“Life is mostly froth and bubble, Two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, Courage in your own.” ― Adam Lindsay Gordon
The lead up to Christmas is always a stressful time. The preparation for this single day of the year eclipses almost every other life event, even more so as it occurs every year. I don’t know what is the most stressful for you: the getting of the perfect tree; the putting up of the decorations; the presents and wrapping thereof; the buying of food; the turkey / goose / beef, plus prep’ing and cooking; the laying out of the Christmas table. Maybe, the biggest stress factor is, who is coming / going to who’s place to celebrate the day?
This year has been no exception to all the previous years in our house except; since I have been practicing Mindfulness for more than a year and also completed a number of counselling courses, I have been able to observe a number of these stressful events, rather than being caught up in them.
I noticed that everyone exists in their own “life stress bubble” as I called them, We all do it. All of the time. We exist in our own worlds. Wrapped up in the moment. By moment, stress of life. Living each moment full on. Like bubbles, each one is different, unique and separate. Often going in their own different directions. When they occasionally meet, they might stick together, separate but connected. Or they merge into a larger and different bubble. You can sometimes see people fighting to escape their bubble. Wanting to be different but not knowing how. Eventually, the bubble bursts and the stress and the reasons disappear. However, just as you think things have settled down, another stress bubble is created and off you go again.
The ability to stand outside of some of the most stressful moments of the festive season and observe meant I experienced more calm and peace. It also meant I did not get caught up in my own bubbles and stress. It also meant that I was able to be more centred and in the present moment, rather than in the stress of others. Even as I prepared the Christmas lunch for nine people of vegan, vegetarian and meat eating formats. I shared my thoughts with others and they too recognised the idea of “life stress bubbles”. The question that then followed was; “after recognising them, how do you deal with them?”.
You can deal with them on an individual basis by first recognising that they exist and we continually create them. No matter how centered you are. How often you practice Mindfulness, or any other form of reflective contemplation. How much counselling and self help you practice, you will still create them. Instead, the ability to first recognise when they occur and then step outside of them, is the key.
As for dealing with them in groups, whether that be loved one’s, family, colleagues or friends; I have some ideas and will try them out. How do you deal with your “life stress bubbles”? Talk about them? Do something physical? Listen to music? How do you deal with them in groups or individually? Do tell.
I leave you with the following quote: