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Mindfulness

I've been reading Thach Nhat Hanh's The Miracle of Mindfulness. It's not only very entertaining, it's quite enlightening. Oddly enough, the one quote that keeps coming back to me is "Don't wash the dishes to get clean dishes; wash the dishes to wash the dishes."

That may sound odd or silly or stupid to you, but it's actually helped me be much less stressed out about doing things that I don't want to do. When I catch myself wanting an activity to just be over already, I remember this quote. It reminds me to stop, take a deep breath, smile, and just do what I'm doing with no goal in mind other than the doing of it. This shift in attitude not only makes the task itself much less odious, but it also makes the task seem to take less time.

Case in point, this morning I was (as it happens) washing the dishes. I felt myself become impatient to finish . . . but then I remembered the quote. So I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, smiled, and started to pay close attention to the act of washing dishes rather than my anticipation of or desire for the end result. I ended up washing dishes for 20 minutes, and it felt like five.

The rest of the book is also very good, very instructive, and in places very funny. It's also very short; one can easily read it in an afternoon (if you read as fast as I do) or even in an hour (if you read as fast as caprine or whswhs does). I highly recommend it.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
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ebenbrooks
Apr. 26th, 2016 08:16 pm (UTC)
Awesome! :) I'm sure you'll like it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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