I remember in my 20s after hoovering, I’d feel my heart ready to jump out of my mouth!! Apart from the fact that I was a smoker at the time, which didn’t help, the intensity in my body wasn’t just caused by that. It was an attitude! When I look back, I see that my body was the front line of a war zone against dirt, the hoover and the furniture in my way.
Many of you know that 2 kittens (Ivy and Bagel) were added to our family in September and, with Milly (the older cat), we now have 3. Needless to say, more time is spent in guess what?
My initial reaction, when I noticed there was no way we could keep the same cleanness without having to put in more energy, was resistance. The kitty cats, have indeed added a lot of joy and silly talks to our sacred space, so I had to find a way to change my relationship with the hoover.
One afternoon, I made a pact with myself, to make hoovering a mindful meditation. To do it while sinking in the present moment and witnessing any resistance that arose without judgement. Something was different as soon as I picked up the hoover, it was somehow lighter and I found myself feeling a deep sense of gratitude and fulfillment during the entire vacuum session (to the point that I lost the notion of time and when I checked, I had been hoovering for one hour!!!). I felt like a martial artist finding ways to create ease and softness in the act of pushing and pulling. I remembered all the martial arts movies I watched in my youth where, the master would ask the earnest student to perform repetitive tasks like washing cars, cleaning the house, cutting and carrying wood as a way to initiate them. A clever, simple way to strengthen them, ease their mind and empty them of the idea of themselves…Now here I was taking order from my master (life) to hoover. The repetitive pushing and pulling on different surfaces showed me where I would close in my body. Where I would resist and fight rather than yield and flow. I learnt in that mindful session, how instead of just involving my arms and back to hoover, to involve my entire body. I found myself doing warrior 1 and 2 poses to ease the process and make the whole action and inner energies flow. The furniture were lifted when needed and felt light as did I. At one point, I felt totally absent as a result of being totally present! It was as if, hoovering was being done and all I was doing was watching the process. There was absolutely no weight on my shoulders (or my mind). The flat afterwards, didn’t just look cleaner, it was vibrating with joy/love….but these are words, too small, to describe the space that I was fortunate to sense!
More frequent hoovering has become a blessing! It is now our sadhana (spiritual practice) and I have been looking forward to hoovering ever since that afternoon (I should have put the date on my diary hahaha)!
This mindful meditation had hidden treasures: I have become more familiar with every corner of my home and feel even more care and love for it. It reminds me of a TED talk I heard a few months back. It presented the idea, backed by results of experiments, that we value and appreciate what we have spent time and energy on. I can definitely vouch for that! Another was the deepening of the realization that depending on our attitude to what we do, what we do can be energizing (literally receiving more prana from the source) or draining. Also, that fulfillment is as close to us as we are to ourselves. In other words, if we are present in what we do, we derive a deep sense of satisfaction from it. If we are absent – thinking the next moment, the next task to be more important – what we do, will be accompanied by a sense of lack and disappointment.
We are shown by the media and so many other sources that treating ourselves means, to buy products, holidays, experiences etc…(nothing wrong with that) but there are other ways to treat ourselves too. So I’m happy to say
Get the hoover out, BECAUSE YOU’RE WORTH IT!