A Sinking Feeling.

August 3rd, 2010


I learnt one of my biggest life lessons at the kitchen sink.

I stood there. At the kitchen sink. Me and my yellow-gloved hands mindlessly going through the motions.

My kids arguing.
My husband out.
Me washing up.
Nothing new.

Could it be any more boring? Is this it? I had a sinking feeling that this was all there was.  My mind wandered off to far-away lands where mothers felt fulfilled in daily tasks, and pigs flew.

And then there was a little tap-tap at my mind. Awareness begged “Let me in” in a faint faraway whisper.

I had been reading a book on Buddhism, and how to meditate. Not the type of meditation in a darkened room, with the lights low and candle in a corner. Not the meditation that required silence, stillness. No, this was about meditation during the ordinary moments. The everyday stuff, right in the thick of it. And this moment was surely one of them!

Right, I inhaled, what did it say? My memory opened slowly as I searched for lost thoughts.

Focus. Be present, and say out loud each and every movement and thought. This is silly I told my self. “It wont help.” I frowned into the kitchen sink irritated by the slow leak in my left glove.

But I took a breath; I stood, and meditated right there at the kitchen sink.

I began in a quiet mutter “I am picking up a glass, putting glass into sink, hands are in sink, sink is my world right now. There is only the sink. I am the sink (Well, no I didn’t quite get to to that place)
Rinse and repeat.

Then what? You may ask.
A miracle, stillness crept in. Not into the room, not into my children’s room, but there it was, right down deep inside of me. A gift left by an anonymous friend. A meal in a time of need. Nourishment.

The arguing kids were still arguing, but I wasn’t. I was no longer arguing with myself. Fighting against what was and what is and what will be.

I was calm because all I heard was all that is. In that moment. No judgment, no hopelessness, no looking for the nearest exists.

Sink and me.

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  1. Dawn Landis says:

    Nicely written, Meg.  I’ve been there….only not with the dishes, since we have a dishwasher, but with the folding of the laundry…….next time, I’ll try to say it aloud, too, to amplify the stillness and peace.  Thanks.

  2. Cindy Anderson says:

    Thanks Meg,
    I need this thougt–especially this week.

  3. Janet Pal says:

    Don’t you love it when you think to yourself “nah, it won’t help” but then it does?! And, much to my delight (and continual surprise!) staying in the moment and “being here now” with whatever arises ALWAYS works and helps me to stop fighting.  Thanks for the reminder! By the way, what’s the book you’re reading?  

  4. Meg says:

    I’m glad this has made sense to some. It just feels like a magic trick to me and am astounded by how much peace it brings me to remain in the moment without the stories and chatter. The book I was referring to really changed so many aspects of motherhood for me and I thoroughly recommend it,  “Buddhism for Mothers” by Sarah Napthali.  I really wish I had read it when my children were much younger.

  5. Meg,
    Well done, well said.
    Enjoyed the style of sharing and the vivid example.
    It’s a terrific reminder that you, I and we are in charge of the moments of our life. Not “in charge” in the control sense but in-charge in the internal sense.
    I seek to share this sort of stillness in the grounding of Strength in my F.I.T. practiceFocus Intensity Training practice. The Mindful Strength practice of lifting weights with presence, focus and power.
    It’s a remarkable experience for me to see in another and for the other to receive when the “boring, painful drudgery” that is training or exercising for many, in an instant comes to life in vivid color and absolute stillness.
    It’s in these moments that one comes to know True Strength, from the inside out.
    But I digress…
    May the pig fly more often for us all.
    In Strength,
    Shawn Phillips
    author, Strength for Life

  6. Meg says:

    Thank you Shawn for your encouragement. I will look out for your book, it sounds exactly what I need!


  7. Foxy says:

    This is beautiful. Thank you so much! 

  8. I feel we, as women, should discuss moments like these more often so we can better avoid self judgement when they happen to us. Thank you!

  9. Thanks, that was really nice. I seem to forget about quiet mindfulness a lot. It will be good to try and integrate it into everyday life.  

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