Thursday, September 25, 2008

Zen & the Art of Housekeeping

Just having glugged the last of my rosepetal-infused tea, I feel a little guilty writing about cleaning the house, but I just can't seem to help myself. It seems the more I write, the more I need to!
I've discovered a book called 'Zen and the Art of Housekeeping' I'm just itching to buy -- its by-line proclaims it will help to put meaning and beauty back into your daily household drudgery! Now, now - before you cock a sarcastic and cynical eyebrow at me - let me tell you about another book: 'Simple Abundance' by Sarah Ban Breathnach. My mom bought it for me many years ago now, and STILL it sits beside my bed where I dip into it almost every day for very inspiring ideas on living a beautiful, meaningful life. I think we all strive for this - but mostly we are lured by magazines, malls and TV into believing money can purchase it for you. (As I type, Pink Floyd's 'Money' is on the radio!) What 'Simple Abundance' seeks to teach us is that beauty and meaning (and peace, joy, contentment etc) can not so much be bought as learned through a process of purging one's life of junk (mental and literal junk)and acquiring a constant attitude of mindfulness and GRATITUDE. Breathnach advocates (rather stringently) the daily use of a 'gratitude journal' --- and though this may sound a bit twee and trite, it has absolutely and consistently transformed my inner (and outer) life when I have used diligently...
Find a little journal that speaks to your sense of delight, whether it be a dark leather Moleskin or a glittering, sequinned pink silk one, and keep it on your bedside table with its own special pen. Before you turn off the light, write down a list of just 5 things from the day for which you are grateful and feel blessed. Mine have sometimes been 'oxygen, this bed, my mom, my dad, the soup I had for supper'. And at other times, there are more magical, lavish things to record - but it truly is a simple, free and miraculous way to transform your life! (Gosh, don't I just sound like the little wannabe-domestic goddess?!)
I'll make myself another cup of tea - and while 'Rock Hits of the 70s' plays perhaps a little too loud from the lounge, I'll remember one of my favourite things from 'Simple Abundance' as I begin to dust, wipe and tidy this precious old house I call home:

"the simple pleasure of concentrating on one thing at a time..."

PS. My gratitude list for this morning:
1. The soft, pale mist like a veil over the rain-richened fields and hills of the countryside driving Craig to work this morning.
2. Being HUNGRY and no longer nauseous with morning sickness
3. Thinking about how I felt my baby move inside me for the first time last night when I wallowed in the bath
4. The thought of a hot bowl of my vegetable and pearl barley soup for lunch
5. Rock 'n roll from the 70s...

No comments: