Seasons Greetings to you all! And at this time of year the words Peace and Goodwill are everywhere. And yet it's often a time when there is not much peace with the busyness of the Christmas build up- the advertising assault on our senses, presents to buy, getting the house ready, planning for the big day etc. And when we get busy, goodwill can be in short supply!
We spend so much time planning for what's to come, with that sense of driven doing-ness, that we can lose much of the enjoyment of Being with those moments when they finally arrive! And as soon as those moments arrive it can seem there's always something else to get onto, another task to complete. But as we know, the to-do list can seem to never end!
But we have a choice. We can pause - always the most difficult step - see what's here and make a more informed decision on what would be a more helpful thing to do next. And that may well be to savour the moment we are in, to appreciate where we are or to do something very different. And when mind, body and present moment come together , these can be moments of real joy.
Another theme of this time of year is the looking forward to the year to come and setting those intentions. At this weeks Sitting Group on Thursday we will be exploring this issue of intentions in a bit more detail as we practice Mindfulness in a group again.
We will be welcoming participants from my most recent course that has just finished, so as always please just turn up if you're free - Thursday 12th December, 6.30-8.30 pm downstairs at West View.
Whether you came last time, or haven't been for a year, it's an opportunity to cultivate those qualities that can be so helpful in living our lives to the full. It should be fun and there may be some Christmas surprises too!
Mindfulness is simply the first step in seeing what's here and from that more clear seeing, choosing what comes next, instead of simply reacting to what's here, influenced by whatever mood is present.
One of the many shifts that Mindfulness practice can help with is the ability to see that mood of the moment and instead of being carried away so readily, to be able to preference more helpful intentions - intentions such as kindness and compassion. And this preferencing of Goodwill is strengthened the more we practice it.
One excellent way of doing this (and perhaps a good Christmas present for yourself and a New Years intention rolled into one!) would be to take part in the Mindfulness Based Compassionate Living course led by Barbara Hussong in January- details HERE.
It's a follow on course for people who have already taken an 8 week course led by an excellent teacher, and as I found last year when I took the course as a participant , is a deeper exploration of what it means to live our lives more aligned to those values of Kindness and Compassion. I have been practising Mindfulness for 5 years now and continue to learn how strengthening these qualities can be so transformational yet takes some time to really soak in, especially if we spend a lot of time practising less helpful things! It's work in progress.
The course is limited to 10 places and bursary places are available (as with all our courses) so if you're interested please do apply.
I hope to see some of you on Thursday 12th and if I don't see you before wishing you much peace and goodwill over the festive season and beyond.