Mindful Cleaning. Like doing dishes, cleaning grants us the time to step back from our active days and rest in present-time awareness.
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Like doing dishes, cleaning grants us the time to step back from our active days and rest in present-time awareness.
Instead of focusing on the task itself or how you feel about it (most of us are usually not that excited to clean the house),
use this time as a chance to take care of yourself and
encourage the habit of mindfulness.
In this exercise, we will use the activity of sweeping.
However, you can practice mindful cleaning while dusting, mopping, wiping down a counter, or doing any other household chore.
Start your practice when you are gathering your cleaning supplies.
Walking to get the broom, feel the feet moving across the floor.
Pay attention to the feeling of moving through space toward your supplies.
Picking up the broom, bring awareness to the sense of touch.
If the mind begins wandering into the future and the task at hand, bring yourself back to the body in the present moment.
Sweeping is often repetitive, which can lead to a sense of boredom.
To help stay in the present moment, try using a mantra.
You can use a simple noting phrase, like “Left, right,” or a phrase of loving-kindness, such as
“May I live with ease.”
With each movement of the broom, mentally repeat the phrase in unison with the action.
Recognize any mental states that arise.
If you are frustrated, notice that you are frustrated.
If curiosity arises about some dirt, recognize that you are curious.
Continuing to clean, remember to check in with the body and state of mind.
Notice the movements, the repetition, and the emotions that arise.
Return to your mantra or phrase as many times as necessary.
When you are finished cleaning, stand still and take a deep breath.
Observe the space you have cleaned, and recognize its representation of your clean mind!