How to Find Joy in the Mundane
Definition- Mundane 2.) of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one.
My New Years resolution, or as we call them in the yoga world, my Sankalpa or intention was to find more joy in the mundane, simple aspects of life. I get a rush from the more exciting aspects of life, creating and maintaining a yoga business that helps people and brings people together. That makes my heart sing loudly. And that is amazing. We need as many singing hearts in this world as possible. Doing things that inspire us and make our heart speak to us in a way we cannot ignore is part of the joy of being human. BUT equally important is to not get to caught up in these rushing moments of glory and balance these moments out with the ability to be mindful and present in all of the earthly endeavors that also make human life so beautiful and fulfilling. LIke the laundry. With a family of four, this is pretty much a daily task. And eating, meals can be such a beautiful spiritual experience….when someone else is cooking them for you. For my husband Austin, cooking is a spiritual act. He loves it. It is a process for him that he becomes completely engrossed in and finds so much happiness in feeding and sustaining his family in so many ways. Unfortunately, I on the other hand tend to view cooking as a chore. As a tri-daily task that must be completed for us all to stay alive. It's an obligation. Perhaps it is a generational thing, but sometimes obligations create tension in my core. There is something about them.
Last March, a tree fell on our house. This experience has become such a huge lesson for me. It taught me just how quickly things can change in life. That perhaps it was the desire for perfectionism that was making these daily tasks feel so arduous. The striving. The feeling that I just need to get through the tasks so that I can Do More Tasks. Being present is just not easy. So how can we improve our attention muscle? Just like we strengthen any of the other muscles in our body. By using them. Practice. On and off the mat.Take deep conscious breathes into the belly while doing the dishes.
There are so many demands on our time in this life.
It is so easy to get caught up in being the best at all of these demands. Let us face it. It cannot be done. The good news….we can Always do Our best. As one of my teachers says, "Always do your best, no more, no less." When we are in the moment, the pressure fades away. It is no longer about getting things done and being the best. It is just about being. When I am feeling anxious about all of the things on my to do list, I try to take a step back. Look at the bigger picture. To take a couple of deep breathes in to my belly. Sometimes this is possible, sometimes it is not. My current task gets interrupted by a "Mommmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" so there is no time to be present because the moment passes by to the next moment before I can even be in it. Such is life. And that is why finding other practices outside the home has become more and more essential for me. I have learned to stop feeling guilty about taking care of myself and realize that it is a necessity for not only my spiritual, emotional, and physical well being, but my families as well. It is a survival tactic. Richard Davidson, the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Founder and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds, says "Well-being is a skill.
The science behind this fact makes a kinder, wiser, more compassionate world possible." In a recent podcast episode of On Being with Krista Tippett, Davidson talks about how when we do things to take care of ourselves, such as meditation or yoga, we are actually doing these things for our family. The benefit that we are getting from these acts of self care, are directly reflected in our lives to the ones that we love. Learn more about the amazing work on the science of well-being by Davidson at his website https://www.richardjdavidson.com/.
We all deserve to live our best lives.
Steven Gross says that by the very definition of the word, we are all scientifically special. There is not one human being that is exactly like another.
So how can you take better care of yourself in and out of your daily routine so that you can thrive? What self care practices can you put in to place in order to feel more alive and connected? For me, it's an at least weekly outside of the home recharging of the batteries or re-filling of the well. A yoga class, a reiki session, a run. Something that is just for me. That is what is attainable for me at this incredibly giving time in my life. This will change, I will have more time for myself. But for now, I take what I can get. And I soak it up. What have you done for yourself lately?