by KATHY WILSON
I witnessed my first seasonal road rage yesterday. 2 cars. Much swearing and many hand gestures. Nothing seemed to be resolved and everyone drove off steaming and unhappy
How did I know it was seasonal road rage, not just the garden variety kind?
One of the cars (and believe me I wish I was making this up) had an enormous Christmas tree strapped to its roof racks.
Last week, school bells rang out around the country for the last time in 2012. Desperate parents have started to scour internet lists for cheap ways to entertain kids that don’t involve killing animated characters or dancing like Madonna on an off day.
Shopping centres have started to fill up and have taken on a slightly desperate feel as if someone was pumping some kind of chemical though the air conditioners.
People are wandering around muttering things like “haven’t even started my Christmas shopping yet…” and “please God, don’t make me spend Christmas Day again with Great Uncle Joe. ….”
None of it’s new and, despite what Great Uncle Joe says, it’s probably not much worse than it was in 1956.
This year, though, I am bringing with me a new tool to my festive season.
“Really?” I can hear you say. “Not gin?”
Mindfulness is an ancient, non religious form of meditation that had its beginnings in the teachings of the Buddha more than 2000 years ago (but don’t let that put you off).
It just means making a decision to bring awareness to right now. The here and now. Or as someone once described it to me “being here on purpose.”
Wouldn’t that be the best possible use of your time during this festive season?
It means focusing only on what you are doing right now. Whether it be the feel of the warm soapy water on your hands as you wash up the dishes or the taste of the piece of chocolate as you slowly eat it. It doesn’t mean pretending everything is perfect but accepting “what is” with kindness and non-judgement.
I’ve come to the mindfulness party a bit late. You know how some toys suddenly seem to appear as if from nowhere at Christmas time and completely dominate the festive landscape? People queue for hours to get them, many sometimes without even really understanding exactly what they do or why they might need them.