Why I am thankful that my dishwasher broke

The unexpected joy that derived from a trusted broken appliance

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pandemic lockdown confinement newnormal wellbeing mentalhealth productivity performance workfromhome
pandemic lockdown confinement newnormal wellbeing mentalhealth productivity performance workfromhome

This is a strange thing to admit, but I never thought that a broken dishwasher could give me so much. Allow me to explain. A few weeks ago, when I realised that my dishwasher forced itself to a well-deserved retirement (after many years of operational excellence I have to admit), frankly, I was a bit annoyed, to say the least. I knew getting a replacement in the present context was going to be a bit of a challenge (and it was).

My first thought was, “what a drag…washing dishes will take precious time away from working, cycling, playing the guitar and being with the family”. Delegating was never an option in my household (a long and embarrassing story for another day…). So I simply had to accept the fact that 3 or 4 times a day, I was going to have to perform the “meaningless” act of washing dishes. Au contraire, there was absolutely nothing meaningless about this chore.

After a few iterations, when I finally stopped whining and groaning as I was doing the dishes, my mind calmed down, and this was the turning point. Suddenly, great ideas, insights, intuition began flowing in. I had inadvertently given my subconscious the space it needed to communicate to me what I really needed to know at that time. Practical solutions to certain tasks, insights on how to help a coaching client, ideas for new and exciting digital offerings, you name it. I noticed that the more I stayed in the present moment, the more these creative channels would open up. The more I focused on the warm water running through my hands, the more fluent these messages would become.

I was quite familiar already with the scientific claim made by neurologist Dr Daniel Siegel, that “Research has shown that insight is preceded and aided by disconnecting from deliberate, goal-directed, conscious thinking”. Disconnecting from work at many points during the day, “permits a sorting through of many disparate elements of our mental lives, permitting a process called integration – the linkage of differentiated parts – to naturally unfold.”

So I’m quite thankful to my old Bosch dishwasher for being of great service even with it was out of service!

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