When it comes to dishes, are you the type of person who leaves food-encrusted dishes piled high in the sink overnight, leaving them until next morning’s coffee before you start cleaning? Or perhaps you jump from the table after the last forkful of dessert like a whirling dervish in an ammonia bottle, frantically scrubbing until every square inch gleams?
How aware are you when tending to chores? If you look carefully, I guarantee you will find a ritual in every action, from chopping an onion to emptying the dishwasher. The manner in which your perform these everyday rituals reflects your ability to shift, change, and grow.
Years ago, when I started an arduous healing journey, the first task on my to-do list was to make the bed every day. Simple as this may seem to some, it took time to master. Now, twenty years later, the task has become second nature, yet the goal remains the same; to be ever present. As I fluff the pillows with joy I am grateful for having enjoyed another great night’s sleep.
Before I travel, I dust, vacuum, change the sheets, and wash the floors for the ghosts who will occupy my space while I’m away. Sashi the cat appreciates a clean place to sleep, and I feel scattered and incomplete if the house is left in disorder. Somewhere, deep inside, I hold a belief that the quality of my journey is dependent upon how well I vacuum. The more I travel, the more I realize that this ritual is not so much about the away time but more about the meditation I use as I prepare for my journey.
According to the indigenous Shamans, time is not a linear arrow; it travels in a circular movement, in all directions, backwards and forwards. I believe that the conscious acts we engage in before a retreat are every bit as important as returning to a clean, welcoming home.
What does it mean to implement a yoga practice into your daily chores? According to the Yogis, it is crucial that we infuse loving energy into every act. Next weekend as you attend Shakti Fest, you’ll spend time with several thousand souls who will vibrate to the rhythms of kirtan while expand their flexibility and agility through yoga. The energy you take home with begins with your preparation.
Before you go to yoga, ask yourself, “What is my intention for this yoga class?” The answer could be as simple as self-commitment, or as complicated as de-stressing from your job or caring for aging parents. Either way, it is essential that you consciously begin your practice by setting an intention.
Once you arrive (at a retreat or at home on your mat), it is crucial to be fully there in the moment. Being at a yoga retreat and thinking about the dirty dishes stacked in the sink back home won’t engage you with love. Love is an energy that has to be experienced in the present moment. It is important to clean the proverbial dishes before leaving home. The simple act of preparation and intention will shape the quality of your experiences. Finally, before locking the door, thank yourself. Close your eyes, immerse yourself into the center into your heart. Honour yourself for being present in your life, chores, and joyful retreat.
Next weekend, on Friday, May 15, at 11 am, and on Sunday May 17, at 11 am., Renee Baribeau, a.k.a. “The Practical Shaman,” will be conducting a workshop at Shakti Fest called, “After Yoga, The Dishes.” It is easy to maintain our Magnetic North while in a yoga class or on a spiritual retreat, but how do we bring the calm back home with us and implement it into everyday life? Renee will show you how to tap into your inner compass and navigate confidently through these turbulent times. Part of the process uses guided meditation (journey) to step outside of time, allowing you to fully embrace change and “Go with the flow.” You’ll feel energized and nourished long after the festival has ended. Shakti Fest is being held at Joshua Tree Retreat Center, only two hours from L.A. in Southern CA.
Hope to see you there! Save $25 and use my code ReneeBaribeau2015. Register here.
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