“Our ordinary life is our spiritual life.”
- Greet your day with enthusiasm and gratitude! Before your feet touch the ground say to yourself, “Thank you for the gift of this new day.” You woke up, which is never a given, so you can truly approach the new day with much gratitude! With this grateful heart, go into your morning meditation with enthusiasm, feeling that this day is the best thing that has ever happened to you. Because it really is. This day is a blessing—another incredible opportunity to experience life. Brushing your teeth, showering, getting dressed, preparing breakfast, helping the kids get ready for school, checking emails—all of these everyday tasks are opportunities to live in the present moment and really appreciate that these are the moments that make up your life.
- Focus your attention completely on the less than desirable things you have to do. Must you take out the trash…in the rain? We all need to do things we may not want to do, but think about making even the most unpleasant task a mindful experience by placing your undivided attention on every single aspect of that task—for example, shaking the bag to get the garbage to settle, tying the ends of the bag into a knot, then pulling the bag out of the trash bin. Our day is not one long thread; it is made up of moments. When we take it step by step like this, we are making each and every present moment count. This could really make taking out the trash, not a chore, but a meaningful moment. After all, we have no choice; it has to be done so why not be grateful for the opportunity!
- Go on a scavenger hunt! Do you have a list of items you need to pick up at the store? Get out a fresh piece of paper and make a list of what you need before you head out. As you place the items in your cart, place a big checkmark next to the item and spend a moment appreciating what it means to you. Is it a bag of fresh lemons, maybe? Think about how those lemons will flavor your tea, and reflect on the gratitude you feel for this sour but delightful fruit. In this way, each thing you cross off your list brings you closer to your goal of finding all the items you need and offers you a chance to really appreciate why they made it to your list in the first place! Making this list keeps you focused, on track, and in the moment. It is so easy to get distracted and use up your valuable energy for the day. Staying focused on your list conserves your energy for the other meaningful things in your life!
- Put on a cooking show in your kitchen. Have you ever watched a chef prepare a meal on television? They explain everything they are doing and how the various ingredients add to the flavors and texture of the dish. While you prepare the dinner—even if it is not a gourmet meal—speak to the “camera” as you chop the vegetables for the stir fry, as you prepare the rice for a boil, and so on. If you have children around, this can be a really fun way to instruct them in the preparation of dinner. I recently met Pure Bar founder Veronica Bosgraaf at a Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life event. Her new book Pure Food speaks about being a “Peaceful Chef.” I love her book and this concept so much that I may start cooking—and put on a “show” in my own kitchen!
- Clean up to music. When it is time to clean up—whether after the evening meal or anytime when there is straightening up to be done—put on your favorite music and move to the rhythm as you go through the motions of cleaning. Really bring your mind, body, and heart into the task at hand. Chances are you may notice that you are actually having a really good time while taking care of this necessary, boring chore that keeps your home comfortable and welcoming!
Having fun while being mindful of what we are doing really can be as simple as this.
“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.”