It was early January, 2020. Winter break was over and the kids had returned to school. I was tired. We had recently had two weeks of houseguests. But we were back to the routine and that morning I needed to clean my house in preparation for a visit later that day.
I had a little over two hours to clean what looked like a crazy mess. There were dirty socks balled up under the couch. Legos. Snowclothes everywhere. Papers to file and recycle. I looked around and felt overwhelmed. As I moved into a flurry of picking up so I could then dust and vacuum and clean bathrooms, my thoughts spiraled into negativity. Why didn’t my family just pick up after themselves? Why hadn’t I made them clean up yesterday knowing I had someone coming over today? Why was it that by default the responsibility for this collective mess always falls on my shoulders simply because I’m a woman? Arghhh!!!
As I scurried around the house in a huff, I began to blame everything for this mountain of work. I got angry. After about 30 minutes of scrambling around and working myself into a tizzy, the mess was even somehow the fault of the chickens we were taking care of for a friend! I was energized by my frustration and moving quickly, but there was still so much to do.
Suddenly I felt as if someone had placed their hand on my heart. There was a softening and a light that started to grow so quickly that it made me stop and take a deep breath. Then I heard the words “Let everything you do be an act of love.”
I sat down and let this sink in. It was humbling to realize how much I had worked myself up and how far I had gotten from that message. Let it all be an act of love. Yes. Yes. That makes so much more sense. In fact it all is ultimately an act of love – everything we do for our families and friends. Receiving people at my home is an act of love. Cooking for my family is an act of love. Even picking up and unrolling the stinky socks of my preteen boys is an act of love. Of course. I’ve always loved their little feet. I kissed their feet when they were babies and tickled them when they were little. Just because their feet are now smelly and bigger than mine, I don’t love them any less.
This message made me slow down and recalibrate. Could I shift my mindset and finish cleaning with love? Yes. I could. I did. And it changed everything. The snow clothes I was picking off the floor represented my boys playing outside, breathing fresh air and enjoying nature – how lucky we are to live in a place where they can do that. The legos scattered about represent their creativity and the fact that they’ve learned to delight in working with physical form. The papers to sort through are records of our shared life, which I am so grateful for. And some of the papers and junk mail will now serve as kindling to start our next fire. My seemingly overwhelming chore transformed into a reflection on our lives. And I realized that I could indeed turn it into an act of love.
I vowed to make this my motto for 2020. Let everything I do be an act of love. I’ve been trying to keep this in mind as I do dishes and laundry and drive my kids around town, all while trying to balance those responsibilities with seeing clients and organizing workshops and writing.
Precious Daily Moments
Yesterday the message was repeated and expanded to a new level of understanding. I was doing an energy medicine session with a client whose husband passed away a few years ago, leaving her alone to raise her young daughter. We were working on releasing a sense of smallness, a feeling of somehow being “less than others” from her solar plexus and replacing it with the unbridled confidence to step largely and fully into her life.
She was wondering which aspects of her work to focus her efforts on as she stepped into her power, when her husband appeared beside her to answer her question. His message to her was so full of love and sincerity that as I relayed it to her there were tears streaming down my cheeks. He said:
It’s about just being you. Being proud of who you are. Shining your light brightly. It’s not about what you accomplish. You don’t need to accomplish anything at all. The beauty of life is in the small daily things. Make every little thing you do an act of love. That’s all. Enjoy being alive. It’s a precious gift.”
He went on to explain that “people with bodies” complicate things too much. We worry about things we don’t need to worry about. We lose sight of what is most important. We stop seeing the magic in the world. He explained that life is really about enjoying the simple pleasures. We are so blessed to be able to be here on earth, living in this place full of magic. Here, we can plant a seed and it grows into a blooming flower. We can combine different things the earth provides for us and prepare the most delicious food to delight our senses. We can dance and be joyful in our bodies. It is indeed a precious gift to be here.
We can honor this gift by seeing the magic and enjoying the little things in life, and letting our unique light shine uninhibited and without judgment. And doing all that we do, each day, with love.
I’m grateful for his reminder, which helped deepen my motto for this year. Though his wisdom was intended for his beloved wife, it resonated deeply with me. I needed to hear it too. I believe that it is relevant for all of us. We don’t need to rack up a list of “accomplishments” to have value and worth. We don’t need to prove anything to anyone. We are already enough. We are deeply loved by people around us and immensely loved by those who have already passed on and can see things clearly.
We simply need to remember the magic and love around us, then amplify it in our hearts. And make everything we do an act of love.