I found a way to slow down the time.
Yes, yes, yes, that same time we all lack so badly during the holiday season.
How about trying this – slowing down the time by wrapping gifts mindfully and approaching the gift wrapping for holidays as a meditation practice.
Try touching the paper and being truly aware that your fingers are touching it: feeling the newspaper (comics pages!) you are wrapping the gift in, feeling those old maps, old book pages, old sewing patterns. Try touching the fabric (if that is the material that you have chosen to use for your wrapping) – scraps from thrift store, cut up pieces from a good old (but clean!) cotton shirt, burlap bags… you name it!
Then try cutting the ribbon and actually letting yourself hear the tear of the fabric, enjoying the scissor’s song while cutting. You can use scraps from fabrics bought in that local thrift store – cut them into thin long ribbons or turn them into tags- cut out shapes and glue them to the craft paper, write on them, draw on them. Or try making the ribbon yourself- from the scraps of yarn, from pieces of materials in holiday colors, or re- using old ribbons and left overs from crafts or previously received gifts… Oh, the opportunities and possibilities are endless!
Being “wildly” creative is fun and rewarding. You can use the plastic mesh from a bag of store bought lemons which is usually bright yellow (or green) – it provides the most glorious contrast to regular craft paper. You can attach sprigs of greens from the garden or small pieces of drift wood paired with shells you picked up on the beach. You can make a collage of old postcards and already used gift wrap paper. You can use dried flowers to fill , say, an old shoe box where a box of tea and jam is going to be placed. You can use small pebbles or tiny shells to line another box – an intended home for a chocolate box that has chocolates in sea shell shapes. Just look for associations, look for things around your house, around your walking paths and beach, around your back yard , pieces of straw, small pieces of drift wood – they all can become part of that rich tapestry of gift wrapping. Allow your imagination to soar! Swim in the invigorating, yet calm and nourishing water of creativity, paying attention to the present moment thus “slowing down the time”. We can use this practice as a way of adding the color, depth and love, and richness to our daily lives.
Wrapping gifts like this makes me feel good, centered and calm. I am not advocating for totally leaving the new wrapping materials behind. I am advocating for slowing down and exploring – letting your imagination spread the wings of creativity and possibilities.
I approach each gift wrapping project as an “official” art project – a re-cycled art project, an up-cycled art project, a re-usable art project. That brings fun to the actual gift wrapping. That also turns it into a meditation.
Almost everything we do on a daily basis is a quest for more – bigger… faster… better… leaving us with more stress and less time. But here we have the amazing opportunity to … yes, yes, yes… “just” wrap the gifts, using our resourcefulness, mindfulness, creativity and recycled (and/or up- cycled, and/or re-usable) materials. And by doing that, we have the opportunity to… slow down the time!
Contributed by Indra Strong