Several years ago I was at a meditation retreat with my teacher Matthew, and one of the students asked this question, “I notice your car is very clean. Do you do this intentionally?”
“Yes,” he replied, “Taking care of what takes care of you is part of the spiritual path.”
My mind began going in swirls. “Geez” I thought, “I have a long way to go if having a clean car is part of what leads me to enlightenment…”
I didn’t have a clean car, or a clean house, or a clean garage. I hadn’t been to the dentist in over a year, or for my annual gyn exam in, oh, 2 years.
I was neglecting the things that take care of me – my home, my car, my body.
I think you get the picture.
I heard the same lesson when I went to see Rami Shapiro who came through town to give a retreat (I highly recommend his books and teachings – and he’s a hoot to be in person with). He said just about the same exact thing, only he related it to taking care of a nice pair of shoes he had.
So I started taking better care of what takes care of me (maybe I’m closer to enlightenment too?).
It’s all the same lesson. It’s part of living your life in integrity. It’s an important part of self-care. And an important part of gratitude and respect for what takes care of you.
In previous posts, I’ve talked about 10 daily habits for happiness and my secret to having a great day. This is another helpful post for those simple things in your life that make a BIG difference in how you feel.
It takes time and patience with yourself to develop the habit. Pick one and do that one thing for 3 weeks. Then pick another and do that for 3 weeks.
Habits in your home that make a difference:
- Go to bed with a clean sink.
- Make your bed in the morning.
- Have a home for everything in your home. If it doesn’t have a home, throw it away or give it away.
- Give your pet a squeeze and take them to the vet when they need it.
- Repair what needs repairing (leaky sink, broken door, torn shoes, etc.)
Habits with your car that make a difference:
- Each time you get out of the car, do a quick check for trash that can be taken out with you.
- Take it to the car wash for a vacuum and wash 3 to 4 times a year (or more if neede.
- Get the oil changed when it needs changing, and take it to your mechanic when the “check engine” light is on or it sounds funny instead of hoping the problem will go away.
Habits with YOU that make a difference:
- A daily mindfulness/meditation/centering/gratitude practice.
- Daily exercise or movement of some sort (walk, dance, yoga, swimming, biking, etc.)
- Annual exams (dentist, gyn, general health, skin, eye, etc.)
- Eating greens once a day.
- Drink 3-4 liters of water a day.
Do I do all of these things consistently? No. But I do them almost consistently, and what I notice is that I feel more centered, relaxed, cared for, self-respected and self-loved, grounded, and grateful.
It starts with one simple habit.
Which one are you going to incorporate into your life today? I would love to hear. Share it below to inspire us, and I promise – sharing it will help hold you accountable to doing it too!
Categories: Health & Happiness