Ironing the Pillow Cases – A Lesson of Love

In the past I would always end up feeling very frustrated whenever I was doing the ironing because I never achieved a ‘perfect’ result. Somehow I could never get all the creases out or fold sheets up neatly in rectangles. I often began with a meditative feeling while ironing, but inevitably the frustration with my own skills used to creep in.

Therein lies a very important point when I say meditatively: I now realise I was choosing a state of unconscious checking-out from the actual task, so not really paying attention to what I was doing or how I was doing it. No wonder I became frustrated!

Recently I was ironing a pillow case and noticed that the way I was ironing had changed. No longer was I subsiding into a semi-conscious state and dawdling, nor was I rushing and driven to ‘get it done’.

Instead I laid the pillow case gently on the ironing board, smoothed it out, and aligned its corners. As I lifted the iron I was very aware that someone, myself or my partner or a friend, would soon be laying their head on it at night.

I felt, as I started to gently lay the iron on the material, how my gentleness and tenderness was a respectful and loving way to prepare for the laying down of those heads for a reposeful night’s sleep. And so I began to iron the pillowcase with true care and a focused attention.

I started to feel how loving this was for myself, to treat myself tenderly as I ironed and prepared the recipient for a beautiful night’s sleep. Something within me had brought about the change and was enabling me to move gently and flowingly. I felt a deep love for myself I had never felt before. In that moment time did not matter… in fact, it took no longer than before, maybe even less. I enjoyed the doing of it because I was in the how of the doing of it. The how was the gentle quality of energy that came before I even knew I was going to iron.

That morning, and many mornings and evenings for the previous few days, I had been listening to Serge Benhayon’s Gentle Breath Meditations on the Unimed Living website. The consistency of practising my gentle breath along with these audios has had a direct effect on the quality of my life, the way I move, and the way I express.

It allowed me to choose to be consciously present when I was ironing, without effort; and when I ironed the second pillowcase I found that I was even gentler and went back and re-ironed the first one. This is infinitely more rewarding than the old feeling of ‘getting it all done.’

This beautiful lesson applies to everything I do, and as I begin to experience moving in a new way I can feel how the quality of my whole life can change, as one task is not separate from another but one continual flow.

This is written with deep gratitude to Serge Benhayon who showed me, through the Gentle Breath Meditation, the way to re-connect with my inner-heart – and from which I can choose to live my life consciously and reverently.

And for the simplicity of a pillowcase!

By Joan Calder, Frome, Somerset

Further Reading:
Checking out – are we sowing the seeds of our own dementia?
Driving With Presence



772 thoughts on “Ironing the Pillow Cases – A Lesson of Love

  1. Joan I love the simplicity of this blog and yet it is so profound. It is in that quality we bring it to everything. The integrity in just simply ironing a pillow case matters, in that someone’s head is going to be laying on it, it is so loving. And that just goes to show, that integrity is in everything we do or be, not just for ourselves but others around us.

  2. Joan, thank you for talking about the ‘meditative quality’ and how this was really a check out and not really a true loving quality to be in. I can relate to this too where I have allowed myself to be in a state of ‘meditation’ but one that does not allow true presence and body awareness with the task at hand. And this is really a state of escape rather than one of embracing life and all it brings. This is something I am thankful now of being aware of – it is after all an opportunity to let such ways of being go and instead live life with feet and all in it!

    1. This ‘meditative quality’ can occur at the snap of a finger, because we have allowed thoughts to consume us that tells us this. We can also change this by choosing differently too. Then there is no meditative anything…

  3. I am very familiar with the ticking the box approach of getting things done and still fall into this. To clarify, there is nothing wring with completing checklists or getting jobs that need to get done, done. But what Joan is presenting here is to feel the quality of how we have completed something, and though I am aware of this and love the quality aspect, I still can find myself slipping into old patterns and hardening up my body to get a job done, rather than feeling the quality of something and choosing quality to complete the quantity.

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