Greetings to all.
How are you today? Have you rested your breath, your body and your mind today?
Here’s a new practice for you! A study at Florida State University found people who washed dishes while attending to awareness of their mind and body experienced a 27% reduction in nervousness and a 25% increase in feelings of inspiration. Those who washed the dishes without mindful awareness found no such benefits.
Mindful dishwashing practice: Steps 1-4 are done while just standing at sink:
- Begin by standing at the sink, inviting awareness of yourself as simply standing. Next, taking a moment to look at the dishes. How dirty are they? What colors and shapes do you see on the plates? See how the dishes tell the story of the latest snacks or meals. If you like, expressing gratitude in your heart for the food that is nourishing those whose food was on these plates. Taking 3 long breaths as you express your gratitude.
- Now moving your attention into your body. How does your physical body feel at the moment? What sensations are you aware of? Breathing a soft, gentle breath into your body, inviting the softness into the places of strong sensation.
- And now inviting a kind and gentle awareness of any emotions you feel—annoyed or irritated or upbeat….Noticing what thoughts are running through your mind, perhaps something like: “When I finish this, then I can relax,” or, “I wish that I didn’t have to do this,” or ………… Discovering your judgment of this task and your thoughts and feelings at this moment,
- Next Inviting yourself to acknowledge it all kindly and then letting go of any judgment about yourself or about this task…. Being warm and friendly towards yourself, no matter what! Breathing out any tension as you exhale. Breathe in a new, restorative breath…flowing in and out…
- AND NOW Begin cleaning slowly at first, one thing at a time, one breath at a time… noticing the temperature of the water, the way that your hands feel as you clean, the texture of the sponge, the sensation of water touching your hands or gloves….Perhaps noticing the bubbles forming and any rainbow reflections in the light. Allowing yourself to see how with your attention, it becomes a spotless, sparkling dish.
- As best you can, washing each dish with curiosity about the dish in hand. Keep letting go of the idea of finishing the job or the other things you could be/should be doing… Focusing on just this dish….one thing at a time…relaxing the breath, breathing in, breathing out….
- When you’ve finished, taking a look at the dishes and seeing how clean they are now… Noticing how you are feeling….. Perhaps noticing that you’re feeling refreshed too from this simple chore.