Heightened energy plays against a desire to slow down.
Tradition wrestles with simplifying.
Best laid plans gone awry cast doubt on excitement for starting over next year.
A different way is possible.
Contradictions can shift towards alignment.
The change doesn’t have to be clouds-part-and-angels-sing huge.
Slight nudges have ripple effects.
Even when you think they’re silly, useless or can’t see them.
Here are 6 things you can do over the next 6 weeks to make the holidays flow better for you:
1. Five minutes
Take 5 minutes for yourself every day. More if you like, but no need to add pressure. Can be as simple as closing your eyes, taking some deep breaths and think of nothing. Bonus points for letting your creativity flow – sketch, free write, hum, dance on the spot, finger paint in coffee grounds, etc. The only rule is to gift this time to yourself, not what next needs doing, making lists, being anxious to get back to whatever. Be persistent. This is tougher than it sounds to start.
2. Change one thing
Do something different at least once each week. Could be tweaking a tradition. Testing a new one. Trying something you’ve always wanted to do. Not doing something you want to let go.
3. Make a day
Someone else’s day, that is. Give of yourself a few times a week. Doesn’t have to be monumental or take up a lot of time. Eye contact followed up with a smile or hug. Open a door. Thank a cashier. Let someone go ahead of you in line. Offer a genuine compliment. Call someone.
When you hear yourself grumbling about what you really want, take note. Literally. Write it down. There’s gold in them thar desires. Keep a notebook handy, paper or electronic, to capture your thoughts. Trust me, you won’t remember later. This is probably harder than taking 5 minutes for yourself. But it’s worth its weight in gold. Don’t worry about doing anything with your thoughts right now. No need to add pressure. Mining can come later.
5. Feel the new year
While you’re making lists, coordinating activities, planning out the holidays, and especially the coming year, take time to get out of your head. Instead of thinking, feel. Get your body working on your plans as well. Feel how you want to feel through the next weeks and next year. Infusing your body with this sensation will become a compass and comparison you can return to. Practice this several times a week. Don’t be surprised if it takes a bit of mucking about to gain some traction on honing in, or one feeling reveals another feeling underneath, and one under that.
Get curious. About everything. Watch for situations, people, themes, words or phrases, patterns, responses, and pretty much anything that keeps showing up. Note these in the same or separate notebook you’re using to capture what you’re listening to. If you find making notes on the fly a bit hard, take a few minutes each day to jot down what you remember standing out. Again, no need for making sense of these right now. That can be done down the road. Focus on paying attention and recording what you notice.
Let’s be realistic.
You probably won’t end up working on these practices as often as would be ideal.
Don’t get down on yourself.
Start again and you’ll keep going.
The goal is to make these a part of everyday life.
Something you do naturally.
They’ll start off feeling like something you have to do.
A pain in the butt.
Go ahead and get mad at them.
You’ve got some great material to note for listening and observing.
The more attention you give them, the sooner they’ll become integrated.
They’ll feel like a way of being rather than something you have to do.
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