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Article by Phil Brown

Phil Brown - Journalist - Author Profile | Email | Website
Phil Brown - Journalist - Author As a journalist I am a senior writer with News Queensland. As an author I write about myself and, if that sounds self-indulgent, you don't know the half of it. Mind you if you read either of my memoirs - Travels with My Angst or Any Guru Will Do, all will be revealed.
Available as Speaker - humorist focusing on problems associated with existential angst and life's journey.
Australia 2000
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Housework is Good for the Soul, no, Really ...


The idea that housework is good for the soul may sound almost ludicrous to some of you but I must say that I find it a rather refreshing idea. Brisbane Author Sally Collings explores the spiritual dimensions of domestic drudgery in her latest book, Parenting with Soul, which is a little ripper for those who have spiritual aspirations but can’t actually be bothered doing anything about them.

You don't have to, says Sally, because whatever you are doing is already a spiritual path, if you are doing it mindfully and, if at all possible, with some reverence. In a poem of mine I once referred, laughingly, to putting the garbage out in a prayerful fashion. In light of Sally’s book (which I may be simplifying somewhat) I realise now I was actually on the right track. I found the section entitled ‘Housework for the soul’ particularly encouraging because unlike many blokes, I really like doing the housework. Firstly, it’s a diversion from all the other things I should be doing and the simple, ritualistic pattern of doing the dishes, sweeping leaves and straightening the towels on their racks is, I find, quite calming, a sort of moving meditation. It helps keep me sane, or kind of sane, at least.

To mention another book - the obscure but helpful The Eating Gorilla Comes in Peace by Da Free John - in that tome it is said that for personality types such as mine (in Ayurvedic terms, Vata-Pitta, or was it Pitta-Vata?) household chores must be attended to or, and I'm paraphrasing here again, one would be hysterical by dinner time without them.

Housework has another, somewhat less spiritual dimension for me, however. It’s all about control. I may not have dominion over the world outside (much as I would love to) but I can control the realm between the four walls of the house: not including my wife, son and the dog.

Besides them, I am master of all I survey and by constant vigilance I can keep everything ship-shape and Bristol fashion. Having created a pleasing symmetry throughout I can then sleep peacefully knowing that everything is as it should be.

It’s an illusion, of course but one I shall cling to, nonetheless. And now that I know that by doing so I’m being spiritual as well, gosh, that makes me feel blessed indeed. Amen.


26 Apr 2011

Article/Information supplied by Phil Brown

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.