End of the year craziness is upon us: company parties every week, work assignments piling up before New Years, and near death experiences in the parking lots of shopping centers offer a mixed bag of emotions and experiences. We’re relieved for the hurdles that we’ve crossed and excited for what’s to come–but we’re rarely living in the present. We need mindfulness.
The practice of mindfulness is tough. On the surface, it’s a yoga buzzword that makes us feel warm and fuzzy when we think of it but mindfulness is easily forgotten. With the holidays fast approaching, getting a better grasp on mindfulness can help us enjoy each moment to the fullest!
Shop Mindfully Many of us will be searching for the perfect gifts for our friends and family. While a lot of us focus on the gifts’ recipients, the gifts’ creators could also benefit from our mindfulness. Who created the gift that you’re buying? Were they paid a fair wage for their effort and creativity? How much does your business really matter to the distributor? Consider shopping Fair Trade this season and #shoplocal rather than throwing more cash at big box stores. Both decisions allow you to see precisely how your dollars work and benefit local communities.
Since I began shopping at The Cupbearer and Altar’d State, I’ve seen so much growth! I know that my contributions and those of my neighbors have spurred their expansion because I we know the owners. We can reach out and talk to them. When I make purchases at Ten Thousand Villages and Fed by Threads it gives me peace to know that the artisan received fair wages. I also know when, where, and how the gifts were made. Can you say any of that when you shop at big box stores?
Play Mindfully You already know that you should make the time for yoga even on your busiest days but did you also know that you shouldn’t feel guilty about it? You shouldn’t feel rushed, either. Enjoy every minute of your time on the mat as a special gift to yourself because that is precisely what it is! Sure, you could be doing something “productive”—scrubbing your apartment from top to bottom in preparation for the upcoming party or browsing Pinterest to ensure that your centerpiece is trending—but you’ve chosen to be mindful of your physical, mental, and spiritual health. You should be proud of your decision and play joyfully!
Want more tips on living mindfully? Check out my full guest post, “Getting Real About Mindfulness,” at Yoga with Karel!