At the end of the year, I hear people saying "thank god THIS year is over" as if it was "all bad" and as if they didn't say the same thing last year. I don't like to think of a whole year in such black and white terms, but marking time as a place where we get to press the "reset button" and start a new year usually feels good regardless. I certainly need that!
At the beginning of the 2017 holiday season, I had intended on sending a newsletter before Christmas but my body had other plans for me - I got sick! Talk about all "plans" on hold. I'm sure a few of you can relate to this, eh? Not only that but the mix of nasty virus AND Christmas time was perfect breeding ground for some emotional turmoil. I often feel quite vulnerable when I'm sick and it creates that interesting blend of both total gratitude for all I have AND sadness for the loss of what is now gone or totally changed.
Holidays stir this up for me but so does being sick. Can any of you relate to these things?
One of the most challenging aspects of the holiday season is finding balance; our external surroundings demand a lot of us - much of which is positive, while still pulling from our energy. Our internal being needs rest and nourishment to keep up with everything. It can be hard to strike that "sweet spot" between our social engagements and holiday traditions, and responding to what our body needs. So, sometimes we just get sick right at that time. OR we can prevent it by saying NO more and letting things GO.
SLOW. LET GO. AND NO.
When you find yourself starting to feel stressed or worn out during the holidays, consider this....
Yes, the lights hanging from houses and around trees and possibly still sitting in storage because you haven't had time to put them up yet (and so what if you haven't!). I enjoy lighting Hanukkah candles purely for the sake of bringing in more light during such dark times and because it connects me to something beyond just myself.
The lights are gorgeous, and they are not "on" all the time. In fact, for most of the day they sit, unplugged and unlit. This doesn't diminish their beauty or usefulness at all, it leaves them prepared to do what they do best at night - create light. I am giving you permission to unplug; if it's five minutes or five hours, take time to breathe, to actually practice gratitude, and to ask your body what it needs to feel respected. When you unplug, you're making room to create light for yourself and others when it's time. Lights that stay plugged in all day burn out quickly. Your energy is the same way....
Lights also must be plugged in to their source to create light. In the same way, you need to be plugged into a source that will feed you energy. Find a daily ritual that brings you peace, and create room for that ritual every day. We have an opportunity to breathe life and calm into the craziness of the holidays, or to let it consume us; choose to plug into your source and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself. And if you don't know what it will take for you to have that-- let me know-- I'll help you find it.
Finally, lights bring joy. Who doesn't love walking down the street and seeing houses lit up, trees decorated, and the city dressed up? As you shine your light, you give others permission to shine theirs and there is room for EVERYONE to shine, always. You have something so valuable to give that no one else can give quite like you do; it's actually true. Spending time recharging is as much for yourself as for others, so that you may bring your best self into all relationships. I guess that nasty virus detox was my recharge/rest version this time.
I hope you can tackle the holiday seasons and all seasons with passion, grace for yourself and others, and the ability to presently enjoy every second you spend with others. I would love to hear how you decide to unplug and fill your energy source during the holidays, or anytime.