One of the things I like to remind myself (and what my therapist has reminded me of too), is that tasks can be important meditative experiences. When I’ve been too stuck in my way or paralyzed by a day—something that can happen with anxiety—I look and lean on a meditative task to get me through. Initially, it was by accident. Ahead of my mind, my body would look for something to touch or grab, instead of sitting and slowing. And in its need to do something, I’d almost always grab flowers to re-arrange, laundry to hang, or cat hair on the floor that needed sweeping.
As we inch towards a new normal here in the city, I don’t want to let go of what I leaned on. And with that, I know that these are things I likely started long ago, but they didn’t become clear until the opportunity presented itself.
I’m not sure what it is about washing clothes and hanging them to dry, despite the fact that I’ve always had a working dryer. Maybe it’s the movement of my hands, the textures, the way that with and without consent, doing such tasks forces me to slow all the way down. They allow me the space I so desperately need, but without making me feel like I am not doing enough with the time I’m given.
As I write, I keep on thinking of this quote, ” The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.” Thích Nhât Hanh
Any little meditative tasks of your very own?
hand-grinding coffee beans for a french press, making the bed, and watering plants have ben a few for me.
love this so much, Lynnette ❣️
Cleaning and organizing! When I’m feeling anxious I automatically, start cleaning/ organizing. It’s kind of crazy because sometimes I don’t even remember doing it! Lol🙂 I love the the quote too!
hahha that sounds familiar!!
I love that quote you shared by Thích Nhât Hanh. It’s so true! Tending to the garden has become a meditative practice for me lately.
love that Kayla. A while ago i wrote about tending to a garden and how that was like caring for myself, but also, in some way, caring for my own mother. Anyway, i love tha you have that.
I never thought I’d enjoy gardening but I’ve really started to enjoy it. Taking care of my little plant babes helps me wake up with purpose and helped me get back into a routine after months of the same thing over and over again! 🙂
Picking up stuff around the house and putting it where it goes.
it’s so simple but poweful. I agree.
Thank you, I’ve been struggling lately with my anxiety. Alone in the house with the creaks and soft thuds. I sometimes get absorbed into the sounds in a horrid way, attributing meaning to them beyond their conception. I do feel better, like you have described, when absorbed in a task. Usually one which involves delicate movement and careful consideration. I don’t think I was aware of this until reading your post, so thankyou for the reveal.
Washing dishes. The routine of household COVID sanitation in the downstairs (the sink, knobs on the stove, light switches, the remote, front door knob, phones, lamps) routine clockwise motion when I know we are settled in for the night.
Thank you for sharing, Kathy!
Hanging up clothes to dry is my favorite one too. I love smoothing my dresses straight as I hang them up one by one, and checking on them every few hours to see if they’re dry and ready to go back into the closet. It feels so productive even though it’s such a relatively small amount of work, and so does folding clean clothes. Another one I like is opening my junk drawer and sorting a few random things in there.
Claire! we are basically the same person! hahah All of this made me smile because i do the same exact things!!
Thank you for sharing!
when i read this on your ig i thought latonya and i would be friends.’ any task is indeed meditative when i slow down/i wrote about it here: https://tps-steph.blogspot.com/2019/06/0042-retirement-rules.html
hahah yes! Thank you, Steph. Will check out and read!
I love this post. I will recite that quote to myself as I wash baby bottles again and again and again haha.
Lovely this post Latonya and the quote x