Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Beauty in the Mundane

Have you ever been bemused by a cook cheerfully peeling potatoes, seemingly in a world of his or her own? Or what about a musician tuning an instrument, or a twelve year old delivering newspapers? All these are mundane tasks, but each one of these can be a vehicle to living in utter joy.

Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance said, “It is in the details of life that beauty is revealed, sustained, and nurtured.” With all the detail in each of our lives, what are we missing out on?

Every single activity we undertake can provide enjoyment, even cleaning a toilet.

Let’s take cleaning that toilet. Imagine it’s a disgusting mess; it smells, and there’s caked on grime in the grout, toilet paper everywhere, and inside the bowl is, well, filthy, as you’d expect. Take this image and flip it.

Imagine now how good it could look, and how good you feel for the next person who will use it, and how you’ve made it clean for them. It might make them happy, so you will be happy. Imagine and feel the satisfaction of getting something quite horrible, looking clean and relatively new again.

What about the never ending task? I recall working as a mechanical tradesperson drilling three thousand holes--it took a week to do that job. Imagine my bliss though when I discovered a simple process for doing it efficiently, I then trained myself, and then had all that mental surplus to think about life, love, freedom and to dream about the unknown future.

The mundane is as close as anything to real spiritual freedom. If we’re open to it, it’s there for us. It’s a cool thought to know in the moment how small we are in the detail of life. There’s true peace in quietly going about life incognito.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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