You might be wondering what I’m talking about. “How can there be joy in doing the dishes or brushing my teeth?” you ask.
Maybe your great at multi-tasking, so you brush your teeth, make a phone call, comb your hair, and make lunch all at the same time (are you laughing right now cause this is so familiar?) Or you do it as a means to get on to the next thing.
Now imagine if you were present with it – enjoying the smell, the sound, the feel, or the taste.
How much happier would you be? And would it really make a difference?
YES – it does! I’m speaking from experiencing here. I use to run around from one thing to the next – cleaning the house, brushing my teeth, taking a shower, going to the bathroom, cooking, doing the laundry, shoveling the driveway… all feeling like it “had to be done” so I could go to work, or whatever I deemed more important.
Now – imagine brushing your teeth and really enjoying it. Imagine being present with the brush on your gums and the taste of the toothpaste.
Imagine enjoying the warmth of the water when you wash the dishes, and the satisfaction of having something clean.
Imagine folding the laundry feeling gratitude for the clothes that keep you warm and smelling the fresh scent out of the dryer.
Don’t you feel more peaceful just reading these last three sentences?
Your spiritual practice is not separate from your daily life and activities – it’s PART OF IT.
You don’t need to go live in a monastery to be spiritual, you can experience it every day in the chores in your home.
“And how do you do that?” you might be asking. Here’s how you do it:
Pick one daily activity to practice being present in each day. When I say “present,” what I mean is to be in the moment while doing it instead of thinking about a conversation you had yesterday or what you “have to” today on your mental to do list.
So let’s say you picked brushing your teeth. When you go to brush your teeth, notice putting toothpaste on the toothbrush, smell the toothpaste before putting it in your mouth, taste the toothpaste on your tongue, feel the sensation of the brush on your gums, BE PRESENT while brushing your teeth.
Notice. Notice how your mind wants to go in the future to what you deem is “more important,” or reaching for the towel to clean the sink at the same time – and LEAVE IT.
When you say that something else is more important that you need to get to, you are judging life, instead of opening to ALL of it.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from an article in the March 2010 edition of the Shambhala Sun magazine:
“It’s hard to believe that attention is all there is to being present, so we complicate things with our judgment – debasing the ordinary as insignificant and idealizing the spiritual as unattainable – never seeing that the two are one.”
Pick one daily activity this week to practice being present in. I guarantee you will bring more peace and joy into your life because of it!
Categories: Meditation & Mindfulness