The thought that made me love cleaning
It's about perspective
For most of my adult life, I have loved having a clean space but hated cleaning. Sometimes this tension meant I would avoid cleaning for a long time and then go manic, making everything perfect. Other times I keep up with things for a little while but then fizzle out. My methods for solving the tension never worked.
Then, I read How to Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty, and my perspective changed. Jay said:
If something, like cleaning up after the cows, made me uncomfortable, instead of turning away, I pushed myself to understand the feelings that lay at the root of my discomfort. I quickly identified my hatred for some of the most mundane chores as an ego issue. I thought them a waste of time when I could be learning. Once I admitted this to myself, I could explore whether cleaning had anything to offer me. Could I learn from a mop? Practice Sanskrit verse while planting potatoes? In the course of my chores, I observed that mop heads need to be completely flexible in order to get into every space and corner. Not every task is best served by something sturdy like a broom.
Shetty, Jay. Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day (p. 94). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
My issue with cleaning was one of ego. It usually took the form of, "I work so hard, I can't deal with cleaning right now." Needless to say, that attitude wasn't helpful and never produced the results I hoped for.
After realizing my issue was with my ego, I could let go of that attitude. I found that I could learn while cleaning, not just from what cleaning has to teach me, like in the quote above, but also by listening to books and podcasts.
One of my favorite things to do now is vacuum. It's mundane, simple, and a little rhythmic. It's a great time to learn while listening because I can focus on the words since vacuuming doesn't require much focus.
All of this reminds me of the power of perspective. My enjoyment of a chore changed because my perspective on it (and myself) changed. The tasks didn't change. The messiness of living didn't change. I changed, and that makes all the difference.
Posted originally on adamjwalker.com
Great reading from this week
How embracing ‘conscious leadership’ put me on a path to true happiness and success
Here's Why Hustle Culture Is a Big Lie
YES!!!! Hustle Culture is terrible. In fact, that’s one of the main things we talk about in one of the podcasts my company produces, Side Hustle to Small Business. A side hustle should not take away from your life; it should add to it.
Great podcast episodes from this week
When You Need It To Be True - Hidden Brain
This episode was fascinating. I think a lot about how we perceive reality and often fool ourselves. That is exactly what this episode explores.
The Master Plan: My Journey From Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose - by Chris Wilson
If you want some inspiration, read this. If you want to be motivated, read this. But, most of all, if you want to better understand the justice system and some of the difficulties black communities deal with, read this.
My Podcasts to check out
Tech Talk Y'all - My tech/comedy news podcast.
Real Pink - I host the national podcast for Susan G. Komen. If you want some inspiration or information about breast cancer, give it a listen.
While Daring Greatly - My podcast.
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I love this idea of learning from the mundane. There's a good book on that looking at the mundane through a spiritual lens as well "Liturgy of the Ordinary" by Tish Harrison Warren. Looks at simple things like brushing your teeth, making a sandwich, etc as being important times in your day.
Also, that Hidden Brain podcast episode sounds cool, will have to check it out!