Okay, I’ll admit it. I wasn’t very good at following my first weekly challenge. I didn’t sit and meditate for ten minutes a day, but I did think about it, which is a step closer than I was the week before, and I started reading The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh, which actually kind of makes me want to meditate. Can reading a book on mediation for ten minutes a day count as meditation?

I’m very open to what I will accept as mediation and always have been, but I also recognize that I am not very good at sitting still and being quite. (Note the photography above of Maggie not being still with her sister.) My boyfriend nicknamed me Chatty Cathy long ago.

The way peace and calm are described in the book seems to strike a cord with me. He talks about thinking of yourself like a pebble sinking through the silky waters of a pond until you gently hit the soft sediment below where nothing is pushing or pulling you. I get freaked out by ponds, seaweed and the gooey silt on the bottom of a pond and yet somehow this description seems like utter bliss.

But it wasn’t only his pond reference that got me. Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about the way we look at things. I know when I have to do dishes it feels like a chore–the same with laundry, scrubbing the bathroom, taking out the trash, and even cooking dinner sometimes. We’re all so busy that sometimes even fun activities seem daunting. It truly is about perspective.

Thich Nhat Hanh writes, “While washing the dishes, you might be thinking about the tea afterwards, and so try to get them out of the way as quickly as possible in order to sit and drink tea. But that means that you are incapable of living during the time you are washing the dishes. When you are washing the dishes, washing the dishes must be the most important thing in your life.” It sounds a lot like living in the present.

Not to be funny, but lately I’ve been trying this by not washing dishes and opting for activities I enjoy more that are easier to feel are important, but eventually I’m going to have to do dishes if I want to eat on a clean plate. For me, then it will be easier to make washing dishes feel vital. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.