The season of soirees is here! Even if you are not throwing the annual card party or hosting your friends and family, there are some rituals you’ll still have to do. We might be far from our loved ones but we are here with ourselves. While we get to indulge in a rich spread of Indian sweets, we also have to clean and decorate. Just the thought of it put a frown? This Diwali season, turn that pile of dirty laundry, gathered dust and utensils as your path to mindfulness. Confused? Here’s what we mean…
As Robin Sharma said, “Everything is created twice, once in our mind and then in reality.” We have the action of cleaning is in our minds, it is time to live the reality but, joyfully. One has to understand that we aren’t just cleaning the accumulated dust literally, but also figuratively.
According to popular beliefs, Goddess Laxmi resides in cleanliness. Clean places are also symbolic of getting rid of negativity and bringing in joy and positivity. While we re-organise our homes and clean out the dust it affects our brain too. Cleaning has been claimed as a mindful activity by many.
So often cleaning becomes overbearing. Sweeping, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, dusting and the list goes on. Although the party or gathering acts as a motivation we still despise it. It’s because it is repetitive. We can break that chain and make it mindful with these steps:
· When you clean, just clean. Don’t turn on your TV or podcasts. If you are washing or sweeping the floor, do just that. Be present.
· Be grateful and compassionate. Be grateful for what you have from the simplest things to something abstract. Find a purpose in your cleaning. It’ll help you be mindful.
· Attention to details. Notice the things you can. How did your muscles stretch? The movement of the broom or rags. Are you angry? Are you tired? What thoughts are you having now? Pay attention to everything, immerse yourself in the activity.
· Complete the task. Obvious isn’t it? Sometimes it isn’t. Leave no trace, keep the equipment in place, wash the rags. Finish the task in such a way that it feels like it never happened.
· Let your senses take over. Every activity we do includes a combination of our 5 senses. Notice how each sense responds to your action. It’s these little things that make any experience mindful.
· Timing is key. Don’t drag this too long. Keep a limit and try finishing it. You can thank us later for saving the rest of the weekend.
Tips to clean:
1. Start small. Focus on one corner or room
2. Keep things that matter not the ones you’ll use “someday”
3. Take some help to decide
4. Try re-using as many things as possible get crafts.
5. Keep rags and scrubs handy
6. Order the cleaning products a day prior
7. Make space for the things important
8. Old boxes are excellent organising boxes
Practising gratitude for the everyday things in life that we often take for granted can offer a whole new perspective and sense of joy in life.
Mindfulness doesn’t require a peaceful riverbank, all it takes is your effort and motivation. A mindful act can get the job done faster and leave you satisfied. So what are you waiting for? This Diwali let’s make space for your happiness and find joy in small things.