- Next time you have a small, potentially irritating task to do (maybe something as silly as pouring milk out of a full jug or scrubbing a hardened bit of food off of the stove or the table), stop for a moment before diving in.
- Ask yourself, "Do I want to save my energy and enjoy this task with efficiency, or do I just want to 'muscle it', get it over with, and get on with the next thing which I will (supposedly) enjoy more than this...like I usually do?"
- Bring your awareness forward and up and wonder what might happen next.
- Staying forward and up in your brain, say, "I am not stiffening myself. I'm allowing my torso and arms to be long and wide".
- Stay forward and up as you observe your body lengthen into the necessary motions below with the minimum amount of tension required for the task.
- Notice whether you are moving differently now because you are more conscious.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Irritating tasks made simpler
When we stop doing something mindlessly and bring consciousness to our activity, movements become much more efficient and enjoyable.
Yesterday morning, I found myself trying to get peanut butter out of a near-empty jar. All of a sudden, I realized that I had completely contorted myself--arms, torso, head, neck, etc.--as I put a ridiculous amount of energy into trying to scrape the hardened bits of peanut butter off the bottom of the jar. In the moment that I noticed what I was doing, I stopped and just had to laugh!
Thankfully, I had enough presence of mind to stop completely for a moment to consider whether I really wanted to be doing this or not (the answer was a clear 'no'), and I remembered that I knew perfectly well how to approach this irritating task in a non-irritating way!
It only took a few seconds to bring my awareness out of the peanut butter jar (!) and back up into the upper front of my brain. As I did this, my body straightened up again and my whole self released into a calmer, more relaxed state. Staying forward and up, asking myself to not stiffen myself, I managed to get the peanut butter out faster and with dramatically less effort, and I actually enjoyed making the movements instead of wasting my energy on needless contortions and irritation. The whole scene was very funny, really.
Posted by Jennifer Roig-Francolí at 7:00 AM