One of my recent tips was. "Practice doing your chores with mindfullness and noticing. Feels more relaxing this way." Someone asked what I meant by this.

Usually we do chores with resentment or a feeling of obligation or tiredness. That’s how I used to deal with my home. Procrastinate. Complain. Fuss.

I noticed some people didn’t deal with their home in that way. They got a sense of accomplishment from creating order. They found home care relaxing.

This comes from doing chores with mindfulness.  It’s about using your senses and being present.

For instance feeling the bubbles when you wash dishes and seeing the birds at the feeder outside the window.

“To my mind, the idea that doing dishes is unpleasant can occur only when you aren’t doing them…I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands.  I know that if I hurry in order to eat dessert sooner, the time of washing dishes will be unpleasant and not worth living.  That would be a pity, for each minute, each second of life is a miracle.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Feel the fabric as you fold clothes, enjoy making clean lines out of chaos, perhaps praying for your family members as you fold their clothes.

Spray your wood table with orange oil, smelling the orange, notice the difference of before and after the polish. Smile at the gleam from the table.

Listen to the broom bristles as you sweep.

Notice the colors of the vegetables as you chop. Smell the spices.

In most cases, doing the chores is not distasteful. It’s the thoughts that come. "It’s not fair I have to do it." "I don’t feel like it." "I’m too tired." "I hate doing dishes." "It’s just going to get dirty again." We get tired and want to procrastinate before we even start.

But, try turning off the judging thoughts and notice the sounds, smells, tastes, textures, and sights.

Why not turn mundane tasks into more relaxing rituals?

 

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7 comments

  • Carla

    This sounds lovely!
    I will definitely give it a try.
    I do look forward to the washing up when I put my headphones in and listen to music while I’m doing it – I bounce around the kitchen!

  • Sandy

    I’m not sure cleaning while listening to something on headphones is being mindful. Do I have it right that you need to think about what you are doing? Feel it, hear the sounds and smell the smells of your actions. I like these thoughts. I’m really going to try to be clearly in the moment and be so thankful for all God has given me — even the dirty house I have to clean up. Thanks, Beth, for bringing this up.

  • Matt Maresca

    This is so good. You know, you really don’t think about it but a lot of the things we don’t like to do are much worse in our minds than in reality. The more we think, rather than act, it seems the worse our reality is. Now, acting WHILE being present in the action is a really powerful concept that allows the reality to be even more meaningful, even when it’s something we think we don’t like doing. Great post!

  • Mary Ellen McMurtrie

    Being present for the moment is mindfulness. A phrase I have posted: Living is a temporary condition; don’t waste another moment. BE HERE NOW!

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