By Mary Jaksch
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with everything you have to do – just in order to survive? It can feel like being a hamster in a treadmill: you run endlessly – but never get anywhere. Let’s look at how to change that. Because there is good news:
Each one of us can lead a life that feels fulfilled, joyful and creative.
All it takes is a radical change of mind and heart. Before I say more about this change of mind, let’s take a closer look at why we often feel overwhelmed.
In order to survive, we need the necessities of life. We need to earn money in order to feed ourselves and our loved ones. We need shelter, clothes, medicine. All of this takes a lot of time and work to procure. Apart from work, there is cleaning and tidying our home, cooking meals, filling out tax returns, paying bills – and all the other tasks that make a settled life possible. And if you have children there are lot more tasks to take care of.
When we are in that mindset, our mind is cluttered with thoughts about mundane tasks, and that there is no space to develop new ideas or create new patterns. In other words, there seems to be no opportunity to thrive.
When we look carefully at what makes us feel trapped by chores, is that they are repetitive. It’s not like we do them once – and that’s it. There’s a story in the Greek mythology that is a great expression of the burden of repetitive chores. It’s the story of Sisyphus.
According to legend, Sisyphus was the founder and king of Corinth – and a thoroughly nasty individual. The Gods finally brought him to justice and gave him a frustrating and painful punishment: For all eternity he had to roll a great boulder to the top of a hill. Only every time Sisyphus, by the greatest of exertion and toil, attained the summit, the darn thing rolled back down again.hat’s what it can feel like when we have to clean the kitchen floor over and over again, or fill in tax forms year after year! We can learn to live a life where there are no ‘chores’.
We can enjoy a life that is spacious and invites inspiration. It’s not that we have got rid of the daily tasks – it’s that we experience them totally differently.
We can find joy in the depth of ordinary life.
The key to the change of heart and mind is learning to let go fully into the present moment. So, instead of washing dishes and being weighed down by all the thousand dishes you washed in the past, and will wash again in the future – you experience the magic of washing just this one plate. You feel the hot water running over you hands and admire the clean sparkle as you put the plate in the rack.
The secret is doing one thing at a time with full engagement. That sounds simple, but it’s not easy. Our mind tends to flit off into all kind of other directions. We start to think about what happened to a friend we loved ten years ago, or thinking about the grocery list, or planning our next holiday.
When we do that, we miss out on happiness. Yes, that’s right, happiness. Because what makes us truly happy is experiencing the moment now. What about your life?
Are you inspired by what you do?