After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: Housework as a Spiritual Path

woman sweeping with cat for blogLaundry has never been an issue. No kids, I’ve always done my own and my mates do their own. I’ll wear something until I sweat in it. Lately I’ve been working in the yard a few times a day = more laundry. Working out every day = more laundry. Thus, Sunday morning has become laundry day. The past year I’ve been staying home Sunday mornings, taking a break from church to catch up on personal time. I like having nowhere I have to be and no one to answer to. I’ve found that doing the laundry is a valid spiritual path. Keeping my own home clean and cleared of unnecessary items has become a great metaphor for keeping my life clear and uncluttered. When I find things piling up, that reveals my state of mind.  

I’ve never been one to have clothes piled up in the corner, or strewn over furniture. It’s either clean and hung in the closet, or it’s still wearable and hung in the dressing area, or it’s in the laundry hamper until Sunday.  I like space between my molecules. I like the fresh air to flow around everything. That’s the metaphor for my life. When I find a heap of paperwork, I go through it for the same reason.  When I find myself letting things pile up, I know there’s internal work to do. Even if it’s piling up because I’m having fun. I’ve got plenty of time to do all I want to do. It’s simply a matter of setting priorities. It’s all about balance. For friends who say they don’t have time to follow a spiritual path, that they are too busy being a mother or housewife, I’ve got news for you.  That’s a spiritual path in and of itself.  It’s never what you do, it’s always the spirit in which you do it. Interestingly enough, as I write this I notice on the bookshelf Jack Kornfield’s “After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.”