Let me begin in the customary fashion by wishing you a Happy New Year. Despite it being a greeting that is more habitual than mindful, I do sincerely mean it.

How do I know this?

Because I simply could not dredge up even a smidgen of sincerity to motivate an alternative. Although I’m not evolved enough to sustain unconditional love for everyone, (well not yet!), I also cannot conceive of wishing anyone unhappiness. What benefit would there be in that for anyone including me?

And the third option lies in not wishing anyone at all because one could argue that a wish belongs to fairy tales, not reality, so what’s the point?

In its defence, though, taking the time to send out wishes, even electronically, does serve to rekindle connections with friends and family, and anything that lends weight to connections, even if only slightly alleviating a sense of loneliness, is a good thing.

To change customised ritual and the repetition of utterances from mindless to mindful we need to put heart behind them and bring the fullness of mind to the present moment. What are you saying and why are you saying it? Being in the here and now switches off your autopilot which otherwise takes control when your conscious mind is either in the past or the future.

And it’s not only greetings such as Happy Whatever or How are you? that could benefit from a good dose of mindfulness, but also single words, especially in the descriptive field. Adjectives and adverbs can become flavour of the era and because they are spewed out mindlessly, suffer the kind of repetition that threatens to curdle the last remnants of my word-savvy sanity.

Heard or read the word awesome lately???

Whether it’s a biscuit, a wedding, a day at work, an athlete’s performance… awesome pops out of mouths, screens, and pages.

Those who use profanities get accused of a limited vocabulary, yet old awesome sails into phrase after phrase unimpeded by aversion or criticisms, well not many, and glibly gets adopted by more and more people.

There are so many other delightful and expansive words gathering dust on the shelves of lexicons, words that burst with colour and interest, waiting to reintroduce meaningfulness and mindfulness into communication.

You don’t have to be a lover of words to realise that variation holds or re-awakens the listener’s or reader’s attention. And if you are going to speak or write, is that not what you want?

So as we wish upon a star,

let your search go wide and far,

leave the awe

at yesteryear’s door,

and shake off the dust

of your lexicon’s lust.

 

I said my sanity was curdled….

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