I’m 11 and I’m walking up the stairs with the cleaning bucket in my hand getting ready to start my weekly chores of cleaning the bathrooms. I have three other siblings, and somehow I drew the short straw and cleaning the bathrooms is my job. Gross.
Every Saturday I dread this job. Scrubbing all the toilets, cleaning up the dust that gets all sticky and tacky because of the moisture from the shower, scraping off the dried toothpaste from the sink, and trying to wipe away those little spots on the mirror that inevitable leave streaks behind that are worse than the little spots themselves.
But then one day, I decided that I was going to clean the bathrooms with the door closed so that I could pretend that I had my own TV show and I was there to show people the best way to clean a bathroom. I would whisper-talk to the mirror, looking up, explaining which product I was using and why, and how to get the cleanest bathroom in the least amount of time possible. And I would talk my way through each bathroom to my imaginary audience in the mirror.
It was quite the operation.
Reliving this story has made me consider starting to do this again. Not because I want to have a TV cleaning show, but because it brought some fun and enthusiasm to my chores. It made me feel more alive and actually enjoy it more.
This is exactly what the vedic concept of Tapas is about: bringing ‘burning enthusiasm’ to our day-to-day routines and responsibilities.
Let’s be real. Life can be a little boring sometimes. This monotony can make it hard for us to commit to the things that we know, logically, will benefit us in the long run but are sooo hard to do because they are so, freaking, dull. Meal prep? Hate it. Grocery shopping? Hate it. Litter boxes? Hate it. Cleaning the house? Still hate it.
But they need to be done.
I have a choice. I can go about my day embracing the boredom and monotony. Or, I can choose to bring some burning enthusiasm, Tapas, into my day.
What if, instead of dreading our chores, routines, or even our workouts – what if we were able to see them through the eyes of a child, learning and discovering everything for the first time.
Strategy #1 – Slow down and enjoy the little moments
I was at the pet store going to pick up cat food for our cats and there was an adoption event going on at the store. Usually I would stop and look at the sweet animals looking for their forever home, but I was so busy that day and had so many errands to run that I skipped it, and just went to go get the food and get outta there.
But a sound stopped me.
The beautiful squeals of delight and laughter of a child who was watching kittens play for the first time. The moment of pure awe when a kitty was brought up for her to hold to her cheek and feel its fluffy softness.
I put down the bags of cat food and went over to the adoption center to love on the kittens a little bit and have a little fun and enthusiasm for life in my day full of errands.
Strategy #2 – Change up your routine a little
Rigid “miracle morning” routines drive me crazy. It just sounds sooooooo boring to do the same thing in the same order for the same amount of time every day. And, let’s be real, I’m not waking up at 4 in the morning to get 2 hours of meditation in and all the things before I start my day?
That would definitely NOT make me a happy human and would set me up for a pretty grumpy day.
Instead, I encourage my clients and people in the Flow State App to set up flexible routines that focus more around how you want to feel.
As a high achiever, you already have a lot on the go and your to-do list is likely already a smidgen overwhelming. So why not simplify it and give yourself options for what you can do to make yourself feel ready to tackle the day?
I use habit reminder bracelets to help me stay on track with what I want to make sure I get done during the day – but I change them up each morning based on how I feel, what I have to do, and how much energy I have. This allows me to still set myself up for success – but in a way that works with my energy, rather than against it.
Strategy #3 – Do it your way, and fuck all the haters
As I don’t feel comfortable driving anymore with my disability because of how it affects my mental processing and reaction speeds, I take the bus and walk a lot of places. I love it, and I get to see so much more of the city than if I were to drive.
I remember taking the bus somewhere several years ago and there was a beautiful human walking down the street – no, not walking, dancing. Like full on dancing, just living it up allowing the music to move them and making the most out of their walk to wherever they were headed.
Which made me smile, and then made me think: what is holding me back from doing that myself?
Fear of judgment probably, which truly makes me mad to say out loud.
Even though that memory is a decade old, it still stands out as this beautiful joy and full embrace of life – which is something that I want to embody in my time on this planet.
Although I’m already scared knowing what I’m going to say before I get it out, but I’m going to start to dance in public on my walks to my song of the day to just live it up! I’m equally excited and terrified at the same time. But later today, I’m going to meet a friend for bubble tea and you bet I’m going to be jamming to Feel Good by Blessing Offor and bring as much Tapas into my day as possible.
Are you with me? They say to do one thing a day that scares you – is this going to be your one thing?
Found this helpful? Share it with someone you know: