Everywhere we turn we are reminded that the holiday season is a time to celebrate and be merry. Has this been your reality? For many the holidays are stressful, lonely and bring up lots of self judgment (it’s the end of the year and I have nothing to show for it). Many people overspend and soon after stress about their finances. Others overextend themselves catering (often literally) for everyone bar themselves. Some find themselves socalising with people they don’t necessarily enjoy at work socials, family parties etc. etc.
The holidays can be a very intense. Have you felt obligated to spend your holidays with people and in places that aren’t necessarily fun for you? Have you experienced any of the holiday mayhem?
Here are a few questions to ask that can shift the holiday heaviness: What would it take for my holidays to be more fun than I could possibly image right now? What’s right about this that I’m not getting? Where am I in what I am choosing these holidays – do my plans feel light and expansive, or do they feel heavy and contracted? What could I be or do different to create more ease and joy today?
And this is a really powerful question to ask: Who does this belong to? We are all VERY intuitive and are actually picking up on the thoughts, feelings and points of view, positive and negative, of everyone around us. What’s the chance that you might be picking up on the insecurity, depression and stress others are feeling? What if most of all that stress, unhappiness, frustration and worry you are perceiving does not belong to you? Would you want to be rid of it all? Of course! Say “return to sender with consciousness”, or “Everything is the opposite of what it appears to be, nothing is the opposite of what it appears to be” a few times and see what shifts for you. You may be pleasantly surprised.
And here is a great phrase to keep in mind when you really would like to say no but end up saying yes out of some sense of obligation. “I’m sorry, that doesn’t work for me.” Simple and clear, and when spoken sincerely, difficult to offend.
Keep your body in the equation of your holidays. What would be fun and nurturing for your body? Check with your body – would it like to eat more or is IT satisfied – because often it has had enough before your mind has registered the fact. Eat slowly and mindfully.
The holidays are also a wonderful time to express our gratitude, usually to our loved ones and if we have spiritual or religious affiliations – to God – in which ever form/s we acknowledge. Do take time to be grateful for you, too! We can have deeper, more satisfying relationships with others when we have a satisfying relationship first with ourselves.
Wishing you a happy Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Meri Kirihimete – however you enjoy this time of year – happy holidays.