Sweeping Practice

One of my least favourite tasks around the house is sweeping our foyer. Like Sisyphus with his boulder, it often feels that I’m prescribed to an eternity of never-ending floor-cleaning. Truly, each time I sweep our foyer clean, a new layer of sand and pebbles have returned by the time I’ve put my broom away.

But today I decided to approach the job with a different perspective. Instead of feeling frustrated by the futility of it, today I figured I might as well make friends with the situation.

First I considered why it is that I sweep the foyer.

It feels very unpleasant to step on stones when I enter or exit the house, so partly I sweep for my own benefit.

Then I thought about my loved ones: my husband, my daughter, and my baby. I sweep to care for their comfort as well.

I also thought about the guests who might enter. I recognized that I sweep the foyer to honour all of these dear people.

Then I felt grateful for the foyer, the entrance to our home. Like the breath, it acts as a bridge between the inner and outer world! How fortunate we are to have this space. I sweep the foyer also to respect, and show gratitude, for our home.

As I swept my way across each tile, I poured my energy into the task. Brushing away the pebbles and debris, I envisioned cleaning the air and energy in the space as well. I realized with my sweeping, I can transform our foyer into a space that feels calm and safe for all those who enter.

I noticed my body too – arms moving, body swaying – and steady breath. I felt very present in my body, in my sweeping.

And I felt grateful for the task, which had allowed me this chance to practice mindfulness.

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