Turning Chores And Routines, into Rehearsal and Ritual
By: Jacqueline Gates – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
I wrote a blog post many moons ago, link here, that spoke of my change of heart about doing dishes.
For the longest time, doing dishes was a chore.
What I’d decided it meant to me was that
a) I was missing out on TV with my family;
and b) I was nothing but the household slave (here I had done all the cooking and I’d made the meal and now I was having to clean up after myself too!).
It also “meant” that I was somehow less than, you know? That my work – because it was in the home and unsalaried – didn’t mean as much.
There was a lot of messy meaning attached to doing dishes. Consequently, every task was accompanied by much martyred sighing and the gentle slamming of anything that wasn’t breakable. It wasn’t a very cheerful end to my day.
There came a day when I decided to change how I showed up for dishes. I decided to up-level it as much as possible with all the things that delight me. I would make it a time of gratitude, even if (and this was the pro-martyrdom talking) all I could be thankful for was the mere fact that I have dishes to wash and food was on them.
So I got myself some very loud pink, flashy rubber gloves and I splurged – ok, “splurged” is relative. It was $3 as opposed to $2 that I would usually spend – on some really deliciously scented dishwashing liquid.
I made it a point of being thankful that the hot water was there at the touch of a lever;
for the gloriously fragrant suds;
and I had the money to buy a little something extra.
I would don my gloves and become the domestic goddess.
With my hands in the warm water and breathing deep, I would simply be thankful.
I would take those few minutes to be grateful for the home I was in, for the food I had made, for the family that ate with me, and the dishes I got to wash up.
It was small from the outside and huge on the inside.
Suddenly I was nicer in the evenings, less crabby, less short with the children while they were doing their homework. There were more cuddles on the couch with my husband. There was just peacefulness, you know?
I then took that magic and expanded it into the other “chores”, the other bits of housework that weren’t my happy thing. This is how Intentional Nesting came about.
Cleaning floors became head clearing and fresh start.
If I wanted to be able to see something clearly or unravel something, I would wipe down my windows.
If I wanted to love myself more or if I was feeling an attack of the ordinary’s, I would spritz and sparkle every single one of my mirrors, and at the same time looking in them, into my reflected eyes, and saying nice things to myself.
Here’s the thing – We get to decide what our tasks mean.
In fact, we get to decide what everything means, but that’s another conversation
If you’ve decided that doing housework means punishment and tediousness, and you want to hold onto a meaning that makes you feel like you don’t want to do the chore … Yeah, good luck with that.
I will tell you, after years of doing exactly that, it’s not nearly as much fun as adding some magic to your mundane.
There IS magic in the mundane and you can decide it’s there, and when you decide it’s there, that’s when you’ll see it.
Turning your routines into ritual gives you so much more connection with your home, with your stuff. It’s a connection to your outsides, from your insides. When you reframe house-“work” into house-care, it changes how you tend to your home.
Think of a house-care task that needs to be done. One that you usually put off or avoid altogether. Play with what meaning it has for you and see how you can sprinkle some fairy dust on it.
How can you infuse magic into that task?
- Light a candle.
- Decide on the magic.
- Go do the mundane and notice how different it feels.
It’s worth a try, don’t you think?
Because as my mother always said, “Martyrdom will kill you.”
More by Jacqueline Gates:
Jacqueline Gates has mastered the art of applying theatrical skills to anchor and amplify the manifesting technique known as acting-as-if. Because when you begin LIVING-as-if you already are who you secretly dream of becoming, it won’t stay a secret very long.
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