We are all motivated by the same things in life– to increase our happiness and reduce suffering. So we go about our daily chores in a hurry and we place conditions on our environment by thinking everything would be better if only…
We resist, judge and attach ourselves to how we think events should be. We think too much, we react, and instead of finding more happiness, we only find ourselves with more suffering.
So what can we do to change this? We must learn to be mindful.
When we perform any task with mindfulness, work no longer feels like a chore. Peace, contentment and happiness are revealed to us.
I’ve always hated to iron. There are so many other things I’d rather do than stand in front of an ironing board for two hours! So normally, I try to rush through the chore, thinking about other things and starting to stress about getting everything else done.
Well, when I iron with mindfulness, all I do is iron. I am not in a hurry, I am only aware of what I am doing. My thoughts are on ironing. I observe the steam and the process of smoothing out the wrinkles. I actually start to enjoy the task…but shhh! We don’t need to go and tell my husband this 😉
To enjoy any task, you only need to be mindful. That means doing what you are doing. If you are walking, your attention is on walking. If you are drinking tea, your attention is on drinking tea. If you are doing the dishes, your attention is on doing the dishes. Your mind is not anywhere else. You are not in a hurry to finish. You are not wishing to change the nature of the task. You are not trying to control outcomes. You are fully present. You are only aware. Now you feel peace and happiness.
If you are mindful, you are practicing non-judgement, non-resistance and non-attachment with trust and confidence. You are the observer and you are aware. This is not always easy to do, but consistent meditation makes it easier.
When you sit down to meditate, you focus your thoughts on your breathing and your body. When other thoughts arise, you only watch them come and go, like clouds in the sky. You don’t need to resist, judge or control anything. You learn non-judgement, non-resistance and non-attachment.
The more you meditate, the more your ability to observe carries through into daily life. You are able to practice mindfulness more often. The more mindful you are of what you are doing, the more you enjoy life.
Meditation helps cultivate mindfulness in your life. If you’d like to go further with this and are looking for guidance, check out this structured, 3-week self-study course: the meditationSHIFT.
So my challenge to you is to start performing tasks with mindfulness. Be present and keep your attention on the task on hand. Observe how you are overcome with joy! Leave a comment and let me know how it goes 🙂