Taking Toilet Cleaning to a New Level

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

Related Reading:
Taking responsibility at work to a whole new level
Energetic Responsibility – How Responsible Are We Willing to Be?
My Expression Counts – A Divine Job

682 thoughts on “Taking Toilet Cleaning to a New Level

  1. Life looks very different when we look at it through the value society puts in things compared to when one looks to it from the heart. The gap between the two is far from irrelevant. It says much about where we are and also about where we could easily be.

    1. Indeed Eduardo, the heart simply knows how we all could be together as one. That said, the way we currently have organised ourselves in our families and in society is one of individualism in which we think we can live in separation from one another. But as said in the beginning, the heart simply knows a different way and in ignoring that we put pressure on our body that eventually leads to illness and disease, a condition we are so much in our nowadays society.

  2. It is interesting to look at how we value the different roles and jobs we do which are needed to let our households, societies and businesses run. Where from comes the belief that toilet cleaning is less than the job of CEO. It actually makes no sense but the reality show something different. In a way we have made life divided into less and more important jobs and roles and it takes away the feeling that we are all equally important to make things work, and even worse we also measure our own value to the work we are doing or the position we have in a company or in the society. Could it be that we have it all set up in order to keep ourselves separated from one another from the belief that we are individuals instead of one brotherhood in the first place?

  3. This is such a beautiful example of it’s not what we do, it’s how we do it; ie the energy we do it in, that is so very important. To be taught this at an early age, and that the consequences of everything we do is our responsibility, has the power to change the world as we know it; a world where energetic responsibility would be naturally part of how we live.

  4. Without the people that did these jobs, clean toilets, clean the streets, waste collectors, people who make sure the sewers are working okay, we would be in more a mess than we currently are? I really appreciate everyone who does jobs such as these. I help to clean the toilets and building of the Sound Foundation in the UK which is another really beautifull building that supports the community and people from all over the world. What I can feel reading what you share is there is a deeper level of love and care I can bring to the building and cleaning when I am helping to clean it .. which I guess also reflects the deeper level of love and care I can bring to myself! What is all people from all different backgrounds and professions took time out consistently to help clean part of their community where needed? This would be amazing.

  5. Having just begun the process of opening a new store I have been cleaning the store from top to bottom and it is amazing the difference felt when we enjoy, connect and move in a way that supports our bodies. It not only supports us but also supports the quality in which you feel around you too and that is much to appreciate.

  6. When in need of recognition and individuality we chase that which will make us feel better off than another, this is all an illusion as it is our connection to our inner-heart that matters most for that is our true wealth we take with us wherever we go, leaving an imprint of love for the healing of all.

  7. There are lots of things I love about cleaning the toilets at the hall. It is a way for me to give back for the beautiful building we get to use and to prepare the building for the next time people use it. It is also a joy to clean with other people, to feel us getting on with it, working in harmony together and enjoying what we do.

  8. ‘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.’ This can apply for any place where we are, live or work, study. We can express our love and appreciation for where we are in everything we do and this will have a ripple effect on every one and every thing.

  9. It’s an interesting question about certain roles and positions having more value than others. I feel that education plays a large part here. Some jobs require quite a lot of education and others do not. So if we go to University it is deemed to be ‘more important’, because of the study. Whereas manual jobs may not need that level of education. To me the job we do does not matter but how we are in everything that we do is the most important.

  10. Cleaning is such an essential part of life and can make a huge difference energetically to all our spaces – the difference between walking into a room cleaned by someone who is content and feels valued in their job as opposed to someone who resents what they do and feels belittled or not appreciated… It’s like an imprint or vibration that is left there for all who then walk into that room…

  11. How important that we pay attention to the quality that we do all of our activities in. It not only makes a difference for the next person who uses that space, but also for ourselves.

  12. The fact that we value roles and positions differently just shows how much we make this world about the doing and not the being. If everybody would deeply be in contact with their essence, then we would know there that we are all equal from the inside.

  13. “So how come we regard some activities as more valuable than others?” this is a great question to ponder on, as in society we are taught to place more effort and attention to detail in those things that compensate us in one way or another. When in truth it is the consistency we live in with a certain quality that allows us to find joy and fulfillment in whatever we do.

  14. “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. ” I so agree. Cleaners are so important and if we take care in every job we do – however ‘menial’ – we bring quality to that arena.

  15. ” It is not about the ‘what’ but the ‘how’; it is about the quality of energy expressed in the ‘doing’.” it is the energy that I am in before I start to do a job that is important, is it a rush energy with the mind already on the next job to be done, or is it being present with every movement in gentleness.

  16. When a team of people come together to support a building, especially in cleaning it feels amazing. I have experience this several times and the joy of the work plus how the building/area feels once everyone has finished feels lovely. Reading your blog I also remembered a time when I worked in an office and staff kept complaining about the state of the toilets. This would happen a lot until one day I decided to clean them so spent some time cleaning every surface, toilet and door. It felt good but also was a reminder that even if your main role is not a cleaner it doesn’t mean to say we cannot pick up a cloth and clean when and where needed.

