Chop Wood

There's an old saying that goes, chop wood, carry water.

It's meant to remind us of the importance of mindfulness in everything we do, not just the spiritually enlightened activities. Putting mindfulness into the mundane activities – brushing your teeth for example – immediately renders them no longer mundane but an important part of an overall life.

Each experience taken on its own for what it is, no more or less, and without expectation. Bringing our awareness to the present moment.

As a guiding philosophy I find this approach very useful although in truth I'm not very good at mindfulness. Still, I keep trying.

Another meaning of this phrase for me though has to do with perserverance. Sometimes you just have to keep on keeping on.

While the originator of the phrase may not have had this in mind I'm sure Winston Churchill did when he said, “If you're going through hell, keep going.”

I think of Sir Winston's sage advice as well as buckets of water as I take every step these days. All things happen for a reason, and I know eventually I will make sense of things.

For the moment though it's time to be fully focused on the here and now worrying neither about tomorrow or the past. Maybe this practice may help you too.

Chop wood, carry water.

 

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