Are you one of “those people” who know you should be meditating but you still haven’t found the time to do so in the, oh, ten or twenty plus years you’ve been meaning to? You know it’s good for you, but yet you don’t do it. You still can’t find the time. Other things are still more important like watering the plants, cleaning out the kitty litter, making your kids’ lunches, washing the dishes, tidying the bedrooms… You know that meditating is worth so much more for your health than all those other things, but yet you still don’t do it. (And I am talking from experience here!)
Your health and well-being and your to-do list don’t need to be at odds with each other. So, I’m here to amalgamate these two seemingly conflicting things for you – house chores and meditation– into one simple task (choritation?).
Given your past experience, you know you’re going to get your house chores done, am I right? So now with my simple tool, your meditation will get done too, no matter what. Your house will be clean, and so will your mind.
An evening in the life of Meghan:
The dishes were piled high. The scent of burnt beef was still in the air. The frying pan encrusted with over-cooked sausage called my name every time I walked by. The cappuccino machine was still splattered with this morning’s over-frothed milk. The soiled cutting board still held half a head of cauliflower on it because, darn it, I was just too busy to put it back in the fridge!
But I REALLY need to go and unwind, get peaceful in my body, and relax.
But it’s already nine o’clock, I’m getting tired, and those dishes won’t clean themselves…
And then… I remembered that meditation doesn’t mean having to sit cross-legged on the floor, with your eyes closed and a softly-scented candle burning in a dark room. Meditation simply means training your mind to “stop” analyzing and overthinking in order to invoke a more relaxed and peaceful state of consciousness. (Well, that’s MY definition, anyways). There are so many forms of meditation; it really can look a variety of different ways, but given our goal and purpose for this post, I’ve given it a twist.
So here we go… The Dishwashing Meditation for you:
Place your feet on the floor and turn on the water.
How do your feet feel on the floor? Are you wearing socks or are you barefoot? It may help to be barefoot to help ground you into the floor better. Take a moment to recognize how your feet feel touching the linoleum, hard wood, carpet (blech, I hope not in the kitchen!) It may help to use progressive relaxation techniques if you’re a newbie at this. This would mean scrunching your toes up, holding them scrunched for a few seconds, and then releasing them. You’ll notice the energy in your feet way easier this way.
Slowly place your hand under the water and feel the temperature of it. It may help to place the top of your hand under the water, as that area is more sensitive to touch than our palms are. Pay attention to how the water feels on the specific area it is hitting. Slowly rock your hand back and forth to feel the water hitting different areas.
Pick up that soiled pot and notice how your hand feels touching the handle. Place all of your attention on the sensation of grabbing the pot (or whatever you are washing) in your hands.
And your mind will want to chime in thousands of times during your dishwashing meditation. I simply say out loud (or in my head if I’m not alone) “Reset” when I notice my mind wanting to contribute its two cents. It helps to re-center and bring me back to my body. (If I were to say this aloud around people they would think there was a hyper-active parrot loose in the house).
And most importantly,pay attention to your breathing during your dishwashing meditation. Let you belly pooch out and let that sucker fill with air. Washing the dishes isn’t a beauty contest. You don’t need to suck in that gut while you loiter in the kitchen wearing rubber gloves! Let it all hang out, and enjoy the feeling of fully breathing. This is breathing for your health at its finest. Try to make your inhalation and exhalation the same length, and allow the air to go in and out through your nose. While you are feeling the touch of water on your hands, the sensation of stainless steel in your palms, try to also pay attention to the feeling of the air passing in and out through your nose.
At this point you’ll probably need to lovingly but firmly say “Reset! Reset! Polly wants to reset?”
Then, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.
You’ll notice a feeling of peace, relaxation, and bliss intermittently whilst scrubbing your Tupperware. (And if you don’t, you’ll just need more practice.) Time will seem to pass by slower. Your limbs may feel warm and cozy. Your heart may feel expansive and open. You may even smile for no reason. Until your mind wants to let you know for the four-hundredth time how that woman should have not been so rude over the phone!
So you say “Reset” and bring yourself back to your body, your breath, your sensations. Joy and peace will pop up again within the silence you are creating for yourself.
Then rinse, repeat, and rinse, repeat.
Meghan Currie is an Endorsed Mind-Body Coach. She helps smart and motivated individuals get rid of their chronic pain that has taken over their life and happiness. You can find out more about her on her website: http://meghancurrie.com/