Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The secret practice of home care

" Gratitude is the heart's memory."
An Old Proverb

This morning I did dishes. I do dishes multiple times a day. Like me, most families do dishes multiple times a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. It is what I call a daily task. No matter how busy or successful you become there will always be daily tasks. Maybe you don't do dishes, instead you shop, drive to work, do laundry, pay the bills, mow the grass, care for a family member.... the list is infinite and as unique as we all are.

The definition of insanity is doing something over and over expecting different results. How do you do your daily tasks? Do you ever find yourself rushing, delaying, pressing through, plodding or grudgingly doing? If you are human, most likely emotions other than pure joy pop in from time to time!

What if you took the time and task- the daily chore- do practice something beautiful? As you pick up and sort your laundry looking for spots and checking pockets, what if you also consider how lucky and grateful you are to have a family, clothes, a washer and dryer....?
What if while you wash dishes you offer prayers and blessings to your family and neighbors?

This daily practice is not easy and it may sound a bit corny but in reality it is a gift. It is a gift in gratitude, in mindfulness and in giving. Instead of your focus being on getting through or frustration, your focus is on something worth every once of your time and energy.

Home care is the perfect practice. It is repeated, automatic and always available- no matter how busy your schedule is. My grandmothers must have done their meditation this way. On the farm, there was no time to run off for yoga practice or sit down for 30 minutes of daily meditation, my guess is their daily chores was the fertile soil of their practice.

Next time you start to do a daily task, pause for a moment and consider a new approach. Relax your shoulders, stand tall, smile - just a touch, pick a practice and mindfully go about your task at hand.

As far as residue free goes... the emotions you express can also be left behind. If you are going to leave a residue behind, it might as well be the residue of gratitude.

As always, wishing you a healthy and happy home.
Denise Frakes

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The right kind of LSD is the best kind of drug

The first time I did LSD was in junior high school. Before you panic or get all excited, let me explain. In 7th grade I joined the cross country team. LSD was assigned by my coach Max Mar, as our workout for the day. LSD means: Long Slow Distance:)

Long Slow Distance is the best drug ever. When you go for a long walk or run at some point your brain is most definitely altered. Last night, I was once again reminded of the powers of LSD. Sally, our flop eared smiler and I went out for our normal walk but then we just kept going, turning it into a LSD evening. As usually, I start most LSD sessions with my brain merrily chattering along. But after a few miles, usually 3-4, something kicks in and my brain slows down to match the easy pace of LSD.

Long Slow Distance puts me a kind of meditative state of mind. The rhythm of walking, breathing and moving over long distances collectively relax my entire nervous system. My posture becomes strong, the worries of the day fade away and I come back to the present moment. I start noticing the details of each step and my brain lets go.

I have never done the drug form of LSD and have no intentions of ever even considering it. Why would I when I have my own form? This form of meditation, Long, Slow Distance, is not only good for your brain but you get in great shape while you unwind.

As always, wishing you a happy and residue free day
Denise Frakes