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.