The holiday season is just around the corner. Or, maybe, it’s been here since October. Either way, this time of year tends to come with quite a bit of stress, obligation and overwhelm. Our kind sentiments and warm, fuzzy feelings get lost in the midst of worry; worry about money, travel, time, energy and just about anything else our minds can conjure up to disrupt our joy. The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way, at all.
I’m committed to living my life in a way that encompasses peace, exudes love and creates power. So I took some time to create a possibility for a truly joyful holiday season within that realm. I’ve come up with some strategies for myself and thought I’d share, in hopes that you all will experience a peaceful and happy holiday, and beyond.
- Get that image doesn’t mean anything. Absolutely nothing. The energy we put into making our homes look perfect, the Pinterest-worthy projects we do with the kids, the gifts we can’t afford…..all of these things are joy suckers. We do them to impress others, while driving ourselves crazy. And broke. And guess what. No one else cares. No one cares how perfect our wreaths look from the street, how much money we’ve spent on their gift or how many times we’ve snapped at our child before taking over their “handmade” teacher gift. YOU are the only one who cares, and you are really robbing yourself of the opportunity to enjoy this time of year. Want peace? Forget to impress!
- Presence, not presents. The holiday season can be a tremendous financial strain for anyone who’s already struggling to make ends meet. Even if money is a non-issue for you, you might be missing the mark on making the most of this holiday season. It’s a busy time of year and, when we’re blessed by abundance, it can be much easier to use our wallets than our hearts to make an impact for others. Generosity is an incredible act, and should be acknowledged. But what really moves people is when we share our most precious resource with them, our time. Instead of spending a fortune on presents, gift the people you love with your presence. It will go a lot further than you can imagine. Take them out for coffee or lunch. Join them for a yoga or pottery class. Grab tickets to a comedy or music show that they’d enjoy. Spend time and love instead of money and see what opens up in those relationships!
- Get creative. Don’t get me wrong. Pinterest is remarkable source of inspiration and handmade gifts are a fantastic way to limit your holiday spending. But there’s something to really get before you go down this road….Pinterest does not have to equal pressure. By all means, seek ideas. But making gifts, even with the kids, should be an enjoyable and satisfying way of sharing a piece of you with someone else. Allow yourself to create something without the concern of how it will turn out or be received. If it comes from the heart, it will be felt that way.
- Commit with care. We tend to overcommit ourselves throughout the year, but even more so during the holidays. In our quest to make the most of the season, to be productive and meet expectations, we say we will do things we simply don’t have the time (or interest) for. Time is our most valuable resource and so we should give it with love, but wisely. This year, try your best to avoid making commitments of this nature. Instead, commit only to things that will bring real value to you and the people around you. Once you’re committed to something, honor your commitments with care and contentment.
- Forget about food. Health & wellness are important aspects of a powerful and effective life. However, food is also an important part of holiday tradition and is often an expression of love. Let go of the need to maintain a rigid nutrition plan and simply allow yourself to be in the moment, enjoying food freely without the worry of guilt.
- Get complete with 2017. We’ve all experienced things this past year that have brought discord or disappointment. Perhaps you’ve been slighted in some regard. Perhaps you’ve lost something or someone important to you. Or, perhaps, things just didn’t go as planned. The truth is that it doesn’t matter. Nothing that’s happened has anything to do with who you are or where you’re going from here. Accept that what’s happened has happened, and be willing to move forward without resentment or regret.
- Create possibilities instead of resolutions. With a new year comes the pressures of getting it right this time around. We resolve to do things differently, or better, in the year to come. The problem is that we are setting ourselves up for failure and, with failure, comes the sense of defeat. And we give up. Instead of making a resolution to do this or not do that, try creating a possibility for 2018. In the realm of possibility, there is no failure or shortcoming. It’s merely about what is possible through action. And the cool thing about possibility is that it’s always possible. What are you going to create for your life in 2018?