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November 30, 2013

Add Self Into The Holidays

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/add_self_into_the_holidays/

The holidays, in a secular and non-secular sense, are here.  

As we spend our November and December rounding out the year, it is easy to get swept away in the hustle and bustle of countless holiday festivities.  I find myself more apt to reflection, taking a more intentional approach to how I allot my energy, and especially during the fall and winter months.  

These days, I enjoy doing less and Being more. In this Age of Short Attention Spans, it is hard not to fall into the trap of dashing and darting until one passes out from utter exhaustion.  We assemble at the behest of old doctrines and outdated religious bylaws without question; we spend because of the sale, not because of the necessity; and more so, we (over)eat because it is what we are supposed to do during the holidays...

What of finding time to reflect? What of being anti-holiday, and doing for YOU a little more?

I feel that we so much have to remember that the end of the year is a time to give and to be with family and friends - and to get a good end-of-the-year-deal or two - , but is that all that there is?  What if we took it upon ourselves to embody a Go To Give attitude all year long, starting in January rather than waiting until November when we volunteer one day to feed people experiencing homelessness (if we even do that much at all)?  

What if we called our loved ones regularly starting the beginning of the year - and throughout -, and snail-mailed cards to say thank you, hello and goodbye to people via written letters instead of email, and not just during the little window of holiday card season? 

Well, in thinking of the later question, mail would probably be a bit more pleasant during the year, and perhaps our postal services would be less of a dying presence.  Methinks that during November and December, we'd have a little more time to tend to ourselves, more time to Be rather than Do. Because when we Be, abundance flows; more so, when we have a mind that loudly shouts "Do! Do!" we ultimately end up stuck in it.  

Now, I don't mean to say that being a part of the holiday cheer and spending it in community is bad.  I just feel that it is not entirely good to neglect the Self for holidays that generally cause people to have stress-level spikes, a jump in weight due to over-eating and skinny wallets, emptied by The Good Deal.  I feel it is just as important to decline an invitation to get in a bath filled with lavender and lined with candles.  I feel it is just as important not to attend a Black Friday sale, in order to sleep in and then casually get through the day, without having to wait in lines, and without added stress.  

The holidays were not designed for what I feel we have made them; instead, I firmly believe they happen in the fall and winter months because the days are shorter, which means it gets darker earlier... which means the light of day gets dimmed quicker to create stillness and more time for reflection.  When it is lighter out longer (say in spring and summer), restlessness should prevail, what with all the energy of the Sun nudging us to play and frolic. But, as the animals turn in for the winter to hibernate, we should, too, as Humans.

The holidays should definitely be a time to gather with others, but I say carve out time to dis-assemble, to recharge the Self, to visit with the Self and to feed the Self with the goodness that will only spill over and out to other people once our personal Energy Wells are filled up first.  

On the daily we are so busy Doing that we forget that we are Human Beings. We are whole and complete when we are simply just sitting. In an effort to not be another person sludging in life with un-diagnosed Adrenal Fatigue, I'm taking time this holiday season to pamper and insert joy into my Self, making sure that I, too, receive what I need in order to have a truly happy holiday.  Because happiness, peace and cheer, at the core, starts with Self.

How will you create more meaning for yourself this holiday season?
However you celebrate, be safe, and remember to breathe...  And take a much-needed nap or two. 

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