How To Connect With The Divine While Doing The Dishes: Cultivating Peace Through Integrated, Intentional Presence In The Minutiae Of Your Days
I know, I know. Nobody really does dishes anymore. Dishwashers are a thing, and most folks use one.
Not me, though. It’s not that I’m anti-dishwasher, I just don’t happen to have one. Which turned out pretty awesomely, because somewhere along the way my dish-doing time has allowed me to integrate a deeper and more sustained sense of presence and peace into my days.
No, really. Doing the dishes (or some other ordinary household chose) is a great time to pause, tune in, and recalibrate during your day.
When you integrate a habit you’re trying to develop into something that you already do regularly, you set yourself up for better success because:
- it’s easier to remember
- you’re less likely to neglect it, and
- there’s a built-in container and structure for the action, with clear starting and stopping points.
I’m a big fan of small shifts over sweeping overhauls, and of finding ways to anchor mindful moments into the regularly-repeating tasks and times of our days.
By infusing each day with regular opportunities to center, ground, notice and appreciate, you build a sustainable self-care practice that allows you to connect with the deep, simple truths you already know (but have forgotten, ignored, or denied for so long.)
I’ve reverse-engineered a simple 4-step process to make it easy for you to leverage your chore time into an opportunity to tune in and connect to whatever wisdom force within that brings you calm, insight, and strength. The more often you do it intentionally, the more regularly the qualities and benefits will naturally infuse themselves into your days.
4-Step Presence Practice: Mindful Dishwashing
- Choose + Center
- Ground + Intend
- Notice + Appreciate
- Concretize + Honor
Note: Each step is broken into its two complementary components, for a fuller explanation of the experience.
1. Choose + Center
Choose: It all begins with a decision to get present and purposeful, to open space for what’s possible when you tune in to the world around you, and to do it without grasping onto what that will look like or what results it will yield.
Center: I like to call this self-centering, because you’re pausing to center yourself in the physical and energetic space you’re inhabiting, calling your attention back to yourself from wherever it’s been wandering or pulled. Also, I’m on a mission to make the term self-centered a possible compliment instead of an automatic insult 😉
2. Ground + Intend
Ground: An extension of self-centering, I like to think of grounding as taking that attention you just brought back to yourself and tethering it to your core so that you may more consciously choose to direct it either inward or outward, to intentionally receive input from the external world and how it manifests inside your body.
Intend: From this centered, grounded place, you can now set an intention to be present to what is and open to what comes, without expectation that it look or feel any particular way.
NOTE: Inherent in this intention is a commitment to the exercise, to staying with it even if it starts to feel silly, or pointless, or whatever label might surface that would have you give up on it before it’s done. If you find yourself struggling with that, remember that it only lasts until the chore is done, and you can surely stick with it until then 🙂
3. Notice + Appreciate
Notice + Appreciate: You’re ready to do the thing! Start washing the dishes or doing whichever chore you’ve chosen. As you do it, notice what’s there to notice in and related to the task of the chore. Take it all in and let it inform your work, and let yourself find simple true joy in the sensations and observations that surface.
Feel the dishes beneath the sponge you use to scrub. Every straight smooth line and every gentle curve. The chips and ridges of the dishes and the feel of the sponge against your skin.
Let the feel beneath your fingertips determine the way in which you clean. Slow down for the smooth parts… dare I say it, let it get a little sexy.
When you hit a piece of caked-on food, shift to a more vigorous, utilitarian scrubbing movement.
When you rinse, follow the slick curve of the glass, extra smooth from the soap as it’s being rinsed clean.
Listen to the sound of your scrubbing, the water dropping and then gurgling down the drain. Differentiate the music created from scrubbing a glass as compared to that of cleaning a pot.
Remember that time when you were given that mug, dropped that water bottle, shared that meal out of that banged up bowl.
And so on, as the dishes in front of you present.
As you do this exercise, you may become aware of things happening in your body and mind. You may realize that you’d been clenching your jaw or furrowing your brow, or that your thoughts have drifted to an argument from earlier that day. Notice all of it. Allow all of it. And then return your attention to the task, literally, at hand.
4. Concretize + Honor
Once the chore is done, take a moment to concretize + honor the experience in your body as well as your mind.
Body: Hold a hand to your heart and one to your belly and take a few deep, delicious breaths. Stretch your arms to the sky and then down to the ground and circle whichever parts of your body want to be circled (neck, shoulders, wrists, hips.)
Mind: Reflect on the experience and take note of anything that surprised, delighted or informed you, as well as anything that confused or bothered you.
There you have it. I can’t wait to hear how this practice quietly transforms your days 🙂 Share your wins with me so I can celebrate with you!
And make sure to download your free sinkside guide right here!
Crecia Cipriano is the often-smiling founder of Thriveandbloom Coaching + Consulting. She teaches people how to intentionally engineer their most positively thriving life by developing personalized practices and habits of self-trust, self-love, and self-care. And she’s on a mission to make it cool to put yourself on your own damn list.
To book a free 30-minute possibilities call, go to: calendly.com/thriveandbloom/possibilities