Spruce Up Your Summer


Just between you and me I am taking up a mindfulness practice for the summer. I am known to be (at times) a little untidy, a little messy, a bit of a procrastinator and generally have trouble finishing things until I am very close to the line.

Personally I find all these characteristic a little endearing but sometimes those around me are not so thrilled. Especially if the mess is in their space or they are waiting for me to do the tax, the Medicare claim, wash my car…

I have decided that I am going to do the following and, if it appeals, please join me.

Part A: Leave No Trace

How: Pick a room in your house (I am choosing the kitchen) and whatever you do there when you leave, leave it as if no one would know you’ve been there. For example, if I cook a meal (quite unlikely) or make a cup of tea (very likely) as I leave the kitchen I will stop, turn around and check that there is no trace of me left. No soggy used tea bag, no open drawer, no teaspoon in the sink, no watermark on the counter. Instead of my usual “Ill clean it up later” which usually becomes very later and compounds itself until there is a huge mess annoying others (and eventually even myself), I intend to start small and see what happens. Give it a go and see what you discover. If you managed to successfully achieve this at least 60% of the time you can graduate to Part B (below).

Part B: The PHD of Perfection

Leave Things Better Than You Found Them. Perhaps that may mean picking up a piece of trash from the side walk, straightening the cushions on the couch, tidying that draw, helping someone on the street, leaving spaces or things cleaner or tidier than you found them. Whatever it is, start small Perhaps by improving your immediate physical environment.

It could start with just tidying and then moving to help the environment by using pollution free cleaning products, taking reusable bags to the shops and not wasting resources such as power, food and water. And then you could go on with cleaning up your mind by working with your heart and mind through meditation in transforming difficult mental and emotional states like anger jealousy and resentment to joy compassion gratitude and kindness.