speaker, consultant, coach

A mindful Christmas

“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”

- Thích Nhất Hạnh


You might think it odd to post something on Christmas day, but, right now, for reasons that are not wholly clear to me, I feel compelled to show up and write a short blog every day, and today is no exception.


Yesterday on Soundcloud I recorded a Christmas message. In a sense it says everything that needs to be said about Christmas, which for me can be summed up in one word: mindfulness.


The thing is, we all know the meaning of Christmas has been lost. No doubt the usual suspects will stand accused -- the hedonistic 60’s, our obsession with material things and the fact that we expect everything...now. But that completely misses the point(s). For a start, I would be surprised if anyone believes that Christmas is premised on more rather than love, peace and connection. If anything, it’s the Tribe mentality that holds us back: I’m quite sure that if a new-age movement gained traction where consumption was not the driver for Christmas then we would see wholesale change. (Perhaps we need a few more so-called celebrities to make it part of their machiavellian scheme to sell us their latest TV show or book.)


At the risk of me putting you completely off your Christmas dinner, all I would ask you do (now) is think much more carefully about the total experience.


As a for instance, imagine if you had had to grow all the vegetables on your plate(s). For a start, I doubt if they would all look the same or of the same variety or would be available in such abundance. This wouldn’t just enable you to show off your green fingers, but you would be more loving and caring with the way you treated them and shared them with your family and guests. Also, you wouldn’t be quite so keen to seen so much food thrown away. You could make a similar argument for everything else that goes into the Christmas ‘experience’.


Of course, I know this is all fanciful -- no one cares a damn, but even if you’ve long since past the point of worrying about the provenance of your food or how your turkey was reared and killed, I implore you to take a moment, preferable a long moment, to remind yourself how very lucky we are to have all this abundance.


Christmas will and should remain special but don’t forget that there are only so many in the bank, and taking your time to enjoy the moment may just be the most important thing you do today.


Have a wonderful day.