Secret to Doing Dreaded Tasks Mindfully

By: Gloria Marie

mindful, mindfulness, divorce the divorce, single happy strong

We all have some tasks or chores that we dread to do. It maybe you worked all day and are exhausted, but, your family is waiting for you to cook dinner. Or it a beautiful Saturday morning and you would love to play golf, but, instead you must mow the grass. Can you think of a time something similar applied to you? Usually the problem is we do not stay in the present moment. Our minds are racing to the future and wishing our time could be spent in another way. There is a secret to doing dreaded tasks mindfully.

The secret is just that: do the dreaded tasks mindfully. Stay in the present moment and give it your complete attention. The jobs will get done quicker and you could find peace and solace in the present moment. We can spend so much energy resisting instead of surrendering.

Surrender to the present moment do not resist it.

When my boys were young, I was starting up a business. If you have ever done that, it takes more time and more money than even the most conservative business plan projected. The boys school was 30 -40 minutes from my office. After working all day, I would rush to pick them up, silently hoping that I would not be the last Mother at pick up. Then I would drive home and make dinner. I dreaded cooking dinner. I was tired and just wanted to relax.

My spiritual teacher at the time suggested I turn that cooking time into a time of prayer and meditation. Instead of dreading and resisting, figure a way to make it relaxing and contemplative. So, on Sundays, I would sit down and plan all the menus for the week. I challenged myself to try new recipes and I would go to the store and buy all the groceries needed. In time, it worked. Cooking dinner was relaxing and meditative to me. To this day, when I have had a crazy day, I love to cook a meal.

The other day I was speaking with a family member and I inquired about her parents. They just had a huge snow storm late in the season. She said her Dad was happy for the snow because it gave him one more chance to shovel the long driveway. Instead of dreading what could be an unpleasant task, he relished the solitude and considered it a meditation. He would shovel zig zags and other designs in the snow instead of shoveling straight boring lines.

There is a wonderful little book titled, “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence was a monk in the Carmelite Order in the 1600’s. He disliked cooking and being in the kitchen. Well, as you could probably guess, that was his job, to wash dishes. Brother Lawrence, felt he was just as close to God while in the kitchen as when he was attending mass in church. He spent his time while washing dishes in prayer and communication with God.

We are all creative human beings. Next time that dreaded task needs to be done, think creatively on how to make it a special, meditative time for you. Find solace in the situation and surrender to the moment.

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