A Life lesson: Hanging the Washing and Appreciating the Woman I Am

Reflections – we see them everywhere, not just when we look into a mirror and admire how gorgeous we are, or when we watch the ripples softly flow along the water, but the ever present reflections and lessons we have on offer from people and routines that are a part of our everyday life. The learning is endless.

I arrived home from a short trip with my mum this morning and put on a load of washing for the working week ahead. I began to hang my clothing on the line with my favourite bright coloured pegs, the sun was shining and I felt an overwhelming feeling to stop and adore my washing line.

As I placed each item on the line, I could feel this deep appreciation and love for every piece. This reflected to me the space that I allow myself, and the quality of care I take in the finer details of every part of my day. Each item was placed with such care and delicateness too – I could feel every movement I made, from picking the clothing up out of the basket, to gently reaching up to peg it to the line in one graceful motion.

What was presented on my line were lovely black basics like dresses and skirts but they were cut closer to my figure than the clothes I used to wear and accentuated my curves beautifully. I also have a huge love for brightly coloured socks with funky patterns, which I always loved the idea of but never really committed to wearing. Now I do, and when I wear them I always feel a warm smile on my face when I catch a glimpse of colour gleaming from beneath my hemline.

Clothing even though it is a material item, can offer an honest insight into how we feel about ourselves as women and who we are to the world at large.

In the past I would often wear items that were baggy, old or just not quite right for me, simply to hide who I was and to make myself small and dare I say it, ‘not so visible,’ but it’s so much fun to now see how much appreciation can come from my choices as a woman, to allow myself to be celebrated in what I choose to wear and essentially, wrap my beautiful body in everyday.

Being more honest and listening to how I feel and what clothing feels right for me is amazing and it’s super fun to boot.

It’s like I am re-learning the art of conversation with my body and it’s a conversation that has been so needed and so nurturing all in one.

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Kelly Zarb 2016

One other huge shift for me is in regards to my underwear choices. In the past I always stayed safe and bought fairly plain bras and undies and I never really ventured into lace or little ribbons and such, but now my washing line is covered with beautiful lace undies with lovely soft fabrics and pretty floral prints, and I also have matching bras too, because what woman doesn’t deserve a set of gorgeousness on their bodies? (One question I always had was why do people call underwear ‘unmentionables’? Underwear should definitely be mentioned, and with full appreciation for the beautiful bodies that wear them).

The last major love of hanging my washing is seeing spots. No, not feeling faint from the sun or hot weather, but the pattern. I love spotty patterns but I was always too scared to wear them because I thought I would be called a little girl. I have this amazing navy and white spot linen dress which makes me feel like I have stepped into a 1950’s movie and I love how the fabric breathes and lets a beautiful breeze through on a hot day.

So today’s lesson is that hanging washing can be fun and deeply confirming in how we are living our daily lives, reflecting the joy we feel inside out into the world and beyond.

That’s why I love hanging my washing, the beautiful reflection it shares serves as a lovely lesson in deep appreciation for all that I am as a woman and my ever-deepening relationship with me.

By Kelly Zarb, Retail Manager, Melbourne, Australia

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Can beautiful lingerie confirm us as women or is it an expensive luxury? Read one woman’s journey: Discovering the Joy of Wearing a Bra and Uncovering More of the Woman I Am.

“Why do we feel we need to make excuses when we dress up?”  when we could try dressing as beautifully as we feel

562 thoughts on “A Life lesson: Hanging the Washing and Appreciating the Woman I Am

  1. I love this ritual of hanging the clothes on the line and it can feel really good arranging clothes on a dryer inside too but I have noticed that when I use a tumble dryer I tend to just shove the clothes in without such care. I hardly ever use a tumble dryer and realise how I might have had judgements, even resentment around them and their use and the energy they use…time to drop all of that and appreciate these machines and treat my clothes or linens with more respect and due care as of from now.

  2. This shows the great celebration of you claiming yourself Kelly, with such a joy for your choices to feel into what you want to buy and wear to bring all of you into your day and shine so everyone you come into contact with you will see all of you. I know the scenario of hiding ourselves behind baggy clothes … no more, let’s celebrate.

  3. In every moment we are given an opportunity to appreciate and embrace ourselves. It doesn’t matter what we do, what it is or where we are on our journey there is never any excuse or justification to not appreciate and adore ourselves.

  4. Life is what we make it – hanging out the washing can be a chore or a gift – it is our choice how we do things in life.

  5. “It’s like I am re-learning the art of conversation with my body and it’s a conversation that has been so needed and so nurturing all in one”
    Listening to the body is our direct map home.

