December began this week and like many of you, I was surprised it’s here again. Although there were clues along the way, including the Christmas decorations going up in retail stores the day after Halloween.
Our holiday season is in full swing, I know for me (and maybe you) there are a lot of emotions that come packaged with it all. Thoughts and feelings of things you “should” do, people to see, gifts to buy, activities, social gatherings, and there’s a part of us that wants to do everything, not letting others down.
First of all, take a deep breath, yes right now. Stop reading, close your eyes and breathe from the lower tan tien (buddha-belly breathing). Take three slow, deep breaths, allowing each one to expand more as you feel your body and mind become more calm and clear.
Now, that you have taken time to recenter yourself, remember you do have choices during the holiday season. Ask yourself right now, “What one thing could I do during the next few weeks that would bring me joy?” Is it, snuggling up with a good book; a long, hot bath followed by a massage; exercising everyday; movie night with family; donating your time to one in need; gathering with a few like-minded friends, or simply having no agenda for one day.
Once you have your answer, do whatever ever it takes to make it happen, knowing it will allow you to be more “present” during the holidays with family and friends. (And, trust me, that’s the best gift you could give anyone.) Realise it may be saying, “no” to some of the holiday offers you receive, and that’s OKAY. (Really, take a moment and breathe that in…. it’s OKAY to say no to others, and say yes to myself.)
You may be thinking, but Toni I do have “family obligations,” and if you feel that, I encourage you to find something “joyful” about getting together with family. It could be as simple as enjoying baking those Christmas cookies with your Mom, or as literal as knowing that the time you spend with family are only moments in time. Whatever allows you to feel joy and be present with family do it.
I encourage you to choose one thing to wrap yourself up with love and joy this season. I promise, when you do, you’ll flow with the holidays, and your family and friends will thank you. (Maybe not literally, but they will notice.)
I would love if you would comment below what will bring you joy during the holidays. Giving you the opportunity to declare it and follow through, while possibly sharing a new idea with someone else. Instead of sharing gifts, let’s exchange what brings us joy!
I’ll go first…
Allowing myself time to sit on my cushion, write in my gratitude journal, followed by mindful movement. It allows me to begin my day with a more calm and clear mind.
Now it’s your turn…
taking deep breathes and saying my prayers when I’m outside preferably facing the ocean :-)
I love that! Yes, when we connect with nature it seems to realign us in our mind / body / spirit.
Just sorting through the gratitude jar you gave me. It is true, it is like a second cookie to read and enjoy what I wrote throughout the year. Such a good idea.
I appreciate you and your blog. Love Marjorie
Thank you Marjorie, I look forward to going through our gratitude jar as well.