why cleaning toilets can soothe my soul

by rebecca on October 21, 2012

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I used to HATE tending to my house much the way some people hate exercise. Now I covet time to do the small, repetitive jobs that nourish my home because I feel fed in my soul.

This was a long time coming. I am certain it is largely because I made a conscious decision to see cleaning as nurturing rather than a chore. When I tend to my spaces I feel fed rather than drained.

I love Mahatma Gandhi and I watched this film like a student. A scene from his life that stays with me is when he and his wife got into a fight about cleaning toilets. I often lean in when there is conflict. A 5-time-Nobel-Peace-Prize-nominee fighting about something? I want to know what was worth the tangle.

The way I remember the argument, Gandhi’s wife didn’t want to clean the toilets. She was an important woman, married to a successful attorney. Cleaning toilets was beneath her. But to her husband it was a matter of principle that we all clean up after our own shit.

I use this ugly word on purpose. When we make it a daily practice to tend to that which is frightening or icky, the dark menace can’t stay so hidden in the shadows. We make friends with our shit in a way. Life normalizes.

I used to let messes stack up. I still do sometimes because life gets busy. But I am at my best – soulful and grounded – when I can do a bit of toilet cleaning (or dishes, laundry, paperwork…) each day.

I think Gandhi was willing to make a fuss about toilet cleaning because it’s that important. I feel better when I cook for myself and wipe up. It’s earthy.

I am a spiritual being living inside a physical body. My spirit comes alive and understands the world when I smell the sponge and notice it needs changing, eat an apple and offer the core to my dog to munch and sweep a floor and take time to carry a spider outdoors. Doing these things with repetition is my daily prayer.

I am taking time to tend my home. It’s part of my 4-step philosophy in Soulful Cleansing. Identify – Notice – Address – Tend.  I’d love to have you join the class.

I am participating in 31-days of Soulful Cleansing. This project is the collaborative brainchild of The Nester. Join her here and see all the other 31-day projects.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon October 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I always say I do my best thinking while cleaning the toilet. I had no idea I was being all spiritual, lol 😉

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rebecca October 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Now you can lord it over people as you flush. 🙂

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Shannon October 24, 2012 at 1:12 am

Laughing and snorting

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Allison October 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Before enlightenment, clean toilets. After enlightenment, clean toilets. 🙂

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rebecca October 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Allison, I bow to you. Who knew cleaning toilets was going to inspire such goosebumps today!

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