Brushing your Teeth
There are several morning ablutions that we all perform. It is a necessity. But when do we find the time to carve out moments for ourselves when we can be in silent contemplation. Such moments are rewarding and get us back into sync with our true selves even if it is for a few minutes before the drudgery of the day sets in. Some people find the time at the beginning or end of the day to meditate. A valiant effort by any stretch of the imagination, especially when being pressed for time. Similarly some try to exercise and are quite persistent about it, and make sure that it is not missed out. This too can be considered a form of resyncing with yourself as both meditation and exercise require you to be focussed on the unwavering moment of the present.
I find trying to seek out the in between moments in my day equally rewarding. Such as at lunch time, in between seeing patients at the hospital or office, sitting in the car at the red light or stop sign, or till recently while brushing my teeth ! What do you do while brushing your teeth?
You can start thinking about your day, plan your meetings, engagements, what clothes you are going to wear, what chores need to be done, what meals need to be prepared, replies to conversations from prior conversations, identify your flaws or perfections about yourself in the mirror, or you can simply use that time to be fully engaged in the moment, mind forcibly focussed on the present while doing nothing but this mundane routine motion of dental care.
I was fortunate to purchase this dental apparatus by Oral B which is an electronic toothbrush with a wireless monitor that sits next to the sink showing the time. It also immediately either counts up or down ( depending on your setting) for 2 whole minutes. There is a little circular marker that goes around every 30 seconds indicating that you are to start brushing the next quadrant of your teeth. 4 quadrants, 30 seconds each, 2 minutes !! How lazy can one get you might proclaim. But 2 minutes is the minimum by dentist guidelines to brush your teeth. Then there is the eternal and painful flossing, there goes another 2 minutes ( at least) presuming you are facile with flossing thread. Then a total of a minute to rinse, and wash your face. But thats 5 minutes a day, 35 minutes a week, 140 minutes a month, 1820 minutes a year. Wow i just bought myself alot of minutes of quiet time with out rearranging my day.
Now multiply this by the number of times a day you can spend in being in the moment, replacing the numerous moments of idle conversation, wasted arguments, pointless discussions, and futile actions that we take on a daily basis. And add this to the frequent “gaps” between “things that we do” like driving, walking, eating, showering, talking, and you gain alot of quiet time. Time that can be spent observing your breathing, and allowing you to rechannel and realign yourself by refocussing your energy to the moment where you can cummulatively collect all these minutes in your day to a more useful endevor, the betterment of you.
Feel free to brush your teeth more frequently, and dont forget to floss, you are just spending more time being present with yourself!