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Try to achieve mindfulness every month of the year

Lighthouse column
By: Angela Ponivas, Special to The News Messenger
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There is a clinical term called “Mindfulness.” It means learning to live in the present moment, more on purpose, intentional and without judgment. In the last year, I’ve lost friends through death, gained new members to the family through marriage and births, had friends divorce and had family relocate. Life is always changing and the dynamics of my Christmas next year and the people I share it with may not be the same as it is this year. For this reason, I know for myself that I need to cherish each moment with each person that I spend time with and truly strive to enjoy all parts of the holiday season. In a few days, I plan to go to my hometown of New Orleans for the holidays. I am excited to see my 96-year-old grandmother. I am excited to see a new cousin, Dominick, who was born Dec. 16, and I am excited to have some good Southern food. My family is very large and, when I go to New Orleans, I am shuffling from home to home. It requires extra effort for me to not get caught up in the momentum of what is next and really focus on the moment. The moment may be a conversation. The moment may be rushing to get that last gift wrapped. The moment may be in the chaos of all sharing the kitchen to prepare the meal. The moment may be in savoring the flavors of the meal. The moment may be in appreciating the special gift that someone picked out for me or watching the reaction of the person that I bought a special gift for. The moment may be the special prayer that we share or the toast that is made. The moment may include tears, laughter, a hug, a hand hold or the moment may be a bit of “a spat” that occurs. But all of these moments are so meaningful. These truly are the special times of life. There will never again be another 2010 holiday season so please agree with me to seek to cherish it to the fullest. Angela Ponivas is the Lighthouse Counseling & Family Resource Center’s executive director. Her phone is 645-3300 and Web site is lighthousefrc.com.