Shinny Shoes and Mindfulness

Shinny Shoes and Mindfulness February 16, 2014

Over the years I have taken some flack and good-natured kidding from many individuals about my shoes. From my friend Patrick McCollum saying I was displacing him as the only “wing tipped Pagan” to co-workers teasing that if I take my shoes off my socks would shine also!
A 15 Year old pair of shoes
These comments prompted me to explore this life long habit of taking excessive care of my footwear. At first I suspected that it was just a habit instilled in me by my successful and old school father.  What my exploration revealed was, however, much more profound and related to my personal sense of well being, reduction of stress levels and a consistent source of grounding in my life (no pun intended)
As I engaged in shining my shoes I discovered that the process took my full attention; gone were my concerns, thought processes and every day planning.  Additionally I noticed that as the process progressed that it was so familiar that I was not thinking about the shining process but rather in a state of mindfulness, my mind blank. As I fully considered the process it was evident that my pulse slowed, my stress disappeared and a sense of joyfulness settled over me.
Strange how the most basic rituals of daily life can so fully support a healthy state of mind.  So now I am looking for other activities in my life that bring me to this place of connectedness and openness to divinity. My question to you my blessed community is, what long-standing rituals of daily life support your ability to reduce stress, live in the present and find peace?
Magik surrounds us, even the most basic of activities, established long before we embraced our current path, are rituals that can bring much comfort and sense of well being.

 May you all be blessed with rituals of comfort!

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  • My daily ritual is to wake with gratitude, to stretch my body, dance, sing, smile and laugh. All before I get out of bed.

  • Taking care of the physical objects we depend upon is a spiritual practice, surely. Sweeping the floor, chopping wood & carrying water (or as my Minnesota in-laws say, carrying wood & chopping water in the winter) … even shining shoes. We put our caring for the world into physical practice in those everyday-sacred acts. At least, II try to look on the endless cycle of laundry this way!

  • Caring for the animals and plants around me is very much so. I do try to take it further into housework but that doesn't come as naturally to me. :) Sewing by hand also does, very much.