Juli 02, 2018
Let me guess; your favourite occupation is NOT cleaning. You’re not alone in that; most people don’t like it at all. And I’m not pretending it’s something I love to do either, even though we produce our own all-purpose cleaning product Ecoclean herstellen.
Most of the time I clean my house for the same reasons you do. I don’t want my nose to itch from dust or I don’t want my guests to cringe when they come over. I don’t want to have a nervous breakdown every time I time I finish work and walk into a dirty house. I don’t want to cook the evening meal in a messy kitchen.
I know some people actually like cleaning, like my husband! He really enjoys cleaning and is very good at it. He sees it as a free workout session, cleaning with intense energy.
When he wipes, either he uses up and down movements or circulations. He switches arms as well, sometimes the right sometimes the left. He bends the right way, climbs up and down the ladder while cleaning windows, all while looking extremely pleased with himself.
But what he likes to clean and care for the most are our cars, and we have a few for our sales team who visits our business customers all over Switzerland.
My husband says, if you take care of your tools and toys, they will take care of you, and they will last longer and need less repair, which is so true.
What’s the point of buying new things all the time when they can last longer with proper care unless of course, you’re upgrading to a more environmentally friendly option like switching to an electric car.
Maybe you’re like my husband and you enjoy cleaning, but if you’re more like me, I want to share with you a way I have found to use my cleaning time better, and even to enjoy it!
No, it’s not listening to podcasts. Those are fine too, but I have found something I think is even better.
Use your cleaning time to practise mindfulness
I’m sure you are familiar with the power of living more in the present moment. Maybe you have tried yoga and even meditation.
My own experiences with these practices are most powerful. Before discovering mindfulness, I used to spend most of the time living either in the past or in the future. I was either thinking about how things should have been or worrying about what would happen.
When I learned how to live more in the present time, in the moment, life automatically became less stressful.
The moment is what it is, and one can only try to enjoy it as much as possible. To enjoy something is to be present with it, not wishing for something different.
Even though mindfulness is simple in theory, it’s not easy. I find that it is an ongoing practice.
You don’t get much benefit from doing yoga once a month or meditating occasionally. A practice needs to be built into your daily life.
And, now comes the juicy part, you can actually incorporate the practice of mindfulness in your everyday life, in your daily household tasks!
Even if you have cleaning help once a week like we do, there are still the daily tasks that need your attention, like cleaning up the kitchen after cooking, tidying the bathroom when there is hair everywhere, scrubbing those toothpaste bits out of the sink and of course, the laundry.
Instead of obliviously cleaning the table after a rushed dinner or throwing the dishes in the machine, practice loving the task in front of you. Try washing the dishes or folding your clothes with all your senses.
Observe if the glass is crystal clear or has become cloudy. Listen to the sound of the water when you move your hands. How warm is the water? Notice the smell of your clean clothes and feel the textures of the materials as you fold them.
Noticing these details is part of a super useful technique called the ”Five Senses Exercise.” The idea is that you focus first on five things that you can see. An example would be watching the bubbles in the water disappear. Then you focus on four things you can feel. Next comes three things you can hear, followed by two things you can smell. Finally, you focus on one thing you can taste.
This practice of using all five senses brings awareness of the present moment, helping you find peace and calm.
I have found it to be so useful!
Besides doing this while cleaning, you could also do it while shopping or going for a walk. See a crack in the pavement, a bird in the sky, a cloud, or anything.
I like to do it when I’m out with my dog. He’s the best teacher because he sees, smells and notices everything!
Mindfulness helps you connect with your intuition
There are so many benefits to practising mindfulness, including being more at peace with yourself and enjoying your tasks.
There are more benefits to mindfulness than I can possibly name, but one more important advantage I’d like to mention is that mindfulness helps you learn how to connect better with your own intuition.
You know that gut feeling that you often brush away? Some people call that gut feeling your inner voice.
The inner voice is so powerful and leads us in the right direction. Sadly, most of us have forgotten how to listen to it and use it.
For animals and children, it’s natural to trust their intuition. They haven’t been taught to doubt themselves yet.
Recently, I had the honour of being on a podcast (will be published in August 2018) by Angela Heck, a super cool and witty lady who helps people to reconnect with their intuition or their hut (heart + gut).
She also helps companies learn how to hear and trust their intuition in their decision making.
And no, this is not some woo-woo practice. Angela is super professional and so much fun, check her website out here. There you will also find a free tool she offers to help you accelerate your intuition, which you can use as you work to build your own mindfulness practice.
And remember, next time you do the dishes, they are your best friends!
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