At this time of year, just a couple of weeks to go before Christmas, and it sometimes seems like the world has gone mad!
I must say, it’s a real test of our yoga practice to know that we cankeep calm and centred throughout all the overwhelm. It’s such a shame that the Christmas message of love and goodwill has turned into a really frenetic time for many people, emotionally and physically.
It seems inevitable that this time of year will see a few of us drinking more than usual. Which is fun when we’re with friends and we’re celebrating all the good that there is in life, and commiserating with our family those things that didn’t go quite right, and we’re relaxing whilst we’re sharing what we’ve learnt over the year. And if you’ll feel the effects of those drinks afterwards, MFML is right here when you need us – join in our gentle hangover class.
When all the world goes a little bit crazy, I thought I’d just share some of my hints and tips for keeping grounded, centred and happy.
- I take a lot of long walks. Walking is really my thing, it always takes me back to my happy feeling. It takes me away from my head, into my body, and the feeling of the cold wind on my face snaps me back into the here and now like nothing else. I walk in nature, which is just so good for the soul and good for perspective. Somehow, when we’re in nature we can see the reality that we’re all connected to the outside world, we are nature!
- I take deep breaths. Yes, this is now a cliché, but honestly, taking a deep breath acts like a reset. Just when you were feeling reactive and would say something perhaps you’d regret, give yourself space to take that sacred pause. Just take some deep breaths. Still not sure how? Try our brand new course: Move Into Calm.
- I make sure I do my daily practice. Yes, I know we’re really really busy. But that’s such an old excuse. You have 12 minutes a day to give yourself permission to feel better for the remainder of 23 hours 28 minutes of the day. Given those proportions, surely it’d be just silly not to create a few minutes to just move, breathe or meditate.
- I remind myself to stay in the here and now. Yes, there will be moments over the Christmas period when we’ll feel triggered. Maybe it’s over the use of the word ‘Christmas’ when you’re not a Christian. Or it’s because you’re with your family. Or perhaps it’s because you’re not with your family and you’re feeling alone. The best thing to do is to breathe deeply into the feeling. When you start feeling something you don’t like, just ask yourself ‘where does that feel?’ Get curious about the feeling. And then see that others perhaps have the same feeling. And we can approach our emotions with a sense of curiosity that they can and will pass, and we know that this here and now will also pass. And we might well regret not really being present for this Christmas. So really try to stay present with whatever is, and stay curious rather than reactive.
- Give yourself and others the gift of time. I’m not sure about you, but it seems to me that time is the only thing I don’t have. It’s so rare to see me without a device attached to me somehow. I’m either working, writing, checking, or scrolling. Are you the same? And for me, a very lucky person to live a privileged existence, really time is the only precious commodity left. And with this privilege I shall be giving the gift of my time to those I love and care about. Time with no devices. Time set aside to make conversation and understand others. That gift, of being present, and gifting your time generously, not half heartedly or attached to a device, is one of the rarest and best gifts we can give.
Kat and Team MFML
17 December 2018