A consistent restlessness threads my days together. Unable to embrace stillness, I am in constant movement. Although several studies demonstrate that multitasking is ineffective, my propensity is to cling to the familiar. For me that translates to attempting several tasks simultaneously: talking on the phone as I cook, typing on the computer while trying to help my daughter with her homework, and reaching for my phone almost all the time while I am in the middle of something. This behavior fuels the cycle. A constant need to do all the time, I am aware that the presence of real quiet often eludes me.
In the last few years, because this quest for quiet is a place where I would like to eventually land, I noticed there is one place where silence is automatic. Paradoxically, it involves movement and quiet working together. Vacuuming my office, folding my daughter’s pajamas, dusting an old frame that showcases my father and my mother, and fluffing the pillows in our bedroom are details that are part of my every week. A rhythm follows as I complete each task. As I embrace the ordinary details of my life, tranquility eases my core. I realize that these wholly mundane actions creates a meditative state that is not abstract, but a texture that I feel. Order is created every time I straighten up, wash, and clean my immediate environment.
For years, my haphazard attempts to meditate in the traditional sense failed. I tried to sit in a room with my eyes closed, wishing my mind found a place of silence, but instead the to-do lists screamed in my head. Not ready for meditation in this context, I shifted my focus to what offered quiet in my daily life. These everyday, ordinary instances is where I am able to quantify certainty.
Tidying my home is where I find comfort. It is where I choose to practice my peace.