Thanks for asking jen, I'd love to comment on your example.
But these are things I have to remind and tell myself to do to TRY and appreciate them and be in the moment and I can't always feel the gratitude and enjoy the sensations and such.
There is a resonant difference between trying and doing google search Tony Robbins and the lady trying to pick up her chair if you haven't already seen that video, or maybe golf will repost it.
Trying the 'focus' is on trying, with all the stories of excuses. Stop trying. When you want to do something just do it.
If you're making excuses then you're making excuses.
If the appreciation is not on/in the task then it's elsewhere, no use fighting that, let it go.
Either you are appreciating NOW or you're not, no biggie, stop beating yourself up.
Many times I just want to get the dishes done because I want to clean up and I want my husband to be happy and I don't want to leave dirty dishes in the sink,
There's a few conflicting 'wants' in this message, let's unpack them.
'I want to clean up' = then do it, you are able to respond to this task and whatever attitude you take to it will determine the experience - remember always no choice is wrong, it just brings a different experience.
If you want to clean up and sing your heart out while you're doing it, go ahead. If you want to bitch and moan and criticise every crumb and stain on the plates, go for it!! If you want to steam up about not being appreciated... hmmm, well if you really want to experience that by all means, do it consciously though.
I can't begin to tell you how many arguments, protestations, beds for anger have been made in the humble chore of washing dishes - parents make rosters, kids scream and argue - It's your turn!! Funny thing is when we are little kids and we notice it - the bubbles, the warm water etc we make play of it - until we start seeing it as a chore.
"I want my husband to be happy'... hmm .. not within your response ability, and I bet if you asked him for a list of the top 10 things that make him happy you doing the dishes would not be in them
which is why he probably doesn't see it as an opportunity to help you feel appreciated by taking it up once in a while. Of course he would 'notice' if they weren't done, but you'd be more worried about what he's thinking about YOU if they weren't done.
It like many household chores becomes 'someone's job' whether by default or agreement. Default can lead to resentment and it becoming a battle ground. It's actually worth negotiating and then whoever is 'doing' at any time is the one with the response ability - no one else is allowed to criticise or 'expect' that it will be done the way they would do it - and these negotiations filter through to other elements of respect and appreciation of differences within relationships.
Am I not simply lying to myself and manufacturing an appreciation or "good feeling"? Or is it ultimately a matter of learning to make the best of a situation I honestly don't care for and accepting it and then finding the good in it? is that more of what it is all about?
You can do any or all of the above all in the course of doing any thing. How would you prefer to do it?
Acceptance says 'for this moment, in this instance, this is what is required.
That's unemotional, no stories, no drama, just do it. It's the first of three conscious ways of being/doing.
In conscious awareness you may decide to put joy into the task - no one's forcing you and it doesn't matter if you don't. I just find it more fun, more fulfilling - enjoyment is putting joy into whatever you are doing, even if it is something that is required of you in this moment.
Enthusiasm is noticing that clean dishes lays the foundation for a more peaceful sleep and a waking to a clean kitchen and so it takes on a 'bigger', 'brighter' more purposeful part of a whole - not as means to an end, but as an inevitability stepping towards something desirable, within provisos that it may not... someone could come along and bake cakes and leave a mess... so not in an attached or making enemy, obstacle, or means to an end, just a step.
If you REALLY don't like it and can't accept it there are sane options.. the three options then are accept, change, or remove yourself from the situation.
You could trade dishes for throwaway containers, you could totally minimise the number of dishes you use and only ever cook one pot dishes and eat out of the pot with one shared fork
; ) see, in essence you have 'chosen' along all of the steps that have led up to 'dirty dishes needing to be washed'. You're not a 'victim' of the sink duties, you DO have choices.
Being present, conscious, aware is like most things - 99% attitude.
I don't see how you can be conscious, present, aware and lie to yourself about what it is you are doing.. you know you're lying to yourself and that's what you're putting into this moment. No choice is wrong....
If you feel the division of labour is unfair discuss it rationally, not as an emotive or silent plea for appreciation - love is not a trade, it's an expression of who you really are and recognition of who another really is, relating with another requires practical and spiritual elements in shared experiences. Honesty is the highest form of love. But if you start defining your worthiness, or the doing of things by the 'appreciation' level of another you're setting yourself up for disappointment and setting them up for failure.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen