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The Zen of Cleaning
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THE ZEN OF CLEANING

Learn Why Cleaning Doesn't Have To Be A Chore

If you are like most people, you probably aren’t that thrilled about housework. It is boring, dirty, repetitive and never ending. You wash a sink full of dishes and the next day they’re back again. You shake out the rugs and get covered in dust. You clean the floors and then accidentally track mud back in the house. It is enough to make anyone growl with frustration.

But does it have to? What if cleaning and housework could actually be something…positive?

Look at it this way: until you make it big and can afford to hire staff to handle the pesky details of everyday life, you are just going to have to take care of your things and clean up after yourself. It’s just a part of life, so why not find a way to enjoy it?

BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE

First, realize how lucky you are to have all these things to care for. Many people in the world wish they had carpet to vacuum, dishes to wash and a bathtub to scrub. The things you own are symbols of your success and status in this world- and even if right now you have a thrift store couch and a mismatched set of cracked glasses, there are plenty of people who would trade homes with you in a split second. So be thankful. As you clean your tiny apartment, give thanks that it is not bigger- or you would have more to clean! Truly everything does have a bright side, even dingy bathroom cabinets.

FIND YOUR ZEN IN EVERYDAY CHORES

Now that you are in a better state of mind, appreciate the mindfulness that cleaning provides. When you are washing dishes, you aren’t answering emails, running errands, dealing with crises or applying for jobs. You are just washing dishes. What else is that simple in this life? Not much. Enjoy the respite from life’s hassles that cleaning provides, and recognize it as moments that you have to yourself to appreciate the material blessings in your life.

As you scrub, wipe or sweep, concentrate on your senses. While washing dishes, feel the warm water rushing over your hands. Smell the soap, watch the bubbles rise, and listen to the clinking of the glasses. Breathe deeply, and enjoy the experience for what it is, rather than rushing through on your way to something more exciting. When you were a child, you probably thought bubbles were pretty exciting! Try and find the joy in cleaning.

Instead of hurrying through your daily chores to get back to your “real life,” consider this: those very daily chores are your real life. Jobs, friends, homes, parties and family come and go in our lives…but you will always have dishes to wash. Instead of looking at chores as an interruption to your day, try to see them as a uniting, stable thread that runs throughout your life. No matter how crazy things get, you can always make your home a little shinier with some soap, a rag and a good scrub. In a world where we have control over basically nothing, cleaning is one thing that you DO have control over and that produces a known outcome. You scrub; things get clean. The idea is so simple and comforting, not fussy or complicated with emotions or expectations or drama, like so much else in life. It’s just…clean.
You can find your Zen, but you must look in unexpected places- sometimes even the kitchen sink.

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Shilo Urban is a freelance writer who has relocated to Los Angeles after her previous homes of Seattle, New Zealand, Paris, Maine, and Austin. She is an active member of the West Coast electronic music community and lives to promote the art that she loves and the people who create it.



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