When my husband was in primary school for the first time, meeting his new teacher, she stood him in a classroom and told him gently to ‘wait here for the present’. My husband (being a hopeful sort of child) did exactly as he was told… he waited…and waited….sadly the longed for ‘present’ never materialised! I think he sobbed uncontrollably. Interestingly, he has never forgotten this story and how he felt all those years ago…
My clients often report that some childhood events are so deeply embedded in our unconscious that we can return to events from decades ago, seemingly in the blink of an eye, fully immersing ourselves in ‘the moment’.
Isn’t it strange then that we often forget that once upon a time, as children we were also very ‘present’ able to chop and change our emotional responses at the ‘drop of a hat’ so quick and mercurial are feelings at this age.
If you ever notice a very small person (especially at Christmas) they can flit between emotions so dramatically that it can be exhausting watching them! And yet….maybe they are on to something; maybe this is a healthier way to manage our state? I don’t mean by weeping and wailing when the photocopier is jammed or lying crestfallen on the floor when Roger from accounts has told you your invoice will be paid late – no perhaps something a little more in keeping with adult hood but re-connects to your ‘inner child’. This is where I believe that mindfulness can help.
This Christmas, I invite you to enjoy the ‘present’ with a ‘moment of mindfulness’. Instead of checking emails or rushing around, spend a moment looking out of a window or staring into space with a cuppa…and just notice your emotions. Without judgement, without labelling thoughts or feelings as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, just notice what you notice. Give your brain a break rather than avoiding your emotions or filling every tiny space with ‘stuff’. Just watch your emotions come and go without having to do anything with them, so much easier to deal with the photocopier jam if you approach it with the curiosity of a child (health and safety disclaimer I do not mean poke it with a biro!).
Similarly, standing in a queue? Use the time to have some ‘mindful moments’… stuck in traffic? Late for work? You are where you are. No point rushing or stressing, spot the yellow cars! Your inner child will thank you for it!
If you are interested in finding out more about finding your moment for mindfulness, please contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JuliePhillipsTC/