Last night I watched It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time this year. I was at the part when George Bailey breaks down and says he wishes he were never born. It was at this moment that I began to hear loud sirens in front of my home. What is going on outside? I wondered. After a few minutes it dawned on me and I rushed to the door. Santa was waving from the top of a decorated fire engine in the cold, dark night with streets still covered in snow.
I started yelling to my husband upstairs that Santa was here! And then I began to cry. I could not stop crying.
Since I’m not Christian and have never sat on Santa’s lap, I wondered what touched me so deeply.
I cried because I was overcome with gratitude, with the spirit of kindness. The fire department, after working a long day, still knew how important it was to drive Santa through town to give the children (and adults!) something to look forward to.
I also cried for those I miss seeing so much, and for the hugs I miss giving and receiving.
But I think the reason I cried most is, as someone who has been a nurse for almost 40 years, I see light at the end of the tunnel. I am hopeful.
We are entering a time that may be the hardest we have seen in over a hundred years. Millions of people around the world are sick, and thousands are dying each day.
History has shown us we will get through this incredibly challenging period.
How? We will take it one moment at a time. That is how you summit any great mountain, by taking it one step at a time.
Mindfulness is not about being happy, it is about being authentic.
I invite you to feel your feelings. Cry if you want. Then pause and ask yourself why you are crying. What has this moment revealed to you?
Someday, hopefully soon, we will once again gather in person and be able to clearly see each other’s smiles. But for now, I invite you to continue your practice of patience. Look how far you have already come!
One of my favorite days of the year is the winter solstice on December 21st. Some see this as the beginning of winter and cold, dark times. However, I know that the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere is followed each day by more light.
I invite you to look up to the sky and notice every day how we are experiencing more daylight than darkness. The little things really are important. Just ask George Bailey!
Mindfulness is now being incorporated by organizations to lower healthcare costs, support employees in staying focused which improves their performance, and reduce levels of stress.
Harriet Stein of Big Toe in the Water brings Mindfulness Programs to organizations of all sizes to transform employee productivity, engagement, and satisfaction.