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Lessons on living a rhythmic life.
Go with the flow of nature, from the turning of the seasons to your menstrual cycles.
Practical household tips for spiritual people;
because balance is good, messes get old, and we aren't all Susie Homemaker Perfect.


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Friday, September 11, 2009

Gratitude as Motivation?

Okay, so you're ready to go into the kitchen and clean the kitchen. You're not in the mood. You're tired, you've had a long day, life's difficult, and everything's going wrong. Now, to make things worse, you've got to cook and clean.

Is the only answer to force yourself into cleaning? Is the only alternative to that giving up and doing nothing and living with that guilt?

No, there are other alternatives. Let's start with the simplest alternative-- saying "Thank you."

Before you even get up, tell yourself, "Thank you, Kimberly, for being willing to be ready to go make dinner."

Then, if you're making dinner for someone else, too, thank them for the good they bring into your life: "Thank you, Kira, for being so cute and funny. Thank you, John, for loving me so much."

As you begin to say these things, you'll find that your attitude will begin to shift ever-so-slightly. Then start to bless: "I bless you, Kira, with good food and lifetime joy. I bless you, John, with good food and a life of peace and joy."

Then get up and go into the kitchen. Let's say that you're going to make some hamburgers. Pull out the carton of burger meat. Thank the cows (or plants if you're vega/tarian). Thank the people who prepared the meat for delivery to you. Thank the people who made the carton.

When you pull out the pot or pan, bless the people who had a hand in getting the meat to you, and then thank the people who made and delivered the pan. Thank yourself for getting into the kitchen, "Thank you, Kimberly, for making this food for my beloved Kira and John." Then bless the people who made the pan, and bless the food, "I bless this food with great nutrition and good flavor."

Saying grace, being grateful, blessing your food and everyone who had a hand in making it-- it's not just for prayer anymore!

Then when you're done cooking the meat, rather than just setting the pan aside, take the time to clean it. As you do so, praise the pan, "Thank you, pan, for the great job you did cooking that meat! It all cooked completely, without burning. I'm very grateful!"

Take the opportunity that cleaning gives you to practice blessing and gratitude. Because living a life of blessing and gratitude will change your life faster than anything else you could possibly do. If you want cleanliness around you, you've got to get yourself out of the 'burden' mindset.

The way to do this is with blessing and gratitude. Praising yourself, praising your children, praising your spouse, praising the things that are in your life. This is the answer to getting yourself into a mindset that aids and supports you.

Consider this time to be practice. Practice in finding ways and reasons to be grateful. Practice in blessing (Bless those who curse you). Practice in living a life of gratitude.

As you practice this, you will find yourself done with cooking and cleaning before you realize it. It'll go faster, and it won't be quite such an onerous task as it was before. It's a great feeling to be grateful for what you have, rather than taking it for granted.

It's a great feeling when having that feeling of blessing and gratitude results in a tasty dinner, at a clean table, with little post-dinner cleanup left to do.

These small changes can make huge changes in your life. It seems simple, even slightly absurd. But the fact is, the positive, relaxed mind always performs better than the stressed, distracted mind.

You can extend this into every area. Vacuuming the floor? Praise the vacuum. Be grateful for it. Thank goodness you don't have to sweep the carpet instead (yikes! been there, done it, hated it). Bless everyone who made that vacuum for you.

Bless the men and/or women who installed the floor. Bless the people who delivered the vacuum to the store. Bless the people and be grateful for them. Be grateful for and bless and thank the people who are going to benefit from the clean floor.

Don't worry, if it doesn't make it easier, you can always go back to cursing it again.

Try the opposite for a while, though, if cursing it hasn't served you too well up til now. You might be pleasantly surprised.

~ Livin' the Rhythm with Kimberly Weston

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