  6. “Clothing even though it is a material item, can offer an honest insight into how we feel about ourselves as women and who we are to the world at large” – spot on Kelly, I know and experience for myself that when I feel amazing inside myself that whatever I wear has that same quality to it and people can feel it from me … not through the clothes per se but they feel or are sensing it through the way I am being with my body; the clothes being confirmation of that feeling or my personal-hold.

  7. Hanging out the washing can be a good stop moment to see where I am really at, today I hung it it out lovingly with presence and enjoying what I was doing, some days however I can be super rushed and literally just throw it on the clothes hanger!

  8. I too “am re-learning the art of conversation with my body and it’s a conversation that has been so needed and so nurturing all in one”. And it’s amazing when you start to converse with your body how it instantly wants to talk back, and when listened to intently, it always has the most loving messages to share. Even when they may not be the messages we really wanted to hear they are always shared with the greatest love; now how can we ever choose to ignore a love-filled message?

  9. Yes yes yes love this blog and all its reminding us to do – APPRECIATE ourselves. We need to have a wave of appreciation that goes across the world extending to all women – we are gorgeous and our main problems come from not accepting it.

  10. Bringing all that we are to all that we do in life is a real game changer as it allow space to receive reflections of our living way. Sometimes we are reflected that a change may be necessary in an area of our life or equally we may receive a confirmation that we are on the right path. I will definitely be paying more attention to the way I hang out my washing in future, and will take time to observe what is being offered to me from the line up on my clothes line. Should be fun;))

  11. Thank you Kelly, reading through your blog again today I was able to reflect on new choices I’m making with clothing and how I dress, including enjoying dressing up even when I’m at home because I feel so lovely adorning myself with a beautiful outfit – and then there are days when I am not so connected to me and as a result not honouring my inner self and inner beauty by not taking the care in how I dress. But it’s such a lovely feeling to deeply honour myself and bring care and love in the detail to my clothing, and in selecting what I want to wear. Lots to reflect on from your beautiful blog!

  12. It can be easier to appreciate the bigs things in life but we tend to forget about the everyday small things that we take for granted such as hanging up the washing or the sun on our body or the floor when it has just been washed, but when we do we open our eyes to seeing so much more. I helped clean some windows the other day and I could feel the difference in the panes of glass, some were silky and others not so, and I enjoyed appreciating the difference and the fact I was able to feel it and this made the job even more enjoyable than usual.

  13. ‘So today’s lesson is that hanging washing can be fun and deeply confirming in how we are living our daily lives, reflecting the joy we feel inside out into the world and beyond.’ What a beautiful lesson and it shows that every mundane task matters and is a reflection of how we choose to live from inside out.

  14. I love how you shared this about something that is generally such an everyday task, ‘That’s why I love hanging my washing, the beautiful reflection it shares serves as a lovely lesson in deep appreciation for all that I am as a woman and my ever-deepening relationship with me.’

  15. There is so much to appreciate in life – big and small – and the choice is always ours to do so (or not). This is a beautiful example of how to bring appreciation into the small every day activities of life.

  16. Kelly this is a beautiful confirmation of how a true quality brought to the smallest details is key to appreciating and adoring our innermost connection that emanates through the body, the eyes, reflects through the clothing and the grace of our movements in daily ‘tasks’ as hanging out the washing with grace and joy.

  17. I too love spots on clothing but have not paid much attention to this liking except if I saw an item of clothing with spots on it I would have to try it on. Its interesting and what I get from this is how important it is to listen to the feelings that arise within the body, no matter how small or petty we think they are and to not ignore the messages as they are offering something for us to look at and it may well be something as simple as taking note and honouring what we love.

  18. Beautiful to feel how you use an everyday activity like hanging your washing as an opportunity to appreciate the choices you are making in your life. A lovely way to celebrate your evolving relationship with yourself.

  19. I love how we can bring appreciation into so many parts of our life, ‘As I placed each item on the line, I could feel this deep appreciation and love for every piece.’

  20. I love hanging my wash out, always felt like that, fresh clean wash going through my hands one by one, hanging them on the line. Every item gets the same attention and care and it is like meditation it connects me with me, my body and my stillness within.

  21. Sometimes we get a bit too serious when it comes to our clothes as they show us how we are set in our ways and in a groove. Reading the comments on this blog has given me a sense of fun and joy that can come with picking and wearing clothes.

  22. The wonderful thing about you are expressing here, is that to feel gorgeous in yourself and then to express this in your clothing choices is actually a presentation, or a gift to the world, because it will be all of us who gets to enjoy you feeling amazing. And this is important because this is about being aware of what we each contribute to the world as there is much suffering and misery, so why not give back a little sunshine and joy instead?

  23. A beautiful sharing Kelly, “It’s like I am re-learning the art of conversation with my body and it’s a conversation that has been so needed and so nurturing all in one.” this has been a slow unfolding for me, thank you for sharing your gorgeousness with us, I will look at hanging out the washing in a much different light.

