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What does doing dishes have to do with Enlightenment?

I was listening to Caroline Myss yesterday and she was talking about how the New Age of Enlightenment is mostly up in the air, meaning ethereal, or out of this world, it is conducted in our thoughts and imagination, and exceptionally ungrounded. To transform a thought or an idea requires little to no physical movement. And while I do, at least on some levels, believe we are souls having a human experience, we are indeed souls haveing a HUMAN experience. And the human experience encompasses the physical world. We are on earth for a reason. To avoid this or ignore this fact, to me, suggests, at least partially we are missing a significant part of our enlightenment. There is an old zen proverb that says "Before enlightenment, chop wood. After enlightenment, chop wood." Which speaks to this. Do the mind work, do the meditations, connect with the wider perspective, and then come back to earth and do the mundane.

An enlightened person who refuses to chop wood, or peel potatoes, or wash dishes, is not enlightened in the slightest. They are selfish and indulgent. The reason I say this is that someone is chopping wood, someone is peeling potatoes. I think of the story of Jesus getting his feet washed by Mary Magdaline, and him reprimanding both her sister for focusing elsewhere when he was available, but also reprimanding the others who wanted to sell perfume to save the poor. There will be poor always. The idea that we can transform the world with our thoughts alone is ridiculous.

By focusing on the here and now, what is in front of us, in that room, Mary Magdaline focused on who was in need right there in front of her, who needed to be cared for in the room with her, and she delivered the care. She also, in a twist of fate, got to focus on the relationship with the divine in that moment. She was able to cross the bridge between taking care of the physicality and opening her mind to the soul transformation concurrently. This is a gift, and something we can all strive for, but as we are developing that skill we want to ensure we are bouncing between the mundane and the divine. So, what is your version of Chop Wood? What are the daily practices, that seem mundane, and yet need to be done for you to have the full human experience in your life? Somehow we seem to have elevated ourselves in this journey of reaching our highest potential but we are ignoring being able to take joy in the smallest of things. We want to do great things, instead of making the things we do great. For many of us, it's time to change this.

Too many have grand visions of creating programs, writing books, transforming the world, when they are not taking care of today in their own lives. Putting off the human experience, the grounded opportunities for us to really discover who we are. Focusing on collecting titles, instead of allowing ourselves to transform through the most mundane of tasks. One of the areas we can start to develop this muscle of taking care of today is in our household management. How we approach the most mundane level of dishes, of washing, of dusting, the simple everyday HouseWORK tasks that need to be done. And yes of course they can be delegated, but if we delegate everything, if we attempt to define ourselves as superior with a higher purpose, are we denying ourselves the journey to true fulfillment and enlightenment?

Creating a life we love starts by taking care of today. By transforming the chaos of our home into a supportive sanctuary. Enlightenment starts by chopping wood and finishes by chopping wood. Are you making time to chop wood?

If you want to have a human experience, a transformational opportunity in how you engage with the mundane, the everyday tasks, fulfilling your soul's desire to have a physical existence, with all that comes with it, then I invite you to join the household management reset. It is designed to transform your approach to the everyday household tasks, to find your version of chop wood, to set you up for success, both in being productive and feeling fulfilled. Join us here:

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