Just lately I remembered that when I was in high school, it was a regular prediction/warning of my father that if I wasn’t studying well in school and university I would end up as a toilet woman, meaning cleaning public toilets for a meagre living.
Cleaning toilets in public places like big service stations, train stations, or any public toilets, was – when I grew up in Germany – regarded at the time as the lowest work you could do, and possibly the lowest paid job too. Toilet women would spend the whole day cleaning a certain group of toilets – let’s say the women’s toilets at the train station – and in between sit at a table with a plate where customers were to place their coins in payment.
Nearly 50 years later I am cleaning the toilets of a beautiful hall and meeting place where healing courses, presentations and workshops are held by the College of Universal Medicine, a charity formed to present the Ageless Wisdom Teachings and to remind humanity of a different and very old way to live. The Way of The Livingness is a religion, meaning in-truth to reconnect back to where we come from and who we truly are. This religion offers a way to live a healthy, joyful, harmonious, loving and self-loving life.
And I very much enjoy the cleaning. The toilet block in The Hall of The Ageless Wisdom plays a very important part of the College of Universal Medicine courses and gatherings, looking at the long queues of women in front of the toilets.
At the end of the day and weekend a number of volunteers get together to clean the whole place. Cleaning the toilets is not regarded as less value than vacuum cleaning, tidying up, surface cleaning or bin emptying. And we have cleaners, teachers, doctors, nurses, surgeons, lawyers etc. participate in the cleaning. The Hall, being and feeling amazing, is a pleasure to be in and it feels like a gift to express our love and appreciation through lovingly cleaning the place. We have lots of fun, connect and do what needs to be done without pressure, nor in a rush, but with our full presence and gentle use of our bodies. If the vacuum cleaning is too heavy, don’t do it… pick something lighter. Are you tired or not feeling quite well? Better to go home and have a good rest.
Now why can’t we work like that in our jobs, at home, in life in general? It does not matter what we do, it is how we do it and which energy we are in. When I am grumpy or even angry, resentful, maybe mulling over an issue with another person and not being present with what my body is doing (in this case now cleaning a toilet), I might not only miss an important hygiene step but the person using the toilet later will get the energy I was in too.
We are usually not aware that how we do things affects other people – and us – which brings up the matter of Responsibility, that many shy away from.
Back to the toilet cleaning. What should make toilet cleaning less worthy than nursing, teaching, being a lawyer, a dentist etc.? It surely gets paid less if that is your profession, but it is not less important or less worthy than anything else we do. A lovingly, in-full-presence cleaned toilet feels better to me than most dentist chairs or courtrooms. It is not about the ‘what’ but the ‘how’; it is about the quality of energy expressed in the ‘doing’.
So how come we regard some activities as more valuable than others?
Are we being taken for a ride by our own beliefs: something we heard or learned somewhere and that we take on without feeling into the truth of it?
Don’t we often have the feeling that this or that just does not make sense? Or does not feel right? But we leave it at that and do not go further and question something, feel into the truth of it and change our attitude towards it if it does not feel true. We don’t want to stir the pot or be bothered.
The world, our life in the human body on this planet, starts making much more sense when we feel within ourselves for the truth, where everything is known, rather than just taking on something we hear, see or are taught without discerning it.
I feel wonderful and fulfilled when I clean the toilets of The Hall of The Ageless Wisdom and have fun with a group of people, as I feel when I cook or do anything where I am lovingly and totally present with my body.
By Ingrid L, Pensioner, Goonellabah, Australia