This Blog comes to you on Christmas day 2017, so before I forget, may I bid you all seasons greetings and may the light of prosperity, peace and freedom, shine on you now and in the year ahead.
FEAR NOT, friends and the world at large……there is no invisible link to this email/blog that will take you uncontrollably into an outbreak of me attempting to sing the tune that is well associated with a very popular ice cream!
No, far from it in fact.
I have been reflecting recently, about how, as adults, we gradually lose the awareness of the “now”.
You see, as we get older, we start working and driving, we have rent or a mortgage to pay, then kids and grandkids, and then more work responsibility. So as our degree of responsibility grows, our focus is nearly always, “drawn” to the future. Sometimes to a point where, it is highly possible, we can actually never, or are rarely, present in the moment.
Thus, the title, “ITS NOW OR NEVER”, because this very moment right now, will never be here again. (Unless someone discovers an actual way to travel through time)
CHRISTMAS COMES THIS TIME EACH YEAR
Again, I must reassure you that I am not going to expose you to a subliminal, mind bending sound track, (beyond the frequency that most humans are able to detect) of the well-known festive song with the lyric above!
However, maybe the image below will be enough to at least sow a musical seed (?)
This time of year, can be joyous, magical and all the good things that life can be. However, it can also be an emotional painful time when we miss terribly, people we have lost.
The hard news is that, if you find yourself falling into the latter of the two descriptions, it is unlikely that this will change rapidly, but there is a way that we can, over the course of time, cope better with these sad emotions.
Perhaps you can rally yourself to think about creating new traditions, which, in time, help toward a healing of your sadness (?)
SHAPING YOUR OWN MEMORIES
An example of this, may be, setting your alarm nice and early on Christmas Day, making a picnic, wrapping up warm and going for a hike (?)
I did this a few years ago, and it was really helpful to be out in the fresh air wrapped up, and finding a nice spot to rest with a hot flask of tea and a sandwich.
Sometimes the simplest things……
The serenity, and charming captivation of this particular day in our calendar, when we create a new tradition, can be a welcome change to what may have been a previous pattern which has been “torn” to shreds.
In this process, you are shaping your own memories.
BACK TO THE HERE AND NOW
I must offer my apology, for this blog “darting” back and forth between subject matter, but there is a tenuous link here, in so far as, the practising of mindfulness on Christmas Day, (or for that matter any other significant day that you may find a terribly upsetting time) can be a tremendously self-empowering experience.
STARTING AT THE BEGINNING
So how do we start with being mindful?
I’ve often experimented with ways to interlink mindfulness practice into the pressures of daily life.
The process is simple: “mindfulness meets this moment now”, the result is being aware and present. It also has the effect of quieting the inner voices saying “shouldn’t I be practising my mindfulness?”(!!!!)
Being mindful in the activities we already include in our lives is a great way to start. Many of these activities— cooking, gardening, running, going to the gym, come to mind though the list is potentially much longer. So it’s not a big leap, and it can be time well spent in more ways than one.
I am reminded, in the moment of writing, once again of my days as a martial artist and an exercise “nut”. Why? Well, it will often take a thousand CORRECT repetitions of a physical movement for this to become a reflex action. In my “tiny mind”, why would it be any less with mindfulness implementation?
When we bring mindfulness into our daily routines, (washing the car, doing the dishes, sorting laundry, eating) what we’re doing is bringing a bit more focus to each moment. Without that focus, the things we routinely do around the house or at the office tend to be part of our “accomplishing self,” that part of ourselves that is goal-oriented and constantly checking off a to-do list. (I know I fall in to this trap with regularity) It’s hard to be mindful when your activities are only part of a bigger plan to get things done.
For example, when washing the dishes is just part of “cleaning up the kitchen,” it makes it harder to be with that one moment fully. We tend to rush to get things done in order to get to the next task. And it’s when we’re in this “doing” state that we can easily start “cycling” through the to-do list rather than being with what’s happening in the moment.
I especially like the practice of bringing mindfulness into a daily routine when that routine includes other people, like having lunch or holding a meeting. It reminds me that we don’t have to be alone to bring our awareness into whatever we’re doing in the moment.
Another main benefit of the “art of being present” is that it reminds me that mindfulness is both a practice and a simple way of being. Being mindful isn’t simply the outcome of doing a regular more “formal” practice, a prize, so to speak, that we get for being dutiful. It isn’t a by-product of something we did before; it’s just what we’re doing now.
I have recently taken up Motorcycling again after a very long break. Now motorcycles are far quicker and more powerful than when I last rode. I, conversely am older and my reaction times are much slower. I am extremely mindful and aware of these two facts. So much so, that, as my wife likes to ride pillion, I have to be 100% in the moment so that ABSOLUTELY nothing enters my mind while I am riding, in order to avoid accidents. On a motorcycle you don’t get a second chance.
At the same time, mindfulness is not about one form of practice opposed to the other, it’s not about bringing mindfulness into our daily life and setting aside time to sit quietly. It’s about how one can complement the other and about how the two work together to create a continuity of awareness.
Try it, what have you got to lose?
I will be taking a break from blogging for a while, though from time to time I may post an entry, so I bid you all well.
If anyone would like to contact me directly then you are welcome to do so:
With Love and respect