I hope there’s been some celebrating underway for you this past week, regardless of your creed or culture. Even if you’re a member of the Holy Church of Nothing at All, you can at least find your way into a room full of someone else’s punch and cookies. Nothing wrong with that, as there seem to be a few extra laying around these days.
Celebrations were exactly what we were about earlier this week with Wednesday’s post. In addition to the “holi-daze” swirling around us, December can also be the bearer of good news. However, many of us have tendency to follow good news with the quiet hesitation of waiting for the other (metaphorical) shoe to drop. Not only does that make the party less fun, but it erases some pretty well-deserved joy.
Who wants to miss joy? Not me.
A mindfulness practice helps your mind and body become more attuned to what’s going on within them. Over time, you become better at noticing – without judging – the thoughts and emotions you’re experiencing, including when they shift, and you’re therefore able to make choices about what happens next. Sometimes, this helps you through tough stuff, which is great, but sometimes it helps make sure you don’t miss the happy times, too.
For this weekend’s “no-fail” mindfulness challenge, you’re going to need to be paying attention. That’s always the goal, so per usual, it would be a lot easier if you’ve dabbled in some mindfulness-related activity first. Take a few minutes to catch your breath using one of the guided meditations on this site, or your favorite app, or try some mindful walking, yoga, or visualization. Finding even 5 minutes each day this weekend to center your mind and reconnect with your body will make it more possible to figure out what’s going on with them.
Think of it as a phone call home. Doesn’t have to be long, but it’s the best way to figure out what’s going on there, you know…hey what’s up? How are you? They appreciate you asking, too. It’s a win-win.
So, once you’ve made sure mindfulness is on the (busy, busy, I know…) weekend agenda, you’re going to do some checking in. You’re going to pay attention to where your mind goes when good things happen – and trust me, something good will happen this weekend. Good things are happening all the time, but the question is whether you even notice them before you start checking them with complications.
Notice the happiness, relief, excitement, and optimism that pop up in your everyday life. If the storm clouds roll in, just observe, and then decide. Don’t beat yourself up about it because, psssst….that’s just more clouds. You have full permission here to come back to the warm fuzziness, and hang there as long as you want. It’s real, you earned it, and there’s no good reason to send it home early. If there are decisions to be made, logistics to be planned or questions to be resolved, they will be there. Give the good stuff it’s due spotlight, and enjoy letting it run its course.
There’s no better time of year for finding a few minutes to catch your breath. When it’s hardest to do is when you need it most. The season lends itself to both joy and rest like few others do. If you’re paying attention, you’ll be able to make the most of every moment — this weekend and well beyond.
Photo credit: Nubia Navarro