Washing my Car: a Lesson in Appreciation and Self-Care

We are moving to our new house in a few weeks, so this particular Sunday morning I had committed to getting started with some packing. I was halfway through the first box when I had a strong impulse to go and wash my new car so – box abandoned with slight feelings of guilt – outside I went with my favourite car washing cloths.

I looked at my new car (I’d only had it for just over a week) with adoration for I was really enjoying driving it, and it’s a beautiful looking vehicle. I took a moment to appreciate how effortlessly the car had come to me. I hadn’t set out with any particular picture of what car I wanted (although I felt I’d go with an SUV again), but it had to be diesel, within my budget and purchased through our trusted dealer. The day we looked there were only two vehicles that fitted the bill – one a sedan the other an SUV – and the sedan was definitely the stand out vehicle.

It’s definitely not the car I would have gone out looking for, but as I washed it that day I came to realise how this car is actually a perfect reflection of where I’ve come to in my life; a place where I feel beautiful, powerful and at ease with myself and life.

How did I come to all of this simply through washing my car?

I brought all of my attention to the task at hand and could feel the quality in which I was wiping and cleaning, gently and with love. I felt myself appreciate the way I clean the car and the choice I’ve made to use a car cleaning mitt and drying cloth, which makes it so easy. No more wrestling with the hose and ending up wet and definitely no more strain on the body. As I let myself simply be with my body and moved around the car, here is what I felt:

  • The sleek and sporty lines and curves reflect my body with its slim and sexy curves, which I love, and how I feel as a woman – confident, sassy and beautiful.
  • The twin exhausts reflect the vitality I now live with, my natural power and my commitment to life.
  • The metallic gold/pewter paint that sparkles in the sun reflects the ever-present sparkle and shine in my eyes.
  • The pushbutton electronic ignition and locks reflect the effortlessness in my life these days as I embrace living my connection with God and the natural rhythm of the Universe.
  • The leather interior reflects the quality I live and deserve in life, and so is a reflection of my worth.

With each reflection from the car, I allowed myself a moment to appreciate those qualities in myself and in this, I felt a deepening connection to who I truly am and how I care for and love myself. For me the foundation of self-care is love, more specifically self-love, and a connection to the wisdom of my body, which always knows what is needed to support it.

That morning I could have chosen to over-ride what my body communicated to me and kept packing, but in listening to the impulse I had to wash the car, initiating an ever deepening cycle of appreciation, self-love and self-care. I would add that I also felt a deeper commitment to myself and to caring for the amazing woman that I am. This experience has shown me that we are offered the opportunity to self-care in EVERY moment by simply choosing to listen to our body and honour the precious, tender and amazing vehicle it is.

By Michelle Sheldrake, Brisbane

Related Reading:
Conscious Presence while Cleaning our House
Listening to your body
What is a Relationship with Myself?

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484 thoughts on “Washing my Car: a Lesson in Appreciation and Self-Care

  1. Beautiful Michelle. Love the way you listened and honoured what your body felt, despite it didn’t fit in your previous plan and how this choice brought you to a deeper level of appreciation and the clarity about how precious you are. In a situation that could be just a mere routine you found a treasure in every detail, in every movement…this is really inspiring. Thank you

  2. Self-care is just so simply to honour and respond to what the body is communicating. And it’s beautiful how we get to feel how that feeds back to us in appreciation, and in recognising and appreciating that also allows it to continue even further.

  3. I regularly take my beautiful car to my local car wash and is my way of appreciating myself, my car and the support it gives me.

  4. ‘For me the foundation of self-care is love, more specifically self-love, and a connection to the wisdom of my body, which always knows what is needed to support it.’ When we embrace self-love and self-care this is a huge support for our body and then we are more likely to drop any unloving behaviours and choices naturally and effortlessly because we are able to connect to the wisdom of our body.

  5. With each appreciation of myself, of my qualities and of who I am, and what I bring to others I deepen my value of myself, which then initiates more self care. Knowing we are precious and deserve to be treated preciously begins with ourselves.

  6. I love and appreciate my car too. To date it is the most beautifulest car I have ever had and it confirms where I am in my life. It feels both solid and powerful and also sparkles in the sun with its metallic paint and is just so easy to drive. On reflection though I do not clean this myself but take it to a car wash, however I have felt impulsed at times to clean it myself and not honoured this so feeling this is something I could change.

    1. It certainly is Cjames2012 and this brings the responsibility back to us, to be aware of what quality are we choosing when we move our body.

  7. Seeing the symbolism in life makes magic a reality – hard to be bored when there is so much being communicated all the time through the symbols in life.

  8. Our body is an amazing vehicle which holds therein a universal intelligence that knows in every moment and movement if the quality we live, is that impulsed by the Soul or by the spirit. In holding a loving and honouring relationship with our body we have greater awareness as to the quality of our choices and can more and more live guided by the impulses of our Soul. Without our bodies it is not possible for us and evolve in this plane of life.

