Life is 75% maintenance. It’s filled with simple errands. Brushing your teeth, taking a shower or bath, driving to work, making breakfast, washing your clothes, checking email, buying groceries, paying bills and many more things. It’s not that sexy. Though there are moments of surprises and special things now and then, they don’t last long. Most of life is taking care of basic tasks.
We want our life to mean more. We want to seem more important. Thinking about basic tasks make us feel we’re like everyone else. We often let taking care of the basic tasks fall behind. We think that’s going to make us feel better. But it becomes a nightmare. Our life starts to shut down because the necessary tasks aren’t taken care of.
When I work with people, I often have them do the maintenance. They don’t want to at first, but then the magic of maintenance kicks in: as they do the task, their mind slows down and quiets; they are content and peaceful. It becomes easy to take care of these things. It can even feel meditative.
I know this from experience. Sometimes I'll walk through my kitchen and see my broom and look the other way. My broom says, "I'm ready when you are." I say, "Ah, not now, I've got other things to do." The broom says, "Come on, it will be fun." I don't want to let down the broom. At the same time, it's the last thing I want to do. Then the broom gives me its irresistible smile and go, "Aaaaaalright."
Then I'm in the midst of sweeping and I'm surprised it feels good. I can feel the parts of me that have been thinking, "I need to sweep", fall away. My mind feels simple. "Wow, this is nice." The broom can read my thoughts and goes, "I knew you'd like it."