  17. I was raised to never have a negative attitude towards any profession. My parents were unique in the sense that they believed that we are all equal and that our profession does not define us. My parents taught me that school was not for everyone and that you should only stay in it and use it, if you want a particular job that required certain pieces of paper. I was given the space to choose anything I wanted without pressure. I worked for a professional cleaning company that my boyfriends Mum owned, did that for a couple of years, I loved cleaning bathrooms and toilets especially. Later, I cleaned for many years on and off, holiday rentals and private homes. There is a great satisfaction, transforming and clearing a space. I am now a café owner and still enjoy cleaning my toilets at the end of the day.

  18. ‘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.’ That’s the way to work together and can be there in any workplace if we let go of the pictures we have about the difference in importance of the jobs that are there, when we identify ourselves with what we do and put more value in our own profession, seriousness is guaranteed.

  19. How beautiful it is to bring our whole bodies and our connection to our bodies to each and every thing we do. Not only are we then simply bringing ourselves to all that we do but we are also interacting with all others in this way too. Showing that everything equally deserves our undivided loving attention to presence and connection, even cleaning the toilets.

  20. “It is not about the ‘what’ but the ‘how’; it is about the quality of energy expressed in the ‘doing’.” – I agree, this is a key thing to appreciate, that the way we do something makes all the difference; in everything we do we leave an energetic imprint that is going to be felt by lots of other people…

  21. Nothing, absolutely nothing is more valuable than ourselves yet we tend to want to value all sorts of other things instead. Isn’t the ill state of the world telling us that putting others/things etc. before ourselves is simply not working, and in fact is completely harming?

  22. This is a great offering, Ingrid. “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.” So simple, yet I can feel exactly how that is not quite how it is in reality. Whenever I go to Universal Medicine events in England, I stay at a similar building and I am constantly learning how I can apply what I learn to the practicality of everyday life while I am there. We eat, we sleep, the place becomes my home while I am there and what is most uncomfortable is when I am faced with the reality of how much I say I appreciate what I am being given and willing to return, and how much of that I can actually put it into practice without bending backwards or forwards even the tiniest – ie. how absolutely honest I am willing to be gets exposed.

  23. I have noticed an industry where many people in it see themselves as lesser and hold themselves in this way.
    I met someone in that industry who didn’t hold themselves as less but totally loved what they did and this was then what they got back from others. No-one talked down to them or dismissed them, the quality that they radiated was what came back to them.

  24. I love this blog, it makes us more aware of the toilet cleaner as a person and of their valuable contribution to our health and wellbeing. Some years ago I moved to a different part of the UK and the easiest job I could get was as a cleaner in a holiday resort. I could be cleaning as many as 14 toilets in one morning and it was a job I loved doing, cleaning in detail and leaving each cubicle feeling sparkling clean ready for the day’s visitors.

  25. Toilet cleaning has to be one of the least appreciated jobs around, and when you look at how people treat public toilets, it is scary to realise just how much disconnection, lack of care and deep disregard people are in, and how they leave public toilets – and then someone has to be the one to clean them!?! But toilet cleaning and cleaning in general, are usually not appreciated when they are done, but immediately noticed when they are not clean – at least this is the general consensus it appears. This of course exposes the fact that we lack appreciation and lack in our awareness to notice when something has been cleaned and we sit with this entitlement that it should be clean and stay clean, perhaps even in denial of how we may have treated the space. Not very pleasant when you think about it! It takes a strong person to be able to clean public toilets, and allow oneself the space to observe the deepening disregard of our population and society, and yet not take this on board, but simply leave a loving imprint for someone else to come into (no matter what space that next person is in). By far it is not a lowly task, though it may appear to be so – it is the way to support another with the Magic of God to realise their disconnection and then to embrace and return to the majesty that we are all from. Toilet cleaning with a loving imprint is a Mastery that only a true Master can bring. Thank you Ingrid!

  26. I have noticed that there is a certain generation of people who do feel it’s beneath them to clean toilets, after all that’s what they employ a ‘Char woman’ to do. To me they are missing out on having fun cleaning toilets with the understanding that if they are cleaned in a certain quality the next person who uses them is sitting in that quality. That to me is magical.

  27. It is sad that those toilet cleaners of old did not appreciate the equal importance of what they did to all other jobs, but the world saw them as the lowest of the low and so they saw themselves thus too. I remember such people and they would never speak, keep their head down and must have had a miserable existence and this still goes on in some places but certainly not so common. That they had the opportunity to meet people and make magical connections all day was missed by them and by everyone else too.

  28. I have someone help me clean my house and we have a very good relationship, I certainly could not think anything less or more of her because of what she does. It is her that I relate with and when we work together, which we sometimes do, it is always fun.

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