What you focus on and direct your energy towards has a way of intensifying, growing, becoming more prominent and significant. It begins taking up room, space and influence within the sacred centres of your mind, body, heart and life. Christmas is a big season for the western world. It has become not only a religious but cultural holiday, a universal event effective in stopping hustle and bustle for a day or two so people can prioritise family and being with the ones who love them.
Sometimes the very idea of Christmas with all the coulds and shoulds and woulds; the expectations and pressure, the worries and fears, the spectrum of opposing emotions from dread to delight, has a way of looming larger than it should. In this way, we become blinded to the true purpose of this blessed season. Know that you deserve to revel in the season, to bask in it. Don’t let Christmas be wrought from its original power, ingenious and stripped of intention.
The holiday season is designed to be a conduit of love, possibility, connection and hope yet it has become an agent of division, fear, shame, grief and a sense of crippling exhaustion. Getting into the Christmas spirit is not about entertaining competition on whose tree is the biggest or best decorated. It’s not about who checks off their present list to please everybody on it. It’s not about abundant feasts of ham and turkey. By all means, enjoy yourself with the provisions you have- just resist the pressure to go beyond your means for superficial show.
Commit to being where your feet are. Employ breath work and know that you can settle, soften and remain open here and now. Relax your forehead and drop your jaw. Let your posture relax, your shoulders sink down. Allow the muscles in your belly to loosen. Rid yourself of that awful tension and relinquish the desire to clench your way through this. Find an affirmation that resonates with you and make it your own. You want to become successful in creating a feeling and foundation that you can anchor yourself. In this way, when you start to believe that the idea is greater than the practice, you will know otherwise in your conscious mind.
Know that Christmas is only a window of time and a fleeting one at that. It is not final, not all there is. You will move through and onto the next season. Choose discomfort over resentment, grace over pressure. You must exist independent of other people’s expectations of you and hold tight to your own. Ultimately, you don’t have the ability to control the actions of others, no matter how minute. Do not take on board someone else’s pressure if it comes at the price of your own peace and presence. You are responsible for taking care of yourself first so that you may pour from a full cup.
Know that you are never alone. You are surrounded by those who are directing well wishes and good tidings your way. Let family and friends treat you in this season. Allow them to be what you need them to. For those of us who lack community, the Christmas period can highlight and exacerbate a pervasive sense of loneliness and being at odds with oneself. Be open to choosing your circle and you will always have a seat at the table. Explore local organisations that host festive lunches or dinners for those who are less fortunate. Remain steadfast in the belief that you don’t need closure to find joy this Christmas. Let this season be what it needs to and find happiness in the unexpected. Give yourself permission to take the time and space to regulate and find your centre when the holiday season overwhelms. Prioritise rest and rejuvenation and true presence with loved ones. Know that your work can wait and will still be there for you to return to it at a later time.
Be proud of what you have to give no matter how it looks in comparison to others. Giving is from the love of our hearts and that is what shows others they are set apart in our eyes. Christmas is not about price tags or brand names. Know that amidst joy, there is also a place dedicated to your grief. Feel it out. There’s no need to pretend that you’re moving through what’s tough without a hitch. The end of year season can bring with it anxiety as you reflect on the events of the past and what’s still to come. Whether a little or a lot has changed, you may feel out of sorts. Your pains are welcome here. Allow yourself to believe in the beauty of miracles, the kind that show up in the middle of your life and dress up what lies beyond the surface. Open your heart to possibilities big and small and welcome this sense of wonder. It will redeem you.
Cynthia Beaugealt said: “Jesus never asked anyone to form a church, ordain priests, develop elaborate rituals and institutional cultures or splinter religions into denominations. His two great requests were that we “love one another as I have loved you” and that we share bread and wine together as an open channel of that inter abiding love.”
So take all that threatens to throw you off and use it. What does Christmas stir up within you? Melt this down into one core practice- the sharing of love through food and quality time. The anticipation and build up that arises during the festive season will allow you to make the most of what’s to come.
Affirmation: Here I am. Nothing held back, nothing held onto. Flow and grace. Presence and being. Love and more love.