End of the year. Holidays. Shopping. Parties. Friends. Family. Pressures. Worry. Prescribed joyfulness. This is not how December has to be. Full of the stress of making everyone else happy at any cost. This is so taxing on our finances, mental wellbeing, physical health, and emotional stability. What would happen if you took a different approach to yourself in this time of the year? What would happen if you didn't overextend yourself?!
I'm a new convert to holiday joy. In the past I've been firmly Grinchy and totally ok with that. I'd smile when I had to and do my part but my favorite way to spend Christmas was in bed with terrible movies and LOADS of Indian takeout food. I'm shifting though. I'm starting to honestly enjoy this time.
I love Thanksgiving for so many reasons (a day devoted to feasting so there's that...) and am coming around to Christmas. When I'm preparing for that first holiday of the season, I like to get into a really thankful space. It's great to let that full sense of gratitude be fuel for the next holiday. Yeah, I KNOW that is the big tag line in the health and wellness world and honestly I get pretty sick of being told to cultivate a gratitude practice. Prescribed gratitude. Who needs it?! Yuck! Sometimes you just gotta let yourself have a bad day.
But (you knew that a "but" was coming, didn't you?) what if you gave space to those bad days to let them cycle through. Don't act on it. Accept that bad days and bad moods just happen. Then, when you're ready, take a look around you. Where are you in this moment? Are you safe? Well fed? Do you have love in your heart for someone? Do you have love in your heart for your live and self?
Allow your gratitude to get really granular for just a few minutes then see if you can send that sense of fullness into the very next thing that you touch.
Now think forward to the next holiday. How can you use that same practice as you clean and decorate your house? As you shop for gifts? As you make party snacks? How do you want to receive gifts? Do you want the gift giver to be stressed about giving to you? Probably not. Do you want the fuel for these things to be stress and overexertion or would you rather it be gratitude? You CAN choose gratitude.
What would happen if you used the linear nature of this holiday season for fuel? Thanksgiving => your winter holiday of gift giving and "joy" => ready for the next year. In other words: gratitude fuels how you express love in your world and allows you to finish out this year with a sense of closure and peace. Kinda makes the new year seem pretty sweet, eh?
As my gift to you, as my way to express my gratitude for YOU, I'm going to be giving away a free meditation download. Stay tuned for details!
Yoga Teacher. Thinker of things.
Sometimes I just need to empty the contents of my brain into words.