5 Mindfulness Ideas For A Great Gay Christmas


Christmas can be a difficult time, and for LGBT people the season to be jolly can present lots of unique challenges. Seán Ó Tarpaigh is here with some mindful suggestions to keep you balanced.

1. “You are the centre of your world, be nice about it.”

Being nice, like charity, begins at home – with yourself. Mostly we give ourselves a hard time. How about taking a break this Christmas and cut yourself some slack? Wish yourself well, light a candle for yourself, give yourself a gift. You may be thinking this is selfish, but is it? If we are not kind to ourselves, might we just be faking it with others? This is particularly important at this time of year when loneliness and not fitting in can be more acute. All the more need to adopt a friendly attitude towards ourselves, and indeed build it throughout the year.

2. “You get what you tolerate.”

Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender around all the Christmas hoo-hah can be a challenge. We can feel lonely, excluded, or maybe the butt of snide drunken comments. Maybe we just laugh along, tolerate it, and keep our feelings hidden. What if we were to expose ourselves a little, admit our hurt, or reach out in our loneliness? Do we just have to tolerate it?

3. “The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.”

As a psychotherapist, I have learned that the ultimate pain behind many, if not all, my clients’ issues is the absence or distortion of love, or the longing for love. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders etc. all lead to a wound in the heart. In this season of goodwill when people’s hearts are invited to be more open, keep in mind that this is ultimately what Christmas is all about. It is an opportunity to attend to your heart’s needs, to soften inside. This way you can then give to others with a truly full heart.

4. “Habit is a great deadener.”

Do you find yourself doing more or less the same thing every Christmas? No doubt many of these are pleasurable and worthwhile, but is there one or two things you could actually do without or something different you could add? Do you go to midnight mass out of social pressure or avoid it because of a few homophobes? Stay in the pub longer than you want to or spend time with people you’d prefer not to? Do you buy yourself a present? How about doing one thing differenly this year? Instead of all the pressure of earnest New Year resolutions try a Christmas habit-buster!

5. “Lose your mind and come to your senses.”

Explore ways to enjoy all the sensual pleasures of Christmas and “let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” This is not the same as over-indulging in food, drink, sex etc. it is about slowing down and smelling the coffee or, rather, the mince pies and mulled wine; listening to the sounds of the street market, reinvigorating sex in a loving, sensual, conscious way (even if you are alone). In the bleak mid winter take time to appreciate this living breathing body with all its joy and even its heartbreak.


Here’s a Christmas present from me, which you can use, not just for the rest of the year, but for the rest of your life:

May I (you, all) be happy
May I (you, all) be peaceful
May I (you, all) be free from suffering

Nollaig Ṡona, Aeraċ Díoḃ!


Seán Ó Tarpaigh will run a six-week Mindfulness Therapy Course to enhance well-being, and to relieve stress, anxiety and low-mood, at Outhouse starting Monday Jan 12, at 7pm. €90 for the complete course. For more information contact Seán by phone 083 166 2783 or via his website www.CrannCounselling.com, or contact Outhouse directly

© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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