  24. “It’s like I am re-learning the art of conversation with my body and it’s a conversation that has been so needed and so nurturing all in one.” This is lovely it is great reminder to lovingly talk to our body to converse in a way that is supportive and caring instead of criticising, finding fault and trying to make ourselves feel less.

  25. Love this blog and now l appreciate so much more in my new relationship with the linen line – washing line.

  26. I also love bringing my washing in, it smells so fresh when having been blowing in the wind and sun for a while. I love to carefully and lovingly fold my clothes and place them in the airing cupboard where they will be ready and warm for me when I need them. Some things, like cotton sheets, do well with an iron and that I am yet to master.

  27. Being honest and listening to how we feel opens our awareness so that we are able to build a deeper relationship with ourselves and learn to express from the quality and beauty of our true essence.

  28. Kelly thanks to your sharing I came to understand that the level of care for the little details is a reflection of how we are within ourselves. Whatever is done on the outside is worth to appreciate it as always is an opportunity to see and feel what is the quality of our movements in every single moment, and regardless of what we do, whether is right or wrong, true or not, is equally precious, as we are us who are in it.

  29. I was just hanging out my beautiful sheets with a classic old-fashioned linen-type lace decoration along the top (called, would you believe, ‘fagotting’), and so appreciating these sheets and the beautiful sunny day. As far as clothes go, I am finding it harder and harder to find clothes that I like now that I have gone down to a size 6, and also meed to mostly have sleeves. At least I can still enjoy and appreciate the sheets!

  30. There is a lot of joy and lightness in this article, a way of being in life that is appreciative. Life is so much about how we are with it, and what we stop and appreciate.

  31. I often think of this blog when I am hanging out my washing – I have never liked doing this job and will often rush it – lately though I have been more present loving and accepting of myself whist doing it – we can change and bring love into any action at any moment.

  32. Everything in life is a reflection, from the underwear to our clothes line; I remember seeing a most beautiful cloud in the shape of a heart when hanging up my washing once and it felt like a true blessing.

    1. I love this Gabriele! I always love hanging out clothes on the line – it is a wonderful chance to be off the computer and breathing in the fresh air, admiring the clouds , trees bushes and birds – and simply drinking in the freshness of it all. I could easily say that hanging out the clothes is one of my favourite tasks and it always reminds me to come back to my rhythm if I have lost it.

      1. Thanks for sharing this Lyndy! I have always had fond memories of hanging out the washing as a young girl and looked forward to the weekly fresh new bedsheets. This was part of my rhythm of making my bed and then having that cuddled time with my mother as I went to sleep. An opportunity to appreciate the woman I am and the woman my mother is!

  33. To hang the wash is a beautiful ritual which helps me to support myself to connect deeper within after a full day.

  34. Sometimes I can take for granted the level of detail and care I have for very simple tasks in life like hanging the washing. For some men/partners they think this seems a bit OCD (and it may be for some), but when I take care of details, I feel the care I have for what I am doing. I feel how the way I place or line things up creates angles that are in harmony with everything around me, leaving me with a feeling of space like a big sigh.

  35. When we dress ourselves with love and playfulness on the outside it is a reflection of all that we are within.

  36. It is so true Kelly that we are constantly being reflected through our choices, the degree of love we live for ourselves and how deeply we honor and appreciate who we are as women. And what I find inspiring is that regardless of how we feel on any day, or in any moment, there is always more wonder to explore, embrace and live. As in-truth here is no end to the celebration of the divinity we are and are here to live.

  37. Beautiful sharing Kelly I could feel the joy in your words. We are so worth appreciating and celebrating even in how we hang our washing out to dry!

  38. To confirm what is true in essence in each moment allows us to bring ourselves more fully to life, especially in the most ordinary of daily tasks.

  39. Totally love—Women talking about our intimate clothing and spotty fashion, absolutely, why not? The fun and joy we have with ourselves is definitely worth sharing with the world.

    1. So true Adele. Our femininity, joyfullness and delicate nature is very worth sharing and very needed in this world which is full of seriousness, competition, hardnesss…all are about qualities that we have created but what we choose by connecting with our true nature as women makes a huge difference.

  40. A close relative of my mine commented on my underwear yesterday with: ‘that is no underwear, that is decoration!’ And I have to agree with her the beautiful lingerie that she saw is an absolute celebration of myself as a delicate, tender and colourful woman.

    1. Absolutely love it Monika! I love beautiful underwear too, and even when for a while I wasn’t earning and only on the Age Pension i still bought expensive gorgeous underwear. there is not a layer in life that doesn’t count! Each layer has an energy – a joy, or not.

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