Mindfulness and Homemaking: Approaching Homemaking in a Holistic and Mindful Way
This Weeks Video
You have heard the old adage, cleanliness is next to godliness. I think it’s back-to-front. Next to godliness is cleanliness. Sounds the same, but here’s the difference. The first version suggests that the cleaner we are, the closer to God we get. That may be true, but both what I have experienced personally, and what I have observed in others is that in many instances people get to experience God when their lives are a total mess. It seems God doesn’t mind a mess. So what’s my take on this? Once again, from my own experience, the closer I became aligned with Divine Consciousness the more self-loving I was, which resulted in me naturally working on having my environment clean and tidy. Cleaning my home, staying on top of my washing etc. was no longer a chore, something that I had to force myself to do. The chore of housekeeping became an opportunity to caress my home!
There is a spectrum for how we approach homemaking, ranging from those of us that are obsessive-compulsive about it, and become stressed if even one little thing is not quite right. And there are hoarders, those of us who have the compulsion to hang onto things, so much so that every nook and cranny can be consumed by the things that we can let go. Of course, there is everything in between. Generally we are more inclined to be one or the other in some form or another.
So how do we find the ‘middle path’ of homemaking? How do we apply mindfulness to maintaining the cleanliness and tidiness of our homes and yards? The prerequisite for living mindfully is becoming aware, which is gathering more knowledge and understanding about what it is we are choosing to be mindful of. The prerequisite to seeking more knowledge and understanding is having the motive to do so. Because old habits die hard, it isn’t easy finding the motivation just to become more aware. This is true of most things in life. Sadly, the main motive for actively seeking change, and gathering more knowledge and understanding is generally some form of suffering. When we hurt enough, we look for a remedy.
One of the first activities is to begin to imagine what your home would look like if it was clean and tidy. I encourage people to create a vision board, images and thoughts pasted onto a board that reflects what your imagination came up with. When this is done, you have created a new ‘destination’ in your mind, that needs a neural pathway in your brain to have that be possible. This is what you would have to do to shift your reality, a strategy of sorts. This is where the awareness component comes in, where you will have gather new knowledge and understanding to have the strategies be realistic.
A good friend of mine, Leanne Foreman recently published the perfect book for how to become more aware of transforming your home from ‘Havoc to Haven’, the subtitle of her book. Entitled Home Matters 101 (1) Leanne has encapsulated a holistic approach to how you can be more mindful as a homemaker. In her preface she wrote…
”I want to bring the term ‘homemaking’ back to its source, home making - the art of making a house a home haven. It is an art that is so much more than attending to the physical aspects of the house itself. It needs a more holistic approach that encompasses all the occupants in that house.”
Once you have become more aware of what’s needed to shift from havoc to haven, you then have to practice being mindful of the choice. There is a principal of Quantum Physics that suggests, when something is observed it changes. That’s what mindfulness is, observation. Here’s how it works. You walk into your very messy kitchen, too tired, too stressed or just too lazy to sort it out. You see the mess and take a moment to recall what you imagined the more loving alternative might look like. As you think about that you also consider the strategy that you came up with that would make that transition possible. You might even consider how you would feel if it was how you imagined it could be. Now here’s the kicker…do what comes the easiest!
Yep, you heard right. If leaving the mess is what comes easiest, then leave the mess. Whatever you do, resist the need to use willpower to fix the problem, unless circumstances demand action, like a house inspection if you are renting, or a visit from your mother-in-law. The only catch to this approach is that you must have stopped and considered what the loving alternative is, and how it was possible to shift your reality, in other words, your strategy for change. That’s imperative.
Doing this, even without you acting on the mess, is still very beneficial. Each time you stop and consider the more serving alternative, you strengthen the new neural pathway that leads to your tidier and cleaner image. The more you do that, the quicker this new neural pathway develops. There is a tipping point where the new neural pathway naturally becomes the easier option, and you will find that caressing your kitchen becomes the easiest option. You won’t need willpower to act! This approach to change is sustainable, where force and will typically are not.
You might recall, our definition of mindfulness is remembering in each moment that you have a choice to be more loving and kinder to yourself, to others and to the planet!
(1) Home Matters 101. Leanne Foreman ISBN 9781773712499 @homematters101
Read More From This Series
Over the upcoming months we will cover several other topics on how to apply mindfulness in 'every day' situations. If you would like to receive these blogs directly to you inbox as they are released, enter your detail at the bottom of the page to receive our free, monthly e-zine.