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….





Unless you have sought refuge in a cave, your awareness by now will have been tinselled into acceptance that the holiday season is upon us. And with it comes the onslaught of obligations such as festooning the home with more tinsel, attending end-of-year events, buying presents and preparing for family gatherings.


It’s loosely labelled as ‘getting into the festive spirit.’


But it’s not for everyone.


Some baulk at the very notion of festive, arguing that

  • obligation robs the time of any sincerity

  • undue pressure to be merry shrouds the time in fake frivolity

  • money-making is the true driver behind the festive engine with obligations of reciprocity plunging the credit card into shame.

For the naysayers it appears that obligation is the culprit responsible for their disenchantment.


So let’s put it on the stand and take a closer look.


Obligation does carry expectations and in turn pits predictability against spontaneity. And with that at play one is at risk of morphing into a robotic merry-maker from tinselling to sending out over-rehearsed wishes to the contact list on your mobile phone, many of whom have slipped into cranial nooks of amnesia.


And while one can glibly say, “Well, do not bow to obligation, just don’t do it,” whatever the ‘it’ may be, at the end of the year your energy reserves may not be charged enough to withstand ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous’ relatives who don’t appreciate your not towing the festive line.


So what can be done for our beleaguered naysayers?


While I would never advocate compromising yourself in favour of obligation, I would offer originality as an option worth exploring – in fact, not only for the naysayers but for everyone who favours a move away from the stereotypical or robotic festive mode.

Loosen up, oil the imaginative cogs, de-tinsel your mind and create a time that has your signature stamp on it, something that pleases you. Or gather input from each family member and weave together an eclectic mix of fun. Make stuff; instead of an end-of-year event that ends in a blur, go on a safari or nature outing or a spa morning; think of alternatives to presents.


As long as you are still breathing and have a mind, you have the power of choice and that includes of attitude.


Choose your merry!


P.S. And for those who are sticking with present giving, we can help you tick a few recipients off your list, with our very affordable online courses. meaningful retirement  www.udemy.com/meaningful-retirement  for anyone heading into the 3rd Tri-cycle of life; and mindscapes in childplay  www.udemy.com/mindscapes-in-childplay  for anyone who spends time with young children (6 months to 6 years old).

Also look out for our latest course, gain self-confidence by defeating self-consciousness which will be out in time to slip into a Christmas stocking (aaargh did I just lapse into a tinsel phrase?!)


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© 2019 Gill Midgley

Anxiety [5], Competition [1], Counselling Fear [1], Creativity [2], Fulfilment [14], Life Coaching [45], Anger [5], Parenting [2]

Anxiety [5]

Competition [1]

Counselling Fear [1]

Creativity [2]

Fulfilment [14]

Life Coaching [45]

Parenting [2]