What's it all about?

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.


Please read this first if you are new to the blog!

The Single Most Important Change you can make in order to change your life for the better. This is an absolute Must-Read for anyone who wants a better life, or to make permanent changes in their habits.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Guilt Busters: Make Meal Preparation Efficient

We discussed what Guilt Busters are last time. These are simple ways to remove some of the pervasive, overwhelming guilt from your housekeeping life.

Today, I'd like to discuss something simple and obvious that a lot of people don't do: Making meal preparation efficient to keeping your kitchen clean.

Much of what I'm about to say will sound obvious, maybe even condescending. It couldn't be anything further from condescending. These simple methods are often ignore or overlooked, but they can change your life and the state of your kitchen entirely.

When you go in to prepare a meal, rather than leaving the kitchen, stay there. Shut down your chats, or IMs, or whatever on your computer. Bring your children with you. Make a place for any young children such as a play yard or even a gated area like the living room/ dining room.

And then, BE in the kitchen. Stay there, prepare the meal, set the table. While the food is cooking, put away dishes from the drainer, put dishes in the dishwasher, take clean dishes out of the dishwasher.

Employ your children in these efforts. They don't need to be watching TV, playing games, or running around. They may not like having to actually do chores, but since when does life give us only what we like?

You need the help, they need the life lesson. Win-win.

While you're cooking, don't alter your attention between the kitchen and any other room. This doesn't just lead to burnt food, it also leads to a dirty kitchen, depression, guilt, and self-esteem issues. So make the decision to BE in the kitchen while you cook. Make the decision to bring your children with you, and put them to work.

Even young ones can do simple things like shutting the door behind you, drying the plastic dishes, tossing the garden salad in the bowl, and various other small chores. You will be surprised to find that they LOVE IT, because it allows them to feel important and useful, it's fun for them, and they are directly involved-- which children absolutely love.

So next time that you decide to make a meal, put everything else aside. Focus on meal preparation, focus on putting away and cleaning dishes as you use them in preparation, and focus on being very aware of what you're doing.

If you get your meal preparation done and most of the cleaning up from it, you can get back to what you were doing far more quickly. Not only is this true, but you will do so WITHOUT the feeling of pervasive guilt and embarrassment.

Nothing you do, whether it's your hobby, surfing the 'net, or chores... is going to feel as good, as fun, as enjoyable, or as pleasant as it will in the absence of guilt.

Want to feel better about life in general? Give up the things that create guilt in most of us. Give up the things that prevent you from living the life you really want.

Then, you can pick them back up in an hour or so, comfortable, confident, and free. Now, you can enjoy them, because they are no longer in the way of what you really want in life, but are simply something that enhances your life.

Internet (my personal guilt producer) is much more fun and enjoyable when it's guilt free, when I KNOW my house has been taken care of, my child has had quality time with me, and that I'm now free to enjoy it without anything whispering to me that something more important is undone or unfinished.

Giving up what you want to do for the space of an hour can make the next two or three hours of doing it feel like actual recreation, rather than a shameful and selfish act of negligence.

~ Livin' the Rhythm with Kimberly Weston

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