During the past year Gerry Raftery from Personal Milestones has delivered a variety of Mindfulness Courses in Cork, Limerick and Tipperary. Over 300 people have learned how Mindfulness can be of great benefit to them in improving their well-being.
Mindfulness teaches us to be more aware of what is happening in our lives. In this way we are better able to manage our thoughts, our emotions and our behaviour. Mindfulness also teaches us to live in the present, in the now, to enjoy life as it unfolds moment by moment.
Christmas is full of nostalgia and memories and sometimes past Christmas experiences can make it difficult for us to see this Christmas as a new and fresh experience. We see this Christmas through the lens of childhood or we associate it with good and bad Christmas experiences in our lives.
Some people have to manage very difficult and painful memories at Christmas. Somehow or other at Christmas grief and loss are much sharper, loneliness is much deeper and poverty is more distressful. But Christmas can be a time of acceptance of the past, if we let go of the past we are freer to live in the Present Moment.
Mindfulness reminds us that this Christmas is new and different. It is Christmas 2016, a time that has never happened before and will never be again. With Mindfulness we try to enter into the Now of this Christmas and experience its freshness and newness. We can even begin to experience again the Christmas wonder we knew as children.
Gratitude is another healthy and positive part of Mindfulness. We have many opportunities to practise Gratitude at Christmas. I would suggest a simple exercise at some stage on Christmas Day, sit back for a few quiet moments and count your Christmas blessings. Can you think of ten things for which you feel grateful on Christmas Day? This exercise can help us to recognise that we are in fact having a Happy Christmas!
Gerry suggests that on New Year’s Eve we spend a few minutes remembering the ten good things which happened to us in 2016, the ten highlights of the year for which we feel most grateful. This end of year Gratitude Exercise can bring us into 2017 in a more positive way.
One of the key skills learned in Mindfulness is How to Meditate. Many people find Meditation a challenge. Though it is a very simple practice, it is not easy. Gerry has discovered that most of those taking his Mindfulness courses have come to recognise the value and benefits of Meditation. Gerry had produced a CD of Guided Meditations. It is available directly from Gerry, phone 087-9841821 e-mail email@example.com.
Gerry and his wife Mairin from Personal Milestones would like to wish all of you a Happy and a Mindful Christmas. In 2017 Gerry will be delivering more Mindfulness Courses in the area. Watch out for notices in local media or contact Gerry directly for information about upcoming Mindfulness courses.