The holidays are among us and our attention is focused on making them memorable. We all would certainly like the year to leave us on a high note. This holiday, like those that’ve come before—are important due to the reason for the season, but also because we bring into each new holiday memories from years prior. We carry memories with us because they shape us. We’re forever changed because of what we remember and what we don’t. In basic terms, we wouldn’t be who we are without the presence—or lack thereof—of memories. With every passing holiday we create and attach memories, influencing our identity regardless whether or not we’re aware.
Memories can be beautiful snippets of time stored in the mind that seep into your spirit—they penetrate to your core. Memories can hold power to make you feel whole. Pausing to reflect, memories are a phenomena in the way they’re made: In order for us to perfectly capture and keep any particular moment is because each of our five senses is firing on all cylinders simultaneously. Therefore, our attention is called to function at an optimal level—our entire self must be present. Thus, in a sense, we are called into mindfulness to make memories.
Mindfulness is a state of being present and aware. It charges us to let go of what was and is to come. It’s acknowledging your current condition and accepting yourself for how and who you are in any given instance. And like in memory formation, we engage our senses in doing that.
Our mindfulness comes and goes—we’re merely human and it’s to be expected. We have a lot of things, and people, fighting for our focus so we naturally don’t think about how we’re really doing. But even so, when we recall a memory we also remember our condition within that memory, like feeling sad, anxious or stressed in the midst of a holiday, for example. Our recollections of those conditions are just as strong as our memories of having joyful, peaceful, or excited conditions. It’s because our entire self was involved, all senses were operating in unison: we were mindful of ourselves by recognizing our condition, which means we were present in the moment that enabled memories to form. Mindfulness and memories aren’t inconsonant. Securing the connection between them grants us—that’s you, mama—the ingenuity to deliberately fabricate memories. We can make memories that otherwise wouldn’t exist.
So, here lies a superpower— the wherewithal to maximize our control over how many and what kind of memories we make. What we can do with the symbiotic relationship between mindfulness and memory is be open and intentional. Allow this holiday’s memories to reflect your efforts in being present and accepting of yourself—the quantity and quality of your memories will be impacted. And remember mama, all of your memories—and all of your conditions--have their place. They each serve your evolution in a meaningful way. Should you choose to engage in mindfulness this holiday season, your authenticity will ripple...perhaps inspiring those you’re with to do the same which encourages more memories to be made unique to them.
If you’re unsure how to start being mindful, ask yourself how your body feels and what your senses are experiencing. Ask yourself how the people around you are making you feel. Ask yourself to think about whether your expectations align with the current reality. These answers provide a pathway to our present state. Accept yourself by accepting these answers. And then, mama, go forward into the holidays making memories.