Normally these tales are related to my experiences in the world of mental health. However, over recent days I’ve been writing sketches for a potential project. Yesterday I wrote one about Mindfulness, which I suppose comes under the mental health banner. Please understand I’ve nothing against Mindfulness in the real world. I actually think it is a good thing. I remember once in a previous job, where I was suffering stress, a counselor visited and taught me how to have quick moments of meditation while working at my job. Her techniques definitely helped. So please don’t think I’m debunking the practice…That said it is becoming a bit all prevailing, and when a trend hits those kind of levels I think comedy has a job to do. So here is me trying to do it….
SKETCH TITLE: MINDFULNESS AIR CRASH. A PLANE HAS BOTH ENGINES
FAIL. IT HAS TEN MINUTES BEFORE IT HITS THE SEA. A MINDFULNESS GURU IS ON BOARD. SOMEBODY DECIDES THIS MAY BE A GOOD TIME FOR THEM TO CONDUCT A SESSION.
WE HEAR THE CAPTAIN MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT. FOLLOWED BY THE SOUNDS OF GROUP PANIC ON THE PLANE.
CAPTAIN: Ladies and gentleman this is your captain speaking. I’m afraid we’re having some problems with our starboard engines. Things may get a little bumpy here. If you notice us suddenly losing altitude we urge you to remain calm, there is no need for alarm.
HOSTESS: Excuse me madam, but I couldn’t help notice you when you came on board. Am I right in thinking you’re that mindfulness guru Dr Patricia Nuttall?
DR NUTTAL: Yes that is who I am, what on earth is happening with the plane?
HOSTESS: Well I’m glad you asked me that. You see…er…that announcement the captain just made was a bit of a fib. In truth both engines are about to fail and I reckon we’ve got ten minutes before we hit the sea like a brick. Yes there is a chance we can land on the water but there’s probably more of a chance we’ll disintegrate like a meringue hitting a runaway bus…sooooo…we were wondering would you mind conducting a quick mindfulness session. You see the less people we having running up and down the isles screaming the better a chance we have.
DR NUTTAL: Oh my God. Do you really think that will help?
HOSTESS: Oh absolutely. I’ll just do a quick announcement. Ladies and gentlemen I’m afraid that in ten minutes time we’re going to be forced to land on the sea.
SCREAMS, GENERAL PANIC.
But on the bright side we are absolutely delighted to announce that we have a special guest on board. Ladies and gentlemen can we please have a round of applause for world renowned Mindfulness Guru, Dr Patricia Nuttal.
SILENCE, THEN MORE SCREAMS.
DR NUTTAL: OK…er…OK here’s an idea, now that the oxygen masks have descended let us begin today’s session with some mindful breathing. This exercise can be done pretty much anywhere at any time, standing or sitting…er… probably best to remain sitting. Let go of your thoughts. Let go of things you have to do later today or pending projects that need your attention. Yes really let go. Simply let thoughts rise and fall of their own accord and be at one with your breath. Then watch with your awareness as your thoughts and breath work their way up, up, up and out of your mouth and let its energy dissipate into the world.
DR NUTTAL: OK maybe breathing was the wrong place to start. Let’s try some Mindful observations. Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t)
MAN: Are you having us on! Of course this unpleasantness is going to end. We’re all gonna die!
DR NUTTAL: Can we just concentrate on the exercise please. Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. This could be a flower or an insect, or even the clouds or the moon. Allow yourself to connect with its energy and its purpose within the natural world.
MAN: Oh my god I was trying to focus on the clouds but we’ve just shot through them at 300 miles per hour. I think their natural purpose in the world is to remind us we’re getting too close to the ground!
DR NUTTAL: Well sir…er…Each time you think a negative thought, you might choose to take a moment to stop, label the thought as unhelpful and release the negativity.
MAN: I can feel the negativity being released in my underpants!
DR NUTTAL: Er…perhaps you’d like to hear some quotes. The Dalai Lama tells us, The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.
MAN: Best thing you’ve said all day. Let’s all have sex! This is our last chance. I can see the sea approaching. I’m gay by the way! Oh Lord it’s great to be finally out!
WE HEAR THE ROAR OF THE CRASHING PLANE, THEN SUDDENLY
A REVERSAL AS THE ENGINES KICK BACK IN.
CAPTAIN: Ladies and gentlemen this is your captain, this is your captain. I am stunned and delighted to say we have regained full power.
MASSIVE CHEER. THEN WE HEAR THE SOUND OF ONE WEEPING WOMAN.
DR NUTTAL: No need to cry madam, we’re saved. But I am a therapist I think I can help.
WOMAN: I don’t think you can.
DR NUTTAL: Why?
WOMAN: Well how would you feel if your husband for over twenty years had just come out the closet?