Ah, meditation…in my circles, meditation seems to be a common topic of conversation. I find it on the blogs I read, in the fitness classes I attend, in the conversations I have with other moms like me… And it seems like a pretty good deal. You get to sit quietly. By yourself. And you don’t have to do or think anything. As someone who often feels overwhelmed by too many people and things, closing in bit by bit, that free vacation from it all sounds pretty, gosh-darn good.
But the reality is that for me meditation is a struggle. I go through phases where I am officially practicing it regularly. And I really do see results. It makes me happy, contented, and calm… Then *poof* one day I skip doing it and then the next and then the next. Until just the thought of it hangs over me, like a nagging mom…
“Go on… do it… you’ll feel better once you do… you’re always happy once you have… it’s good for you.”
Ugh. Nothing like a mom to speak the truth you don’t want to hear. J
Currently I am in the “nagging mom” phase of my meditation practice. Well, I was until I had a little epiphany while doing the chore of hanging the laundry on the clothesline yesterday afternoon. I find that chores fit into two categories: chores we deeply dislike and chores we don’t mind at all. Hanging the laundry is one of those chores that I don’t mind at all. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I really like hanging the laundry. It’s a highlight in my day! I have recognized this in myself for a while, but this afternoon, I happened to ask myself why. My answer surprised me a little.
Here is what I like about hanging the laundry. Hanging the laundry is an outside activity. It involves full-body movement. On top of that it is repetitive and methodical, while also requiring a certain sense of care and attention so that the clothes come away neat and wearable. And all of this is generally done in solitude. It was in the middle of this process that I realized why it makes me so very happy… all this time I have been doing a laundry meditation!
Now that I am thinking about it, not all meditations need to be the traditional type, sitting in a chair or on a cushion, in silence or with gentle music playing. And in fact, it still counts, even if it’s not that traditional type. It can happen when I’m hanging laundry or washing dishes or wiping down the bathroom. A quiet contemplative state where I am playing great attention to the moment its self is its own kind of meditation. To that end, with flexibility and an open mind, I can more easily fit meditation into my daily life.
Lucky me… Suddenly, with no struggle at all, I am left feeling refreshed and good that I am taking care of myself… and look at that the laundry got done!