Some days just throw you around, as if they were somehow set on “agitate.” I don’t live inside a washing machine, but it can feel that way.

Life is complicated and then the unexpected throws us for a loop: illnesses, computer crashes, theft, car accidents, injustice or simply the burnt toast setting off the fire alarm. I don’t always realize I am getting agitated until I’m throwing a disproportionate fit over the toys left in the middle of the floor.

I’m not proud of losing my cool sometimes. But it’s a myth that life can happen without upset.

A washing machine is actually useless if it can’t agitate. Something has got to push the suds through the fabric and loosen dirt to clean the clothes.

Just like water is an essential part of washing clothes, fluidity is essential for not suffering when your life is on “agitate.”

My washer is giving me this advise: soak.

A hot bath can be a powerful way to soften both your muscles and your attitude. I love baths because I am literally surrounded by warmth and this helps remind my spirit that I am held by love at all times.

When you don’t have the time or means to take a bath, there are other ways to soak as well.

IMG_3067Visit some water near you. Stand or sit by the lake, river, creek or ocean and breathe it in. Let it’s presence wash over you.

Take a mini-bath. Let your hands soak in the dish water for a moment without doing anything. Or wash your hands mindfully.

Drink warm water. Specifically, I drink yin yang water, a mixture of equal parts hot and cold water. This is a simple way to bring the body back into balance and very soothing.

Sometimes I simply visualize that I’m taking a bath. I feel my body relaxing in ways similar to actually stepping into warm water. My favorite time to do this is at bedtime.

Soak in stillness. In the Chinese Five Elements, stillness and rest are associated with the water element. As I get ever stronger in my mediation practice, I find an increasingly reliable path to move from rigidity to openness and flow.

When I am softened, my resistance to life’s curve balls changes. Maybe life is trying to wash me. Maybe could it just please stay on the gentle cycle?

My daughter LOVES to agitate things. Stirring things up has it’s place and I’ll be exploring that in a future post.

With love,
Emily

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