December in the West and to some extent in the East now, is dominated by our obsession with the Christmas festivities.
I invite you to pause for a moment and ask yourself these few questions:
What does Christmas mean to you?
Do you remember celebrating it in the same way when you were younger?
Do you recall what your favourite ever Christmas was ? What made it so special?
In a world dominated by media and incessant adverts ( now starting earlier than ever) it is so difficult to remain focused on the things that really matter such as our health, our loved ones, our planet just to name a few. Every year we perpetuate the belief that HAVING (giving and receiving) bring us happiness when really human happiness is not in the objects we believe bring us it , joyfulness resides within , it is a creation of our own mind.
Here are my top tips for a more mindful Christmas :
Shop Ethically and Locally : support your fellow humans and the environment , do your best to minimise landfill by buying responsibly produced products from the gifts to the food on your table.
Less is more : save money and enhance gratification by buying less "stuff"and more meaningful presents for your loved ones, shop around and don't be tempted by the supermarket's displays.
Eat mindfully : Christmas lunch at my grandparents was a 3 hour long affair, all the food was lovingly prepared by grandma in the course of several days prior to the event and we would take a very long time eating it , savouring every mouthful and chatting ( or shouting in most cases ) across the table with cousins and uncles. I have very fond memories of those days and on hindsight the food preparation had a big part to play, it was never rushed and always part of the celebration.
This Christmas take time to prepare your family meal, peel and chop those veggies slowly, choose responsibly farmed meats or go veggie for a change!
Practice the second Nyiama, Santosha ( contentment) : take time to sit around the table and take a moment to appreciate all you have , a roof over your head, table and chairs, food on the plate , people you love around you... we have plenty , be content ...
Namaste and Happy Christmas x