Yuletide- Attentiveness

Life is what is happening the whole time, whether your attention is in the moment or elsewhere.

And as we step into our final few days of 2020 I’ve been taking a moment to look back over the last calendar year.

Often I see posts asking people to share their best bits of the year but I say, if you can choose one ‘best bit’ you weren’t really paying attention.

And for those saying 2020 has been the worst, I too say you haven’t been paying attention but its all about our subjective experiences of course too.

There have been awful inconceivable struggles experienced. Injustices and pain. Loss and grief and illness and disaster. And although we may be experiencing these things through a new mode of delivery, via a virus, we have all experienced these things in years gone by and for many, this year has been more of the same pain and injustice experienced daily.

We’ve had a challenging year as have most and I’ve been reflecting on the moments I’ve experienced, enjoyed, found challenging, the stuff I have endured and navigated through. Because honestly, when you pay attention, life is actually pretty special.

Regardless of what the date is, the struggles being faced, the unknowns to come- the clock continues to tick and wind its way. Because life is a continuation, of each day melting into the next and when we are on autopilot or fight and flight, we often miss the important stuff.

If this year has taught me anything, its an even deeper understanding of what the important stuff is. Its not the new suit or the house or the car or the sky TV. Not the latest phone upgrade or designer handbag.

Its the passion that sets our eyes alight. The Joy that fills our soul. Its the moments of connection, of sharing or supporting and 2020 has had that in buckets (when you pay attention)

Ive noticed that although contentment does not live in the material world, I’ve learnt that the material world is important.

For example dealing with sudden redundancy, having to close a business, low stocks in the shops, medication stock issues, injury, illness, job searching. The material world is important.

A smaller issue was our car went to the scrap heap in the sky this year and it wasn’t too big a deal to be honest. 2020 hasn’t been a year of long road trips after all, but trying to ensure we were able to get shopping and attend appointments if needed, for the 3 months without the car was interesting for sure!

Being able to be in a position to get a newer car for the first time, not having to worry about it breaking down or going wrong has definitely helped me feel more positive and less worried. Which in turn has enabled me to be more attentive and present in my days.

Even in the hardest of times, us humans have a beautiful resilience in finding that which brings a smile to our face and which causes a laugh to escape our lips.

And that is where true contentment lies. Not within things, but within presence. Within you and within that which makes you feel alive, happy, proud and strong.

So if there hasn’t been enough contentment in your life this year, maybe more presence is what is needed this coming year. More paying attention to what you want to see in the world and in your life.

More noticing of what you do have, even on the hardest of days. And this doesn’t mean a false positivity but a gentle grace of turning your attention inwards to what is in front of you and within you.

Because although I cannot know what 2021 will hold in terms of the pandemic, economics or livelihoods, I do know it will continue to hold the best of things and those things can only be found in the quiet, attentive, presence you place upon your experience.

Pay attention my friends, 2020 hasn’t been half as horrendous as you think and if you still believe it has, I’ll say it again- you haven’t been paying attention.

As a famous man once said, always look for the helpers. 2020 has been full of them from the most unlikely of places- you just need to pay attention.

Blessings and love


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