So, it is the cusp of the Christmas season and I have been making lists and girding my loins and getting ready to brave the shops. No matter how many ways that I try to minimize the commerciality of Christmas in my life, I still have three kids and a family in Canada to seek out and buy gifts for. All of the shops and lists can be so overwhelming, not to mention the early December postal deadline for parcels overseas. My head feels crazy.

Vintage mechanical monkey toy with santa hat and beard

Then as I was speaking with a friend this morning, I mentioned my crazy Christmas head and they said ‘OK, but don’t let crazy Christmas head ruin your weekend-  Be kind to yourself, take one step at a time and enjoy it!’

Crazy Christmas head froze like a deer caught in the headlights, as the words rolled around in my brain- “Be Kind? One step at a time? You mean like practice being mindful and compassionate?”

Once again, my practice had slipped between my fingers and the stories of long lines, crowded malls, not enough time…not enough time… I will never get it done…I will fail and ruin Christmas…Blah Blah Blah… had overrun my thinking thoughts. It’s Nov. 30th– of course there is enough time.

So, I got off the phone and asked myself the question:

Within reason, what preparations for Christmas can I undertake this weekend and this weekend alone?

The answer was simple, short and very doable. This weekend, I will create the space to build my parcel and I try to simply be with that one task. If I feel my crazy Christmas head bubbling, I will try to notice this and bring my attention back to the one task I am doing with a kind gentleness. And you know what? It will get done and by being present for it, by reducing the panic of the season, I might even enjoy it.

So, this week’s challenge is to see if we can single task our days. Can we take one job at a time and simply be present before moving on to the next? Can we resist the temptation to allow the whole cacophony of the day’s jobs to invade our space? Instead, can we be with our lists one item at a time? It doesn’t mean we will get any less done, only that we may feel a little less frazzled.

This is an act of self -compassion. And hopefully, I will be able to take this self-compassion with me throughout the Christmas season. In fact, I am setting an intention to have a Compassionate Christmas- why don’t you join me?


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1 Comment

  1. Thank-you so much for this Jane – very timely 0:) Just having a similar e-mail chat with a friend this morning. She pointed out that we can push so hard to Christmas that by the time we get there, we’re too shattered to enjoy it! Thanks also for the video of you and Kristine offering the weekly challenge around straws. I don’t know Kristine very well, but know her teachings, as one of the earliest MA tutors – I remember Kristine with long hair, and pre motherhood…. At the last day of an 8 week MBLC course I’ve been running in Manchester yesterday, I gave a “big up” to the fantastic MA online course in January – perfect for my participants to continue their practice. As well as the pre-Christmas fizziness (in my body, rather than cold in a glass I’m afraid!), I am also sitting with the uncertainty of my future, having taken the decision to resign from my job, and teach mindfulness – fabulous opportunities for practice. Wise words always seem to land at just the right time, and Rick Hanson’s beautiful “Just One Thing” about the empty cup is perfect for me just now. Having had a rather hectic November, and having just finished the 8 week course, I’m giving myself the gift of a couple of days off. Looking forward to going to the Christmas markets in Manchester this evening with my Mum. Please don’t feel the need to respond to this message Jane – I don’t want to add to your “to do” list! Just wanted to express my gratitude for this week’s challenge, and the video. Take good care. Susan xxx

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