Have you noticed that people seem to be putting up lights earlier this year? I have and I think it’s because… we need more light! We have been through a long period of darkness, stress and for some, tragic loss. So we are lighting candles, plugging in fairy lights…flooding our lives with glowing light as a symbol of our hopefulness. Whatever we call our celebration at this time of year, it feels like a lifting-up, especially as we get close to the end of 2020, a year like no other!
Now holiday time can often be challenging in itself. You know what I mean…there’s an added layer of unrealistic expectations, of revisiting old conflicts or wounds…it can be a mine field!
So I want to offer a few tips on how we can all stay in that sweet spot…that place of natural great peace. It is possible! Sometimes we just have to decide to do it. That word “decide” reminds me of my older sister. One Christmas, she gave our mom a most generous gift—a cruise together to the Caribbean with all the bells and whistles included. Sounds idyllic right? Well, my brother had enough years watching our sister and mom squabble over every little thing, so he challenged my sister before the departure day arrived. “ I challenge you to get through this trip…staying in the same room, being together 24/7…to not get on the mat…to stay in peace.” Well that sounded impossible to the rest of us, but my sister took it on and I’m here to tell you that she did it! She and my mom spent that whole trip together without one single squabble!
So Making the Decision is my first tip to myself and all of you. Use that powerful mind of yours to see a picture of how things can be and then decide to live that way. Just don’t get on the mat. There will be temptations but give it a try. The rewards are worth it.
The second tip is Self-Care…and more Self-Care. You may need to double up on your level of Self-Care during the Holidays. Typically, we think about making resolutions for the New Year—-lose that 10 pounds, get into shape, etc. You know the drill. Here’s a small aside that may help you focus. What is the difference between Connection and Pleasure? Good question! We sometimes confuse the two. If we aim for Pleasure and it’s easy to do in this season of over-indulgence, we end up with a short-lived surge of dopamine that soon fades and leaves us in a high/low cycle of disappointment. What we really want is Connection. Truly connecting with someone releases oxytocin that makes us feel loving and loved. And don’t forget the endorphins released during exercise that connect us to our bodies in a healthy enjoyable way.
My third tip is about Choice….over the holidays be with the people and activities that allow your mind to settle, that exude peace and connection. We’re already limited because of the pandemic to being with just a few people…so make those the people who reflect your inner Self. And choose activities that foster peace and connection….maybe doing a simple craft together or baking cookies. Whatever it is, try doing it with intention and awareness of staying centred and grounded.
I’m excited about the new year for all kinds of reasons that I’m sure you share! We can actually see a possible end to this pandemic…a ray of light for us all.
I’m also excited because i’ll be offering a new course…it’s called “Compassionate Self-Care”. It will be a whole different way of looking at making resolutions. This will be happening in January/February.
I have had such positive feed back from the course we just finished called “ Relationship Resilience in Challenging Times” It seems to be exactly the right message for the times we are in. So we’ll do it again! In March/April, I’ll be offering that course to you. Please consider getting involved in either or both of these…I know you will find them enjoyable and life-changing.
In the meantime, I want to wish you all the most peaceful, bountiful Holiday Time from my heart to yours!