Monday, October 4, 2010

House Work Is Wonderful - well, let's not go that far...

I was interested to read an article about mindfully cleaning. Not just tackling housework, but purposefully and thoroughly giving yourself up to the task at hand. OKKKaaaayyyyyyy........So I have been slowly and Zen-fully (for lack of a better term) putting myself into my household tasks. After all, one spends so much time repeatedly cleaning and doing laundry, finding a way to turn it into meditative practice can help your peace of mind.

Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, author of We Plan, God Laughs says if your space is clear, you function better and your mind is open. Every week before Sabbath, she says observant Jews clean their house in preparation of Passover. Talk about getting your house in order.

I know I function better in a clean environment. Truthfully I'd prefer not to clean it myself, but I have learned through the years I do a better job than someone I've hired. I guess it's a matter of caring about it more.

A Zen proverb encourages you to find meaning and enlightenment in everyday tasks by chanting: before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. (I think my chant would be Thank God I don't have to chop wood, carry water. But I get the idea).

The endless repetition of housework mimics the endless cycle of life itself. Don't get me wrong: I will never pick vacuuming over going to a movie with friends. And my favorite part of housework is when it's finished and the house is clean and feels cozier to me - but I prefer cleanliness and order to chaos and dust. As long as I have to do it, I may as well do it gratefully and mindfully.

But if someone wants to help me iron, I will really be grateful.

11 comments:

BeMistified said...

New follower here. Sometimes I just want to get everyone that is in each room and throw it in the middle of that room. That way I can go through and throw away what I don't need and keep what I do. I think I would fill up the dumpster haha! I really do need to do that though. =(

wendy said...

I think ironing ms one of my most distasteful tasks as well.
I read a book by the AMISH once saying kind of the same thing...concentrate on what you are doing and give it full attention, honor and grace.
sheeesh, hard to do when you're cleaning a toilet.
but like you, I do get the message

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Oh God Love you! Such a good attitude to have.

I have been chanting all the while of cleaning and doing housework....Gee does cussing not work the same way? Wrong energy?
:-)

Linda Medrano said...

I don't like housework, but a messy house upsets me. And, there is no greater stress reliever than cleaning if I'm really pissed off about something. If I can turn angry rap music up loud, I can really make a difference!

running42k said...

Funny, my wife doesn't like ironing either.

The mindfullness is great while cleaning house or washing dishes. I also read a great tip for loving kindness while doing laundry. As you fold the items of clothing, wish love and contentment on the owner of that garment. If gives a nice peaceful feeling on a tedious task.

Sue said...

I agree. I'm not too fond of housework, but it beats living in chaos. I need things to be reasonably neat in my space, and I find this to be increasingly true as I grow older.

=)

alessandra said...

Hahaha, great post!
You know, sometimes, but only sometimes I really enjoy cleaning the house, who knows we can become enlightened while washing dishes ;)

Brian said...

Even I like things clean, but I don't think I could do the ironing. I would be glad to lay on things when you are finished though!

wncmountainliving said...

I try to clean but end up with the same clutter a few days later. Doing Zen is one way to tackle the issue and find some meditative moments too. My husband lived in AR for a number of years - lovely state.

Mumsy said...

Oh, you said it best...when the housework is all done is my favorite part of it. Hugs

Jayne Martin said...

I cannot escape clutter no matter how hard I try. Sometimes I just pick up a whole pile of clutter and shove it in a drawer. Then I never look in that drawer again. I wish I could be better about housework, but alas... I just suck.