Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vacuuming as meditation, have I lost my mind?

Daily chore time is the most fertile time for creating and mindfulness. Think about it, these chores are usually repeated, solitary, thoughtless, times of movement. Isn't that a little like meditation? It occurred to me years ago, my grandmothers used their daily chore time as their meditation time, exercise time, quiet time, pondering time and who knows what else time. My grandmas both raised their families while living on dairy farms. Dashing off for yoga, to the gym for exercise or for meditation would have been laughable.

In our busy lives and tight schedules, cleaning and daily chores are usually more like mad dashes. This morning before coming into the office, I vacuumed. By the way, vacuuming done correctly, is one of the most beneficial cleaning tasks for the health and longevity of your home. When I vacuum, I vacuum slowly, breathing in and out with each stroke. I keep my shoulders relaxed and I move from foot to foot not twisting but more like a Tai Chi move. I listen, listening for dirt going up the hose, all the while keeping my posture healthy and athletic. I take slow strokes back and forth until I don't hear any more dirt. When completed my home looks better feels better, I feel better. It is a grounding and calming chore.

This calm practice beats, frantically twisting, pulling to remove surface soils. All the while the deep dirt that causes wear on your carpet and dust in your air and is still where it was when you started vacuuming. Not to mention, the stress on your body and tension filling your mind, while you rush to complete so you can dart off to your next task.

The benefits of mindful vacuuming are:
Improved indoor air quality
Increasing the life of your carpet
Making your carpet look better
Minimize damage to your body from the twisting of vacuuming
Deepining your breath
Improving your posture
Improving your ablility to focus- if you hold focus through the whole job
Improving your creativity by relaxing- letting your brain have a little vacation

It almost sounds like something you would pay to go do!

Wishing you a happy and healthy life,