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washing dishesOne thing I have learnt to do is enjoy cleaning. Every time I have a bad day, or even longer bad patch, I get the urge to clean. The size of the clean is proportion to the length of the bad patch. If I have had a tiring day, or feel a little flat, I’ll give the kitchen a good clean. If I have had a week where you just feel demotivated and almost negative, I clean the area I live in. Top to bottom.

Yesterday was one of those “I am rather tired, I have blisters on my feet kinda irritable” days. It was a fantastic day, beautiful weather and a good days effort, but at the end of it I was just feeling drained. I decided to give the kitchen a clean, we had good ol Candace over for dinner and Kyle made vegan lassagne. I can not express enough how surprised I was to find it would be the best lassagne that I have ever tasted.

Anyways, after dinner I decided to give the kitchen a once over with the help of Sammy. Getting into a “flow” when washing dishes, does the same for me as taking care of a zen garden. My mind is occupied with doing something tedious, and just drifts off into a calm place. It’s a meditation of sorts. Last night, while in this zen state, I pondered why I have this relationship with cleaning. I guess it is an association between the internal world and the external world. I have always believed that your external world is a product of your internal state of being. Cleaning is simply the physical manifestation of what is occurring inside me. Cleaning. Getting rid of the trash of the mind.

I also noticed some interesting correlations. Like washing dishes, cleaning of the mind is best done immediately. Dishes that are left for some time before being washed, become more difficult to wash. The food remnants gets stale, hard and sticks to the dishes, meaning you have to put a little elbow grease into it. However, if you wash straight after cooking, it is a breeze. Similarly, if you deal with the “mind dirt” straight away, it is easier to handle. If you let it sit, it becomes stale and a part of you, way more difficult to “wash” away.

I found that if you happen to leave the dishes for a bit, as I did last night, rather than scrubbing aimlessly, a slow and constant stroke wins the day. It may take longer but it provides for a thorough clean. Just as with the mind, if you try and fight that which holds you back, you are wasting effort…embrace it and slowly shift it out with constant care. Obviously some dishes need a good scrub, but on a general note, this method works.

The last thing I found on my enlightening dish washing was that if you take you time and enjoy it, you are going to end up with dishes that are thoroughly clean. If you rush it, the chances are you are going to miss a spot. Sammy is a master at spotting a dirty dish, so I owe him credit for this discovery. I slowed down, took my time and washed impeccably. I also ended up enjoying it. I guess the same goes for cleaning the mind; turn the process into an enjoyable one, and it won’t feel like work.