Maybe it was the Bounce® dryer sheet smell wafting through the air today. Or maybe I was having my usual epiphany while doing something as ordinary as laundry. But, it struck me that ordinary chores can become cherished moments we look forward to. They don't have to be things we bemoan and even dread.
It got me thinking. How did a pile of clothes become something other than just dirty clothing? We have a word dedicated entirely to the task of washing clothing. And I don’t hear people saying “Oh, I can’t wait to do laundry!” Even in this modern era where most of us aren’t pounding our clothes against rocks and scrubbing them with bars of soap. We have it infinitely easier than our ancestors did. And yet, this thing we looked forward to buying and then putting on our bodies morphs into a pile of household homework we often wish we didn’t have to do.
And there it is. The "have-to". This business of "have-to" versus "want-to" has been a great struggle for me over the years. Call it the battle between my inner child and my grownup and you might be onto something. But, I'm thinking there are many who can relate. In our rush to grow up, we sometimes forget to be joyful. We get into the rut of believing that we have to accomplish our goals at all costs. And the cost usually means letting the present moment whizz past us. It also means so much of our time is occupied by "have-to" We have to go to work. We have to clean the house. We have to cook. We have to manage our finances. All of these have-tos steal the joy right out from under us, don’t they?
So, when I felt a "have-to" sneaking into my time washing clothes this morning I took a long deep breath. It was just the reminder I needed to stop and just notice. To remember, that being an artist of life means slowing down and allowing the nature of things, as they are, just to be. The pile of clothes needing washing could be laundry, if you want it to be, with all of the judging that goes a long with it. Or it can just be another way to celebrate being alive, to slow down, and to appreciate that the business of being in a human body is worth caring for. It can also be a moment to check in. To explore how the ordinary, "have-to" can turn into a "want-to". This way, you are co-creating in each moment a life that feels like yours. A life you cherish and enjoy even when it’s something you judge to be less exciting than say going on a trip to Iceland. A trip where you'll probably need to make food, wash clothes and do all the ordinary things. Funny, that ordinary stuff. Huh?
Happy Sunday everyone!