The other day I found myself frantically cleaning the kitchen. Dishes were piled everywhere, healthy smoothie remnants were stuck to the counters, and general evidence of a very hasty departure from our home in an effort to get Evan off to preschool. So there I was, faced with a job that is not on my favorites list. I wanted to wave my magic wand and make it instantaneously clean and perfect. THEN, this interruption would be over and I could get back to living my real life (aka, the shiny, pretty stuff that appeals to my ego).
Thankfully, the wisdom of my spiritual teachers arose in my mind….There are no interruptions. I’m not missing out on a “parallel reality.” Nowhere else I’m supposed to be. Life is right here, right now. I could choose to embrace it, or resist it. And then the the inquiry arose…how can I be nourished by this moment rather than depleted by it? I began to put into practice the moment to moment question, “What am I doing right now?” At first the answers were generalized, like “I’m unloading the dishwasher.” But I soon recognized that I needed to fine tune my awareness. And as I remained fully present in the moment the quality of my answers changed. They became, “I am putting the cups away.” Then, “I am putting THIS cup away.” Then, “I am reaching for the cup.” Gradually, this whole kitchen cleaning process was becoming a moving mindfulness meditation. I was slowing down. And I discovered that I was being deeply nourished. I wasn’t thinking about what to reach for next. I was utterly and completely in relationship to my environment, the objects around me, and to myself.
In the beginning this exercise felt strange and even frustrating. It didn’t take long for me to notice how often I am mentally on to the next activity…which feels energetically depleting and thoroughly unsatisfying. But when I gave myself to the moment, it actually fed me. It was a glorious experience in the chaos of my kitchen. It was a glorious peek at how I can tend to “do” life. The magic wand was mindfulness. It didn’t make the kitchen clean, but it did make it perfect.
What are YOU doing right now?