    1. Back to the body… it’s so important! The way human life is make the mind more important – but the mind is nothing with out a body to feel, sense, connect and express.

      1. I agree Rachel, very well said and the crazy thing is our world is predominately championing our mind and ignoring our body. Look around and we can see the devastation this is causing to our body, our health and the health of our planet and so much more.

  9. There is no moving forward in life unless we’ve appreciated and consolidated the choices and foundations that we’ve been building.

    1. I love this Bryony. So true. Appreciation and consolidation is key in building our foundations .. something your comment has gently reminded me to do more.

  10. Beautiful to feel the appreciation in your choices, and how we can still appreciate more about ourselves through simply cleaning our car and feeling all that it reflects not only back to us but to everyone else too.

  11. I see how it often is the case that with a new car there can be a celebration of some kind of achievement, and while this is totally cool and usually very justified, I feel that it is important to also remember that life can be not just about ourselves and the comforts that we have, that every object in our lives can be there as a reflection of quality, a quality of living.

  12. I totally get what you are saying here about appreciation. For me at the moment I can feel how important it is to appreciate the quality of how I live already and all the choices I have made in my life so far and of all the wonderful people I know around me.

  13. There really ia nothing in life that doesn’t offer us a reflection of who we are and/or what we are choosing to live. Taking a moment to realise this and the richness that is on offer for us in support of our evolution leaves me in deep appreciation.

  14. Amazing Michelle, how washing your car was exactly what your body needed, to get this powerful reflection of your new bought car. Unpacking the boxes would not have given you this next level of appreciating yourself and where you have come to. And I can only say, it is time for a new car over here and that’s not a joke it just is!

  15. It was quite inspiring reading how you to came to such beautiful realisations about yourself that deepened your self-love while cleaning your car, Michelle, so different, as many people would regard this task as a chore.

  16. It is in the small details in how we nurture and honour our body that builds a deeper acceptance and love for ourselves and the true qualities we hold.

  17. Just love the way there can be so much to learn about ourselves from something as simple as the car we choose. I can learn so much from my history with cars, and have… a story of my life.

  18. I agree with you Michelle, to be with what is on offer next for your true development and evolution, is to surrender and complete what has been felt in the body.

  19. What an amazing reflection and depth of appreciation you were able to go to Michelle by listening to the impulse of your soul in choosing to wash your car. It shows how every moment is an opportunity to deepen our self care and self love if we are in connection with our body and its impulses.

  20. “The sleek and sporty lines and curves reflect my body with its slim and sexy curves, which I love, and how I feel as a woman – confident, sassy and beautiful.” I definitely smiled from deep inside when I read these words and I could feel that in writing them you were claiming the beautiful woman that you are. I love how life is always offering us reflections. How perfect that your new car didn’t take long to be one of those.

  21. I love it, it was like reading a love scene only it’s with your car. If all our movements count to all we contribute to the world, then every time we wash our cars we should all sound this way. Deep appreciation for ourselves bringing deep appreciation to everything.

  22. When we honour what we feel rather than what we think a whole different thing happens in terms of the divine flow and order of things.

  23. It’s so true taking a prompt from the body and following its lead often takes us to an expected moment of delight. It’s totally divine.

  24. Yes every moment gives us an opportunity to self-care and build love through self-love. And we have a choice every moment to honor the messages of our body or override it.

  25. I love and appreciate the car wash services in London operated by mainly Eastern Europeans. I love being in their presence and observing the way they work, never dragging or resenting but willing, energetic and grateful to be working. Inspiring to see young men providing a service in all weathers with such dedication and love.

  26. Each time i get into my car I appreciate it as the immense gift to myself four years ago and reflection of my expanded inner-self worth. It’s immensely supportive, perfectly suited for my work and long journeys on motorways. For the first time when buying a car, I didn’t settle for second best or less. Instead and guided by a strong impulse, I went to a new and nearly new car dealership and test drove cars (another first).and knew instantly which one was the one. I’ve loved the choice made ever since, mirroring the new-found love I have for myself.

  27. What would we actually truly achieve when our body is not taken in true consideration? Would our human being ness not fail in many many ways since we are all living in a body? And so, is it than not simple, that if we face problems in our world, to reflect back to ourselves of how we are dealing with being in true consideration of our own body in all that we do, breath and walk. Shall we make it simple, by coming back to our body again?

  28. “I would add that I also felt a deeper commitment to myself and to caring for the amazing woman that I am. This experience has shown me that we are offered the opportunity to self-care in EVERY moment by simply choosing to listen to our body and honour the precious, tender and amazing vehicle it is.”A case of true self-honouring. It makes me ponder why I keep finding reasons to put-off washing my car.

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