Sunday, January 9, 2011

What dishes can teach us...

Teflon jumped into his warm suit and put his gloves and helmet on. Then he took out the ATV to plow the last six inches of snow that felt overnight. While he plowed I made some fresh juice and did the dishes.

One of the dishes was a bowl with some leftover cereal and yoghurt from the evening before. While picking it up and cleaning it, I remembered and replayed a short conversation that Teflon and I had a couple of days ago.

Tef said “one New Year’s wish I have for you this year is that when you have used a glass or a plate and the contents stick, that you rinse it under water so it’s easier to clean. You don’t have to clean it, just rinse it. It would make my life so much easier”. I responded, “Yes, that is a great idea. If you don’t see me do it in the first week, point it out to me so I can really stay focused on it.”

You have to know that I do lots of resistance around dishes (and cleaning generally). Tef has been able to magically make dishes disappear and so it has not been high on my priority list to change in the past. I assumed that starting to rinse my cup would lead to me doing more dishes, which would be a great help so I really liked the rinsing idea. I never thought that rinsing and doing more dishes would lead to a more fundamental reminder that I got while I was cleaning the bowl.

I walked with the bowl to the garbage bin, and started to scrape out the yoghurt and cereal when I thought “hmm, I don’t mind scraping this out and putting it in the garbage”. This thought was immediately followed by “hmm. Hear you. Instead of saying it takes me to long to clean this bowl, you just say: I hate doing dishes! This is the fundamental difference between you and Tef around this subject. He can make his frustration into something specific and small, so he can tweak it and make the dishes a more fun process, while you just run away not wanting to overcome this obstacle.”

While cleaning the rest of the dishes I felt grateful for the reminder. I felt grateful for Teflon, who has this capability to look at anything and think about how it can be changed, tweaked and improved. I felt thankful for my dishes experience and will surely remind myself during the next dishes about this reminder to help me create a new pattern.


  • What is something you resist doing?
  • Do you believe there can be a way to improve and embrace that what you are resisting?
  • Can you let go of the resistance and do it, and then observe what it is that you don’t like about it and make it smaller and smaller, so it becomes doable?

Have a great Sunday!

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