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My Best Self - Christmas 2019

Posted: by Jo Wednesday, 30 October 2019 @ 14:29

Now that the clocks have gone back, and we are entering the last months of the year, our thoughts turn to the festive season, as shops fill with Christmas cards and decorations, and Christmas lights are erected in our towns and cities.

For many, Christmas is a time of joy and excitement, with carol services to attend, friends and family to spend time with, and festive feasting to enjoy. For others, Christmas can feel busy and stressful, with too many demands and expectations; or a time of greater loneliness and hardship, increasing life’s normal challenges.

That’s why we have chosen,

‘Be still, be present, be mindful’

as our Mantra of the Month this time, to see what advice we can learn from this.

These words are a powerful call to mindfulness – for us to be in the present moment, giving it our full attention – not being distracted by our busy lives and even busier thoughts. It is a call to slow down, take some deep breaths, and be still and calm. It is a call to notice the things happening around us – paying attention to how others feel, as well as to ourselves.

still, present, mindful mantra necklace

We think it is a brilliant mantra to take us all through the Christmas period.

The first part, ‘Be still’, reminds us to make time for just ‘being’. Christmas is a time when it is all too easy to over-commit. In our heads, we imagine we will have time to catch up with friends, spend time with our family, go to parties, watch tv, chill out, fit in some sale shopping, make plans for a new start…. You name it, we think we can cram it in!

But the reality is that Christmas is as much an idea, as it is a period of time. And there is never enough time to fit everything in. So, block out chunks of time in your actual, or your mental, diary, to keep free for just being still. Don’t over-schedule or over-plan. Whether you choose to meditate, or just sit quietly with a cup of tea – make time to be on your own and at peace.

The next phrase – ‘Be present’ – is about really being in the moment. Doing things with your full attention, with your mind fully focused on the person you are with and the activity you are doing. No looking at your mobile, mid-conversation; no re-hashing things that happened yesterday; no fretting about all the things you have to do; no getting distracted by something more exciting that takes your eye.  

Give each individual event – lunch with a friend, dinner with extended family, drinks at your neighbours – proper time, rather than rushing to another commitment. Make people feel valued and important, by spending quality time with them, and giving them your whole attention.

And lastly – ‘Be mindful’. This means to be aware, as well as to be present. To really pay attention and notice things, rather than rushing through life on autopilot. Notice the beauty of nature around you; notice the scents and tastes that bring Christmas to mind for you; notice how you are feeling, and what makes you smile and feel good.  

One of the quickest shortcuts to being mindful is to take yourself outside, and really look around. Being in nature brings us right back to the present moment, as we notice the sun, the wind or the rain on our face; we feel warmth or cold; we hear birds singing; see trees and branches moving; watch water flowing.

And notice other people. Pay attention to how they are feeling, and whether they need help. Be thoughtful and considerate – mindful of others – as well as being mindful in the way you approach things.

So - say this mantra to yourself as a calming and grounding reminder, whenever you find your mind rushing from one thing to the next. Write it on a post-it and stick it in the car; save it as a note on your phone; stick a postcard on your kitchen noticeboard.

Whatever it takes to bring it to mind – embrace ‘Be still, be present, be mindful’ for the festive season.

To help you remember this mantra, why not wear it on a necklace? We feel it’s one of the best ways to bring an inspiring phrase to mind. We have 15% off our Mantra Disc Necklace, ‘Still,present, mindful’, right through until Christmas.

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