Mowing the lawn does not have to be a chore – it can be an active meditation. With singularity of purpose you can mow like a Zen monk or simply be a more mindful gardener. So bring your full attention to the task at hand, do it and do it well. Be present to it. Be diligent in it. No sleep walking it – come alive to the task.
A job well done is its own reward but some jobs have hidden rewards. Mowing the lawn is a treat to the amygdala and the hippocampus – the regions of the brain responsible for emotional recognition/response and memory/attentiveness. How? Well, the smell of freshly cut grass, those (Z)-3-hexenol and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate molecules released from the grass, actually stimulate a sense of wellbeing and relaxation by deactivating the body’s stress chemistry and suppressing brain stress receptors. Yeah – mowing the lawn cuts your stress down too.
Mowing the lawn should never be a stressful chore, and even if it begins as such it ends differently. The task alters your mood. Mowing the lawn is an opportunity to match brain chemistry to intent – to be well and grounded and to fully embrace the now of well-being and serenity.
So love the lawn you care for. It loves you back.
If you want to explore more mindful gardening concepts check out my book SEEDS OF MINDFULNESS – IXIA Press, available in all good bookstores.