The holidays mean different things to each of us. I believe our desires change each year as we ripen on the vine of life and we learn from our own experiences. We all know nothing is constant except change.
This giving season extends most of us, out of our 70% range. A term, I use when teaching and also my compass for living life. Over-extending can take many forms, but usually is too much of something.
- spending more money than we intended
- attending too many holiday gatherings because someone asked us
- purchasing many gifts because “that’s what we’re supposed to do”
- drinking too much
- eating too much, especially sugar
- caring too much what others think
- feeling we have to _______ [fill-in-the-blank]
- spending too much time doing instead of simply being with others and ourselves
I love the line in Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote above, “When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”
Ask yourself, “how can I embrace those around me without adding more to do’s in my life?” For me, it’s coming back to the simple things during December:
- watching favorite holiday movies
- playing games [actual board games or cards]
- deep breaths throughout each day
- gathering with friends
- cooking a meal, instead of going out
- escaping from the crowds
- knowing what resonates with me, is it a yes or a no?
- stringing together moments of mindfulness, whether that’s sitting or moving
- being kind to all those I meet
- bowling with my mom, yes I am a bowling nerd
- being there for those who have lost loved ones this past year
- playing in the snow
- picking up the phone and reaching out to family/friends who are far away
- connecting with nature every day, going outside or looking at it through the window
My wish for you this holiday season is to become comfortable with 70%, buy less and give more presence to those in your life and watch them bloom. Honestly, that’s the best gift you can give them and yourself.