Not too long ago I found myself ironing pillow cases. There were ten in my pile, so I had plenty of time to reflect while I ironed. I wondered if I was being just a bit obsessive-compulsive in wanting my guest linens to be ‘just so’ before our friends came for a visit. (I concluded the answer was most likely yes, and I was quite fine with that being true about me. At least I wasn’t ironing the sheets too!) I laughed at myself for being me (again!) and subtlety began to notice something else. As I moved the iron back and forth, finishing each edge to perfection, I noticed the practice of ironing was very calming. The typical noise of my cluttered mind was quiet as I studied each edge, noting where I needed a bit more steam and also where my work was crisp and complete. And then it hit me. Could it be ironing was the mindfulness practice of the last century, the thing that kept our great-grandmothers sane?
- I get energy/adrenaline from always being busy.
- I really like the peace I find living in the present moment.
- As I seek ways to practice quieting my mind so I can simply be present, ironing could be another way to build my presence muscle.
- Sometimes the most mundane can actually be really good for me!
- Look for day-to-day activities that could translate in the same way as ironing does.
- Create more wins in the mundane and practice every day!
Meanwhile, check out this related and interesting TED Talk!