Finding Joy in the Mundane


My friend and colleague, Heather, made a wonderful comment on our post a few days ago.

“In order to go to work, pump gas at the gas station, and go to the grocery store we shield ourselves from the beautiful magnificence that life holds. But what would happen if each and every one of us truly stared into the beauty of living, breathing, of inhaling and exhaling again and again.”

She is pretty amazing, right!  The part she said about pumping gas, going to the grocery, completing everyday, somewhat mundane tasks, got me thinking.  How do we get out of that mind set of being stuck in those tasks.  Of course as soon as you start questioning things, life often gives you an opportunity to practice your question!

Today, our volunteer work consisted of  painting a wire fence.  After only about 15-minutes I got stuck in the mundane of what I was doing.  I love painting, but I quickly realized how tedious the work was and that it was going to take me much longer than I had anticipated.  On top of that, the paint I was using had congealed due to the cold temperatures.  I was pretty much stuck in my task.  Precisely, what often happens when we think of everyday tasks or things on our to-do-list.

I stepped back and questioned how can we make the everyday things more meaningful.  How can we see the beauty even when we are painting rust or driving through traffic with screaming kids in the backseat?

Make every task a meditation or a prayer.  Or as Heather suggested, inhaling and exhaling.  By making painting a meditation the next few hours flew by.  I became aware of the birds singing in the trees, the church bells ringing, distant sounds of a rooster crowing, neighbors using electric saws, the silvery green of the olive trees in the background, the warmth of the sun as it danced in and out of the clouds.  When my mind started wandering again, I came back to focus by sending out prayers to people that came to my heart.   Everyday tasks, even the ones we dread or don’t want to do, can become powerful meditations and bring happiness to our day.

Can you turn around a tedious task today?

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