As part of a 'holiday themed' conscious business networking meeting I led a few years ago, I came up with the term Merry Mindfulness as a way to stay merry and mindful during the holidays. Our members' businesses span a wide variety of industries, yet we all hold a common value of running our businesses consciously, and with a sense of Seva, meaning "service to others".
Businesses present during this recent meeting included yoga and wine tasting retreats and custom events, womens empowerment talks and conferences, life path coaching and purpose training, retirement coaching and retreats, financial planning and investments, writing and journaling workshops, skincare and essential oils, ergonomic office furniture, web design and marketing, legal documents and admin assistant services and more.
Many of us have moved on from a previous career that we felt was no longer serving us in some way, and created a new business and a new life for ourselves in an area that we are passionate about, that nourishes our soul and fulfils our purpose.
If you would like to learn our tips on how to leave your job gracefully and with confidence and follow your passion, or how to discover your life purpose, check out our recent articles on these topics.
Back to the topic of the meeting, the holidays and our theme of 'Merry Mindfulness'. The term Merry Mindfulness came to me the evening before the meeting while I was meditating on a topic related to the holidays and staying calm, balanced and connected.
In many small businesses, the holidays are often a quiet time of year because it's a time when people are spending money on holiday decorations, gifts and parties, and family vacations and trips. If your business sells gifts, decorations or vacations then the holidays may be a busy time for you, although that doesn't apply to all small businesses. These quiet times can cause us some stress as we often experience slow sales and few new clients, and we might not be prepared for the slow season.
Even if you are not a business owner, the holidays can be a challenging or stressful time for many people, either very busy or very quiet, joyful and happy or heavyhearted and sad, overcrowded with family or feeling alone.
Whatever your holiday season looks like this year, and whatever is going on in your life, I hope you can take away some helpful tips from this article, about how you can stay merry and mindful in your business, your career and in your life in general.
How you will stay Merry and Mindful this holiday season in your business and in your life? 'What does 'Merry Mindfulness' actually mean?'.
The word Merry comes from the word merriment, which means happy, joyful, fun, full of praise and grateful.
The word Mindfulness is defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness for Stress Reduction movement, as "Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. It's about knowing what is on your mind." - Jon Kabat-Zinn
So how do you intend to stay Merry and Mindful in your business or in your life this holiday season?
Here are a few suggestions for staying merry and mindful. Please also share your ideas and thoughts in the comments section below.
During either this quiet or busy time, remember that it's also the time of the Winter Solstice, on Dec 21st. The solstice means "the sun standing still" in Latin. It's the shortest day of the year and the start of the Winter season. In Astrology, the sun symbolizes our soul, so this is a perfect time for us to move into and honor this stillness within ourselves and within our businesses, reflecting on the past year, and creating intentions for the year ahead.
Here is one of my favorite quotes that can help us to move into this space of stillness with peace, acceptance and even some curiosity and intrigue.
"Within the space of stillness is a field of infinite possibilities. In this space we are whole and we can experience the fullness of everything that has been or will ever be. In this stillness, we sometimes feel alone, even in the presence of those who are closest to us. Mystics call this the 'dark night of the soul' and the moment that precedes an incredible breakthrough or enlightening experience."
Taking time for stillness, meditation and contemplation can help you to tap into a sense of inner peace, inner happiness and inner contentment, even if what is happening around you is a little chaotic or challenging.
Read our recent article with 6 tips for getting started with a meditation practice, good for all levels.
Share a Gift from your Heart
Consider reducing the tangible gifts you give this year, plus the hours you spend shopping, and give a gift from your heart, something you already have inside of you.
Get a little creative. It could be spending quality time with someone, listening to them, really truly listening and creating space for them to open up about something they wish to talk about. Or perhaps sharing a skill you have or teaching something that you are knowledgable about that would be useful for the recipient. Maybe your gift is a shoulder massage, a long and loving hug, a compassionate heart, a compliment or kind words.
Whatever it is, share it from your heart, and remember to stay merry and mindful as you are doing so.
Create ways that you can be playful with your friends and family over the holiday season, particularly in situations where you are not normally playful or situations that are perhaps usually stressful or unpleasant in some way.
A wonderful way to be playful is to take time to play with children over the holidays. Children encourage us to be fully present in the moment and see the joy and fun in that moment, helping us to be playful and reminding us not to take life too seriously.
Even if you do not have kids in your family, you could volunteer at an orphanage or offer to babysit or take your friends kids out for an afternoon. Being playful with other adults could include playing games or even just laughing more!
Create Holiday Discounts
Offer some special holiday discounts and turn your business services or products into a possible gift for others to purchase for friends and family, even if it wouldn't normally be seen as a gift. Use your creativity and playfulness in this one and remember to stay merry and mindful as you "sell" or share your holiday gifts with loved ones, your friends and community.
Whatever is happening in your world, with friends, family, lots of holiday parties, or spending more time alone, practicing gratitude each morning and remembering that you have so much to be grateful for, can really help set a positive mood and a positive attitude for the day ahead. Gratitude also helps us to stay more present in the moment, not seeking something different to feel fulfilled. It reminds us that we already have happiness within and if we ever feel sad, stressed, or disconnected, we can journey inward to cultivate more joy again from within.
Be grateful for your breath. Be grateful for your body for everything it does and has done for you in this lifetime. Be grateful for the support from your community. Be grateful for the food and drink that nourishes your body and mind. Be grateful for life. We are so lucky to have this opportunity to experience another holiday season, and use it as practice for fully being grateful, compassionate to ourselves and others, and finding peace, joy and love.
I hope this has inspired you to introduce some merry mindfulness into your holiday season! If you have any questions or feedback on this article, please leave a comment in the comments section below. I'd love to hear from you!
Please also share this article with your friends and followers and share these gifts of how to stay merry and mindful.
We Wish you a season filled with Merry Mindfulness and Happy Holidays!
Author: Sally Mitchell, founder of Body Flows Yoga Retreats and RYT 200 Yoga Teacher leads yoga retreats in California, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica. Living in beautiful Sonoma, California, after 15 years in NYC and San Francisco, her approach as a leader and teacher is holistic, balanced and grounded. She enjoys practicing and studying Yoga and Buddhism, hiking and trail running in nature, traveling, writing and inspiring others to live a more spiritual and meaningful life.