This time of the year is always challenging, at least for me. We’re always told that it should be full of magic and bounty and laughter, and I sincerely hope that it is for you. But, as many of us know very well from our course, wanting things to be other than they are can make us feel so much worse. So, wanting (or even expecting) this season suddenly to bring about the end of quarantine or dark nights or racism is not going to make it better; it’s going to make us feel worse. Sadly, December doesn’t come with a wave of magic to make things instantly better, even temporarily. Reality just sits there, waiting for us to notice that we’re pretending it’s vanished. No amount of misdirection or distraction can change that.
The weight of expectation at this time of year, and perhaps especially this year, can really hurt people ...
During the 2020/21 COVID19 pandemic, Chris Goto-Jones started writing periodic emails to the participants of the MOOC DeMystifying Mindfulness on Coursera and FutureLearn. Following requests to put them all in one place, they are reproduced here.