- On December 19, 2016
We are what we focus on—a necessary reminder during the hectic holiday season.
If I expect to find stress and overwhelm, it is right there front and center.
Party invitations; gift buying, wrapping, and shipping; decorating; baking; plus the inevitable gotta-get-it -done-before-the-end-of-the-year business stuff.
And out of town family arrives when???
I have finally cracked the code after many years of holiday seasons passing in a blur with not a whiff of “heavenly peace” to be found–Experiencing holiday peace means you have to bring peace to yourself.
If I really want to experience the peace and joy that is the promise of this season, I can find that too…I just have to do more pruning. It’s like buying that slightly misshapen tree at the high school tree sale. It just needs a little cutting and clipping to bring out its ideal shape to make it the perfect Christmas tree.
When I feel like I have lost control and am getting frazzled–easy to do with the increased expectations of this season—I take a minute and prune.
First I get everything on a big list. Everything I want/need to do. That gets it out of my mind and into a place where it won’t get lost and I know I can find it again if and when I need it.
When I’m ready to decide what I need to do that day or that hour, I breathe deeply five times to put the stress chemicals at bay and be fully present to my choices.
I scan the list with the overarching intention, “what will move me forward in love and possibility?” Whatever pops up is the most important thing to do right now, something that will give me intense satisfaction.
When I set my intention and put it front and center in my life, my mind is primed to look for that intention and find it in what I am experiencing.
And if the thing that ‘pops up’ as the most important to do right now to meet my intention is the niggling project I’ve been avoiding or the difficult phone call I need to make, I reframe it away from negative words towards more positive words: “What an awesome gift you are giving ____ by completing this project / sharing this information.”
The task is just a thing. It has no negative or positive in and of itself. The feeling I have about it, for whatever reason—dread, discomfort, shame, fear—is only one way to view the task and I can choose another perspective. If I focus on the positive outcomes, I can create a positive state.
During this holiday season, I am committing to finding a gift in everything I do–whether it is a gift to someone else or a gift to myself. Yes, maybe the thing that will move me forward in love and possibility right now is to have that cup of hot coco and watch the tree lights blink for 10 minutes while I let my mind wander.
What intention will you set to end your year with a gift of peace and joy?
Photo: JMaliszewski, 2015