or… “Check Yo’self Before you Wreck Yo’Self” (and yes, I am quoting Ice Cube on a yoga post.)
I have not been practicing my yoga asanas much lately, other than a short flow first thing in the morning or after a Blogilates session, but I have been connecting with my practice off the mat.
Today’s lesson: mindfulness.
For the past month, I’ve been having a laissez-faire attitude about housework. I began to feel less motivated to do my regular up-keep, telling myself it wasn’t fair that I did everything, while the rest of the family did nothing. I wanted them to adopt my habits of clearing up clutter, keeping the kitchen counter clean and sink free of dirty dishes, and wiping the dining table clean. I thought to myself, “If they know how important it is for me to have a clean and tidy house, why can’t they get off their butts and clean up, for me?” When I couldn’t take it anymore and did some cleaning up, I did it with bitterness and anger. “Doesn’t anyone else notice what I’m doing? Why don’t they appreciate how much I take care of this house?!” All the while, I did not verbalize any of these annoyances with my family.
However, I started to get sick of walking around with a frown on my face and furrowed brow. I hated entering a room in a bad mood, when those around me did nothing personally to put me there.
I began to do what I wanted to do to clean-up, and tried to approach each moment experiencing the joy I’d feel when I was done that task, like fakin’ it till I was makin’ it!
It totally started to work. I remembered that I actually like cleaning up. Not the gross parts during the cleaning, but more the process of getting things organized, and the result of a clean room. I remembered that I was really cleaning for myself, and the family benefited from those actions as a bonus. I know no one else cares about the crumbs on the kitchen floor or how messy the throw pillows and blankets get in the living room as much as I do.
Now what does housecleaning have to do with yoga? By keeping my expectations of myself and the family in check, recognizing where negative thoughts are coming from, and taking the appropriate action (or not take!) to react in a positive and open way, I am connecting with my practice on mindfulness. (It’s also a bit o’ seva, as my actions become a service to my family, of me taking care of them and our home.)
After my lesson above on mindfulness, I actual found myself humming and enjoying myself while I cleaned all 3 bathrooms yesterday. BOOM.