Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh My, How It's Flying By!

8 days left 'til Christmas.
Can you believe it?!

Wasn't it summer, like, two weeks ago?

For me, this season has flown by with winged feet because of all the upheaval. They say that there are few major transitions in life, and that the top three are changing careers, moving, and changing relationships.

Well, I've
#1) recently taken on life coaching (or holistic health and wellness consulting, rather) full-time,
#2) moved across the country spent time visiting family, and hence, never spent more than three weeks in a row in the same house since, and
#3) spent the past few months planning a wedding.

I think those count as upheaval, no?

Transitions can be difficult. And though my current situation is a bit of an anomaly, I know, there are some things that we can all do to keep our heads (and happiness) when times are a'changin (like they are now, no matter whether you're moving or not), or things are happening like holidays (which are stressful).

One tool is to be mindful. I know that I preach mindfulness in its varied incarnations all the time, but that is because it's so important! Mindfulness can turn something like making a bed or cooking a meal from a necessary evil to a ritual of order and concentration, that clears your mind and your space, or nourishes you and your family, and therefore your life. It can turn a shower from a rushed few minutes to a time to purify and cleanse yourself, inside and out, letting the water carry away stresses and worries, and ending with you emerging clean, focused, and ready for the day. It can turn a long drive from a grumble-inducer to a car jam session (and seriously? As much as I griped about L.A. traffic, I totally miss my car jam sessions. Having everything within 10 minutes as it is here in Hazleton does have its drawbacks. You also can't be late with any good excuses...) So, all in all, mindfulness is something to cultivate. Now is the perfect time to practice it. You know what it definitely makes better? Gift wrapping.

Another tool is being present. This is a bit like being mindful, but the main difference here is that mindfulness is something that is within. Being present is both within and without. A great place to do this is in conversation. This time of year, more than any, is one during which we want to (or feel obligated to, either way) talk to those in our lives that are important to us. The problem is that we call, or visit, or send a card, and never actually SAY anything. We chat about the weather, about our children, about our jobs or our decorations or traffic or recipes. But we never really say anything at all. For that matter, we don't REALLY listen to each other.

Here's a goal for you today. Have a conversation, which you'll probably do sooner or later, and REALLY listen. Gather "all your marbles," or all the little flyaway thoughts and pieces of yourself that you've left all over because of your scattered attention (which we all do, especially now with five thousand lists constantly going in our heads), and be there, in the room, having that conversation, ONLY. Listen deeply and totally to what is being said, and when it comes time to answer, don't just throw out a polite response ("Hi, how are you?" "Good, how are you?" "Good, how are you?" - I've actually done that...) Rather, give a real, genuine, warm answer. Make their day a little better because, just for a moment, that person you were speaking to knew that they were the center of another's world. How often does that happen? How can it not spread good things in the world, if it becomes habit for all of us?

So those are your projects for the day. I'll do them too. Now I'm off to finish another dangone paper.

Today's quote:
We are all visitors to this time, this place.
We are just passing through.
Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to LOVE...
and then we return home.
~ Aborigine Philosophy

1 comment:

Karls said...

Funny how the things you dislike about a place are some of things you miss when you leave. The old 'you don't know what you've got, till its gone' scenario. Nice post!