Regardless of your Spiritual, Religious or Santa beliefs during the Holiday season you're bound to feel the hustle and bustle about the streets and shops. Making plans to visit family, getting groceries, basic daily tasks can feel quite disorienting when we forget to simply come back to presence.
To practice mindfulness and come back to presence could be the greatest gift we give our family, friends and most importantly ourselves this holiday season. Here are some basic tips on the hows and whys.
Being present is actually quite simple. It means taking a moment, to just become aware of what is arising for you in this present moment. Acknowledge thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Become aware of your breath, the sound around you and the feeling of your feet on the ground.
The tricky part:
The tricky part is when we're really immersed in the hectic holiday fever there is bound to be one of the following arising for us: anxiety, anger, sadness, or any other feeling that we would generally label as "bad". Let's face it, 'tis the season to feel the full emotional spectrum, especially when going home to visit family.
Remember that what we resist will persist. To be present is to be present with whatever is rising even if it's something we don't like. The longer that we try to ignore, repress or end those emotions that we label as "bad" or "unwanted", the longer they're going to stick around for. The trick is that we cannot practice presence with the intention of LOSING or STOPING the feeling. To be present with them is to accept them. To have the patience for whatever is rising but also reminding ourselves that "this too shall pass".
It's all Energy:
Everything is made up of energy and energy can either flow or contract. When we try to stop the present moment from being as it is, energy begins to contract and the longer we try to stop the flow the larger the contraction will become.
Take a moment, check in with yourself what is here & now? See if you can allow whatever is present to be present. Notice that the mind is constantly labeling things as good or as bad. If there is something "bad" in your present moment give it space to be there. See if you can locate it in your body. What does it feel like? Remind yourself that Presence is not something that you cultivate it is what you ARE. You are never NOT PRESENT. Everything is arising within you as awareness, thoughts, sensations, good feelings and yes, bad feelings. All of it will rise within you and all of it will go. Nothing lasts but presence itself.
The physical, mental and emotional benefits of practicing mindfulness are endless. If you'd like to know about them go ahead and google it and you'll find ample information. However, I'd like to invite you to integrate mindfulness into your holidays as a gift to your family, friends and yourself. When we can be more present in our life we naturally find our days to be more rich and fulfilling. If we can be even just a tiny bit more present this season then we're bound to have more gratitude, joy and contentment and it is from these places that enriching holiday memories can be made.