Silverware Seconds


The blinking green light on the front of the built-in appliance indicates the dishes inside are clean and dry. Opening the door and pulling out the bottom rack to unload, I am grateful to have this dishwasher in my kitchen.

Quickly picking up the large plates, smaller plates, and bowls, juggling the stack of dishes across the kitchen to the cabinet, I open the door and gently place them in their designated spaces. Returning back to the dishwasher, I reach for the silverware. As I bend forward and reach down, I feel my neck tense and realize I am holding my head in a fixed position facing forward, only my eyes looking down.

Whenever my bodily discomfort gets my attention, I pause immediately to be curious. What is going on with my shoulders? Are they tight from holding grandchildren? How am I using my arms? Is my forearm tight from writing? I notice I am locking my knees as I bend forward.

“How could this be easier?”



For the next sixty seconds, unloading the silverware from the dishwasher, walking across the kitchen, opening the drawer and putting it away is a new experience.

Bending my knees slightly as I bend forward, my low back relaxes. Feeling the weight of my hands dangling from my shoulders like a weighted pendulum releases my shoulders. I make small circles with that pendulum over the spoons, feeling the weight of the hand. I allow my head to drop forward, notice the stretch in my neck, and feel the muscles in my jaw relax.

Even walking across the kitchen feels easier.Silverware3-450

The one minute timer goes off.

As I sit here writing a few hours later, that feeling of release in my shoulders is still reverberating. Turning my head to look out the window, my neck and jaw are reminded of the earlier sensations of ease. One sixty second exploration changes my awareness for the rest of the day. Recalling the sensations of ease, stretch, and freedom of movement I am able to renew that pattern again and again throughout the day.

Mentastics Minute – unloading the dishwasher
Recall the experience throughout the day.

– Bend the knees slightly while bending forward and reaching down. Notice the stretch in the low back and hips. Straighten knees gradually, slowly standing up straight

–  Feel the weight of the hands dangling from the shoulders like a weighted pendulum while bending forward, knees bent. Observe the release of tension in the shoulders. Straighten knees gradually, slowly standing up straight

– Make small circles with the pendulum of the hands hanging from the shoulders while bending forward, knees bent. Allow the head to drop forward. Feel the stretch in the shoulders and neck, relax the jaw. Straighten knees gradually, slowly standing up straight