Mindfulness in the Mundane

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Photo by Getty Images/ DmitriiSimakov
Appreciating the mundane moments of life helps you accomplish the small tasks, keep a clean home environment, and feel a sense of accomplishment.

My partner is a talented cook with a flexible work schedule, so I’m blessed to come home to made-from-scratch meals most evenings. However, not cooking means I’m on dish duty every single night. I recently noticed I had developed a bad attitude around doing dishes. Rather than feeling grateful to come home to these meals infused with my partner’s love for me and his passion for whole, real foods, I would grumble to myself about being stuck with the drudgery of cleaning. Instead of having a delicious meal to show for my hard work, I just had the same dirty dishes, crumb-laden floor, and sticky countertop night after night. I convinced myself that I’d gotten the short end of the stick.

Around this time, I stumbled across advice for how to reintroduce ritual into our lives. I learned that ritual can be as simple as transforming a mundane task into a moment of mindfulness. With this in mind, I created a special ritual for cleaning my kitchen, which has greatly improved my attitude and introduced a scheduled moment of gratitude to my day. I hope the following ritual inspires others to make positive changes around otherwise mundane tasks.

Before I clean a single dish, I put on a kettle for tea. By the time I’m done cleaning, I can make a cup of herbal tea for bedtime reading. It motivates me knowing that I’ll be rewarded for cleaning with this warm drink.

I also diffuse lemon essential oil while cleaning. This oil has been shown to improve mood with its invigorating aroma, and as a bonus, the kitchen feels cleaner when it smells like lemons.

Finally, my mother gifted me with a beautiful handmade broom and dustpan from a vendor at a Mother Earth News Fair. I love the way the sustainable, handcrafted broom feels in my hands. Now, I actually slow down and appreciate the calming motion of sweeping.

When I’m finished cleaning, with tea in hand, I survey my job well done. I give thanks for my warm, clean, well-stocked kitchen, and for the fact that my partner lovingly invests his time and energy into our health.

What areas of your life could use an attitude check? Send me an email at HKincaid@MotherEarthLiving.com to chat about it, and find more inspiring ideas in Brittany Wood Nickerson’s article “Ritual for Reconnection.”

3 things I love in the September/October 2018 issue: 

1. Aimee Gallo’s explanation of how rising CO2 levels affect our food’s nutrient value is both fascinating and harrowing.

2. Our recipe for Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls provides a crunchy, sweet treat for autumn nights.

3. Marie Rayma’s instructions will help you expand your DIY repertoire to include mineral makeups that match your skin tone.

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