view it as a chance to relax and unwind and calm your mind.
By doing your housework in this way, not only are you meditating at the same time (bonus! Multitasking!), you are developing your mindfulness, and… you will have a clean house at the end of it! 🙂
I love this! I moved into an old apartment 8 months ago with no dishwasher. My wife is a baker… we have a lot of dishes 😉 I knew I could spend the next few years hating house work or I could decide to make it a mindfulness practice. Your post is awesome… simple choirs like these are great ways of taking our meditation practice and starting to work them into our life. Awesome.
Thank you so much for your post! Really appreciate it :-). I was listening to a great podcast yesterday that was talking about buddhist practice – and that your practice can’t be judged on how much (or how well) you meditate. That it’s more than just meditating – it’s about incorporating practice into every aspect of your life. I’m such a big believer in that.
PS I love listening to old music when I wash the dishes – music from the 20’s and 30’s :-).
I shall try this! Thanks for sharing, Megan! 🙂