Move mindfully through this season; be gracious to yourself and as always, lead with love.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the happiest season of all…or at least that’s what the song says. The weather is changing, colorful lights, ornaments and holiday cheer is all around us. You’ve got your Amazon cart filled with last minute gifts and mentally preparing to engage in celebrations from now until the new year. Or maybe you’re actively avoiding others, feeling anxious about what you have or haven’t purchased for them. The opening scenes of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” illustrates this perfectly when Cindy Lou, asks her dad “Isn’t this a bit much?” as he’s going down the list of people to buy for. He emphatically responds, “This is what Christmas is all about!”
I’m not going to lecture you about gift giving or saving your money because the true meaning of this season isn’t about gaining material possessions. I think we’ve all experienced enough within the past two years to understand that. I also think that although we’ve learned the value of time, health and safety, we can still get lost in trying to make this time feel special. Meaning, in our efforts to create “holiday magic” it all becomes superfluous (another nod to Cindy Lou, the tiny voice of reason).
We have many examples of people doing the unnecessary to compete or please others from our favorite holiday movies, a well-meaning family member, or maybe it’s you who caused a power outage, burnt the turkey and well, you get the point. Perhaps you have a history of spreading yourself thin to ensure that everyone is happy with you. I wonder how well that’s worked out for you and the people closest to you. You likely end up feeling drained, returning to your normal routine not even remembering what you worked so hard to create.
Two of the best gifts you can give yourself this season are kindness and grace. Practice self-compassion when you’ve made a mistake and accept that you and this time won’t be perfect. The decorations, the food, and gifts are a part of the holidays but they don’t make up for unneeded stress and the time you’ve lost. Relieve yourself of the pressure to be perfect and embrace the here and now. Move mindfully through this season; be gracious to yourself and as always, lead with love.