According to Jane, lockdown could gift us an opportunity to be more mindful this winter
2020 has asked us to look deeply at our lives; at what is important and what can be allowed to fall away. Christmas is no different. While we may initially feel hard done by, upset or annoyed at enforced shifts in our habitual traditions, maybe, just maybe it’s an opportunity to make it more meaningful; more mindful.
Going back in time, Christmas was a festival of gratitude, of thanksgiving – rather than a bacchanal of reckless consumerism. Sit down (by all means with a glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate) and ask yourself how you want to feel this Yuletide. What is really important? Love, joy, connection? Peace and calm? Fun, excitement, laughter? Then start pondering how you could foster those feelings.
Bring mindfulness to everything you do. Make time to enjoy, rather than race through, the rituals of Christmas. If you don’t have time, question your rituals – are they too complex? Are you obediently continuing habits that no longer serve you? Make this the year you break the pattern. Rituals need to bring a deep sense of joy to everyone involved. Please drop ideas of perfectionism; resist the urge to Instagram your tree, your cooking, your present-wrapping. Include everyone (who wants to be involved) and let go of expectations – find the joy.
My favourite Christmas meditation is one of the simplest. Turn off the lights and lie quietly on the floor. Focus on your breath, noticing your inhale and exhale (and the small pauses in between). Think about your life – about the people you love (especially those who can’t be with you); ponder all the blessings you have in your life (even the tiniest ones). Now slowly, put the lights back on, one by one.
If there’s a clear night, head outside, wrap up super-warm, lie down on the ground (pop a groundsheet underneath so you don’t get soggy) and stare up at the stars. Feel yourself supported by this beautiful earth, our amazing home. Send your consciousness up into the wild wide night sky and feel yourself as a vital part of the universe. Remind yourself you’re made, quite literally, of stardust.
Extend your mindfulness to your gifts too. We’re all rethinking our spending habits (or we certainly should be) so put real thought into what you buy and where you buy it from. Please support your local and independent shops and remember that hand-made presents are the loveliest of all – there is nothing more heartwarming than a gift into which you’ve put time and effort as well as thought. And, while I’m sure you always help out homeless people, remember Christmas can be a particularly tough and lonely time if you’re on the streets. Take time to check in, to see and hear them, rather than just racing by. Expand your heart.
Christmas may be very different this year but it can still be magical. By bringing mindfulness to everything, who knows, it could be more special than ever.
Jane’s book The Energy Secret – Practices and Rituals to Unlock your Inner Energy for Healing and Happiness (Kyle Books, £14.99) is available now.
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