A few years ago, I offered to coach people to find ways to have more conscious, meaningful holidays. Through that experience I got to see, close up and in a multiplicity of ways how, even with the best intentions, those lovely people got caught up with the contagious energy of busyness. I know I do. And so do you.
What We Want
We want to enjoy the people and events of this time, to find meaning in our traditions and sail through the challenges of celebrating with people who may trigger the worst in us. We want to feel relaxed, give joyfully, and receive graciously. We want to wrap up the year thoughtfully and be well prepared for the new one.
And when our energy is all over the place, when we are physically and emotionally exhausted… well, let’s just say that’s not the recipe that’s going to get us those results.
Here’s what is: granting ourselves time and space to be still, to let our body relax and our mind rest.
Especially when we are busy, we tend to think of this as a luxury.
But the truth is that gifting ourselves with a good dose of stillness is the one transformational element that can help us be present in a grounded way. It grants us the clarity to make conscious choices about how we want to interact with the world. It offers the possibility of sharpening our senses without letting that stimulation overwhelm us.
Sitting in stillness permits us to bring calm to the busyness of the season.
Experiencing the quiet of a relaxed mind and body can be the only way that some awarenesses that live far from the surface arise. Such as what would really make this time meaningful to you and what would help you share the most joy.
As Pico Ayer says in his inspiring little book The Art of Stillness, “in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.”
So I invite you to commit to gifting yourself with time to sit still, especially in this time of constant movement. Start now! Your willingness to do this suffices; the only way to do it wrong is to judge yourself about it.
Take two or three clearing breaths, where you let yourself experience the release of tension with the out breath and expansive spaciousness with the in breath. Notice how this begins to relax you, softening your body, calming your mind, inviting in serenity and stillness. You can choose what happens for the next few breaths. You can simply focus your thoughts on the restful feelings of stillness and calm in your body. Or you may want to repeat a phrase to yourself, such as: I choose stillness. If you have Reiki, you could run the energy.
When you feel complete with this, you may want to take a moment to jot down some reflections about the holiday season.
Some questions to consider:
- What would make this year’s holidays most meaningful to you?
- Is there anything you would like to change or update?
- Is there anything you would like to make more room for?
- Anything you would like less of?
- What can you do to balance the challenging aspects of the season?
Don’t forget to share your insights!