We are in the middle of December and just a few days away from the Winter Solstice.
It is the holiday season when we traditionally gather with loved ones to celebrate love, light, and friendship.
It is also a time of mixed emotions for many of us. Maybe memories of loss and grief are surfacing, or the dark and cold days make us want to snuggle under a blanket, with a hot cup of tea, instead of running around trying to make everything happen.
You may be an introvert who prefers quality time with a handful of loved ones instead of heading to a large and loud holiday gathering. Or, you may enjoy the large and loud holiday gathering, but distance and health issues prevent you from being there this year.
Whether you are struggling or reveling or finding yourself somewhere in between, be honest, kind, and accepting of who you are.
As Mary Oliver writes in her poem Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way,
If you are John Muir you want trees to
live among. If you’re Emily, a garden
Try to find the right place for yourself.
If you can’t find it, at least dream of it.
The point is, you’re you, and that’s for keeps.
Find the Balance Between Doing and Being
Be clear and honest with yourself. Identify the activities of the season that bring out the best of you and those that undermine your sense of well-being. Then, do something about it. Make some adjustments this year.
Remember that …
Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life lies in eliminating the non-essentials.
Keeping it Simple
It may be easier said than done but it’s worth trying. Begin by asking one simple question before you charge full steam ahead.
Is it Necessary?
You’ll be amazed at what happens when you stop to ask this question and listen to what comes up.
Many moons ago, I wrote this recipe for the holiday season and it still holds true for me!
Here it is.
Take a few deep breaths – at least five times a day because the simple act of focusing on your breath can do miracles for your mental state.
Give up at least 4 cups of control a day and ask for help instead. It’s never too late to begin.
Give up perfection … for now. Begin with the little things, and when you feel confident, take a bigger risk. Trust that other people can do things just as well as you can. Learn to receive.
Drink at least 3 cups of laughter a day, and make sure to bring your sense of humor to the party.
Add a dash of gratitude to your daily rituals. Everything looks better when we focus on the goodness in our lives.
So, whether you’ve been naughty or nice, love and accept yourself for who you are. Life is easier this way.
May your holidays be filled with grace and laughter!