While walking through the grocery store today I was surrounded by Christmas foods, drinks and decorations.
I’ve come to expect store displays to be put up early for various holidays. I was offered pumpkin-spice drinks in July. Valentine’s Day decorations will be up by December.
While I love the holiday season, there comes a point when consumer marketing keeps us from fully enjoying the current holiday at hand by encouraging us to focus on the holiday in three months.
It has me wondering…
How can we really be in the present moment
when everything around us is pushing us far into the future?
The short answer is by practicing mindfulness on a daily basis.
Mindfulness is a challenging, yet rewarding, tool that I teach all my clients, some who are working on healing from past trauma, some who are finding ways to express their gender in ways that match their authentic self, and some managing anxiety and depression.
What is mindfulness?
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines mindfulness as the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.
Why is mindfulness important?
Being mindful allows us to recognize what we are experiencing in this moment without judgment.
So often, when you’ve experienced painful past experiences, traumas, or hurts you find it’s easier to stuff those painful experiences away. However, they don’t really disappear; they just hide deep inside of us. Mindfulness helps us recognize our feelings and accept them without judging ourselves.
When you reconnect to your physical and emotional states it helps you recognize what are past hurts versus what are current hurts and address appropriately (so you aren’t blaming the nearest person for pain you have from your past).
Another benefit of being mindful is that you get to know who you are better. Removing the self-judgment allows you to better identify your likes and dislikes, what you want, what you don’t want, and what your truth is. This is a central component to leading an authentic life!
Being mindful allows us to enjoy the present moment. To savor in the joy of the moment without planning for the future or grieving for the past.
A Mindfulness Challenge
As we enter the holiday season, I want to challenge you. With the consumer driven world around you that encourages you to think and plan far, far ahead, I want you to stop and enjoy today!
Enjoy the leaves turning colors and falling from trees.
Enjoy the cooler weather and sprinkles of rain.
Enjoy the sounds around you as the seasons change.
Enjoy time with family and friends.
Enjoy the smells from freshly baked goods.
Enjoy each bite of your meals.
Enjoy each holiday as it approaches.
Enjoy figuring out what you want in this moment, without relying on what you wanted in the past, or might want in the future.
Be mindful and present each and every day.
What have your experiences been with staying mindful around the holidays? How does being mindful change your experiences and interactions with others? I’d love to hear about it. Share with me in the comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call at 916-547-3997 to let me know your thoughts.
Adriana Joyner, LMFT is a Sacramento Area therapist who specializes in providing counseling to people healing from trauma and abuse, and gender support for those within the LGBTQIA community. Her office is located in Gold River, CA located off Highway 50 at Sunrise Blvd. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (916) 547-3997 or email email@example.com.