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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The push mower


I was in a predicament recently. I came to terms that I couldn't really afford to get my lawn cut by the same people. Don't get me wrong, they have done a stellar job, but it has taken quite the toll on my expenditures. Now, I felt like I needed to take things into my own hands and get a new mower. 

I milled over it in my head. Of course, buying a new mower would require the research, spending more money and ultimately figuring out a way to transport it. Then a thought came into my consciousness. I realized I had a push mower in the gazebo in my backyard. But a push mower? How much do I hate myself to try to make that work for me? Ha ha !

Then a feeling came over me. It was a sense of determination and unbridled passion to try to take care of the lawn myself. You know what I am saying Jackie?! Bingo-Bango. And that is what I did.

The first 10 minutes were the hardest. I had all the doubtful thoughts swirl through my mind. 

" This is going to take forever." 
" Maybe I should wait to buy a "real" mower."
" Maybe I can find someone to do it for cheaper." 

I didn't really fight those thoughts. I let then pass through and come visit. I entertained them for sure, but I didn't let them take up my head space. I retreated into what I was doing. Push the lawn mower through the rough patches of the lawn. Some of the rough patches took a little more muscle mustard than the others. I was riding that determination wave. I wasn't thinking about when I was going to be done. I wasn't think of the other rough patches of grass that were scattered throughout the yard. I was present. 

I was simply mowing the lawn.

My head wasn't completely empty, but my discomfort which first arose when I started, transmuted into accordance. I accepted the simple fact that this is what I was doing. This is what I decided to do. I was committed and not concerned with the total outcome. I was in groove with the wonders of "the process". 

The lawn mowing turned into a mindfulness exercise. Much like sweeping, doing the dishes or a meditative exercise. It was an alignment with the present moment. 

Sure, it might have been smarter or more efficient to get a gas or electric mower, but I got great exercise and towards the end I had a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. 

The lawn wasn't perfect. The people I paid in the past did a better job. This didn't bother me. I simply accepted the limits of my own resources and capabilities. The lawn was in better shape then it was before. I could take this experience and have it inform me on how I should improve my own pushing technique.

The physical aspect changed my physiology for the better. I traded convenience and comfort for courage, determination and challenge. The practice of mindful mowing helped ease my anxiety and gave me a full body workout as a byproduct. I was old schoolin' it for all the right reasons. I was taking care of multiple things at once.

- A task
- mental acuity 
- physical exercise 
- self compassion 
- acceptance 
- mindful practice 

This simple task gave me more insight on how I should interact and react to certain things seen as "mundane" and "inconvenient" in my life. 

When I was mowing, I was mowing.
When I am washing a dish, I am washing a dish. 
When I am sweeping my front porch, I am sweeping my front porch. 

We can apply this simplicity of action to all aspects of our lives. We can execute all these actions and micro actions with passion and presence. We can see what attitude we bring to the things we do. We can simply accept without resistance of the things that need to get done in our lives.

It's about checking that tude', dude.

Our presence will let our compassion, care and love arise for all that we do. We can appreciate the small things and feel the effect it has on our mind and bodies. 

Accept what needs to get done without thinking of how it will turn out. When you are present with the process, you open up your being to a "sense of discovery". A simple task turns into a mindful meditative practice that aligns with your authenticity and the stillness of your being. 

Be with what needs to get done. 

Beautiful things happen when you take one thing at a time. 

Looking at my lawn now, I start seeing all the flaws. All the spots I missed. What a wonderful opportunity to have all those critiques and insights be our life coaches. Our mental teachers. Our reminders to accept and be kind to ourselves. 

The time will come to mow the lawn again and the next time, I'll face more challenges for the betterment of my self education. I'll let feelings come and go as they please, while mowing the lawn with a sense of ease. 


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