Christmas time self-care Mindfulness experiment

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22 December, 2016

End of year Mindfulness experiment…

Christmas time can be a time of joy but also can end up being a time full of pressure, perfection and expectations.  Usually we run around like crazy, being everything to everyone, see people that “trigger” us, spend way too much money and eat and drink like there is no tomorrow.  Is there another way…?

So, if you choose to accept, here is a little end of year mindfulness experiment.

Just STOP right now.

Take a moment to FEEL what this time of year means to you. Not think, feel (2-10 deliberate breaths may be all that is needed to listen…to your body). Your body has all the information and truth and often we don’t choose to listen. Our mind then overrides our body with our stories of “should” and “should not”.

How does YOUR body feel right now? Be curious. Are you fatigued? If so, where in your body? Is your chest feeling tight or open, or do you feel absolutely nothing? Numb? Are you feeling stretched and pulled in too many directions & overwhelmed? If so, where is that feeling in your body? Or are you excited, or calm and spacious in your body, if so where (stomach, gut, throat)? Note: excitement and anxiety can be a similar feeling in our body – the mind then interprets and labels this, depending on our past experiences.

The gut has its own nervous system called the Enteric Nervous System which gives us information about our choices. Whether they are in our best interests or not so much. It can be an interesting experiment to listen – or not.

Perhaps ask yourself what can you do right NOW in THIS very moment, to move just a little bit more towards what this time of year means to YOU. Or should I say, what you truly WANT it to mean for you? Perhaps more calm, more love, more connection, less connection, more fun, more nature, more quiet, more Netflix, more (or less) body & mind nurturing choices of what you put into your body, less spending on “stuff”, more spending etc….? This exercise is really about checking in with your body and asking if the choices you are making feel true and honouring, for all parts of you. A mind choice or body choice? Ideally both need to be heard.

Maybe it’s just taking a deep breath or two? Or stopping what you’re doing for 2 minutes and looking outside at the sky? Or making time today to jump in the ocean, or to take a nap (if you’re already on holidays…). Whatever you choose to do, remember that your body is always yearning to be noticed in some way.  We store so many old hurts, stress and memories in our body. Those “feelings” can get louder when we don’t listen. Especially at times of pressure such as Christmas. This could be an opportunity to listen and learn.

This is definitely what I’m trying to do myself at this time. A work in progress and I have to remind myself to do this daily…and this week in particular it feels I need to do it hourly. Just leaning in a little more toward what this time of year means for me and honouring more of what my body needs  – not just my to do list.

Wishing you a peace and presence in your body and mind at this time of year.

 

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