The holidays are a perfect time to take stock of what is serving you and what is not. Opting out of what you don’t need will set your Best Self free
‘Tis the season, right? It’s hard not to get caught up in the holiday frenzy…the ‘ol making our lists, checking them twice — and taking on more than humanly possible in the name of, Well, this is the way we’ve always done things.
So, how has that worked out for you in the past? I always begin to feel the stress of the season sneaking up upon me right about now, because I realize that many of the unrealistic goals I set for myself are falling short — the added pressures are rapidly mounting. And, I pretty much do the same thing to myself every year. Hello!
We are like homing pigeons to our habits; be it with our holidays, relationships, businesses, etc. Our limited thinking and patterns can fit like well-worn gloves. Oh how quickly we forget that we don’t have to do things the same way we’ve always done them (especially when we already know that outcome). So, what are we going to do about that? There’s still time to cut this insanity off at the pass. I know we are only 9 days out until Christmas, but we can stop the merry-go-round at any time and get off.
I’m not suggesting anything drastic — though rock on if that’s what is calling you. I myself, respond best to baby steps. Just step!
First off, I’ve got a permission slip, or perhaps we should call this a prescription, for your Best Self: You do not have to be all things, to all people, at all times, in all places.
And no, yeah, buts!
I repeat: You do not have to be all things, to all people, at all times, in all places.
Besides, you can’t anyway…so why set yourself up to fall? And maybe that single notion makes you cringe because if you are anything like me, you are programmed to be a ‘good girl’ (or boy) — no rocking the boat here.
My family Christmas is steeped in tradition and routine. We all convene and we all fall in line with the way we’ve always done things. Don’t get me wrong, there is something incredibly beautiful and comforting about that, like a thread that weaves through our history and binds us — for which I am incredibly grateful. However, there isn’t a lot (or any) wiggle room to break from the pack and do things differently. And that ‘breaker from the pack’ is usually me, the one who begins to crawl out of her skin a bit after a few concentrated days of family and my own dismissal of what I need.
And I want to be clear, that’s no one else’s fault, responsibility or job but my own. Same goes for you.
Start by acknowledging what you need, what is important to you.
Far too often, we brush those things aside temporarily in the name of ‘going with the flow’. Though, going with the wrong flow will begin to create inner conflict — and suffice it to say, no one wants to be on the receiving end of that.
For example, I’m beginning to claim my inner introvert and taking action steps to protect her. I like quiet, alone time, early morning writing, moving my body, meditating, eating clean food…and red wine. While I’m at it, I also have a little issue with white chocolate peppermint truffles that luckily I usually only see at Christmas (and I would never buy, but somehow they always end up in a crystal bowl in my mother’s living room)! But I digress.
Our holidays kick off a bit earlier because Mom’s birthday is 2 days before Christmas. I’ll admit it is quite special to be able to celebrate with her each year — but it also means more ‘holiday time’ which essentially translates to more time to fall off the self-care wagon.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way a purist about anything, least of all the holidays (again, the aforementioned red wine and chocolate), but I am trying to consciously set myself up differently this year. And trust me, this not only will be of great benefit to you, it will be for the rest of the people around you as well.
It matters how we show up — for ourselves and others.
The holiday craziness can make us feel frazzled like we are screeching in from around the bend at the last minute and only on 2 wheels.
Do I need to repeat the permission slip again?
So in the context of all that you’ve already gotten yourself involved in and committed to — is there a way you can step back and breathe into your needs? What could you do to set up and support yourself better?
I’m not suggesting bowing out of anything…but feel free to act upon that, if that is what is calling to you. For me, I know that I’m going find a quiet spot each morning to sit and read or write or both. I’m going to bring warm clothes to bundle up and take walks in the cold, fresh, winter air — so that I can move my body and let Mother Nature do her thing on my nervous system. I’m going to pay attention to my indulgences and how they make me feel — yes, red wine and white chocolate peppermint balls, I’ve got my eye on you.
In other words, I’m going to carve out the time for things that fuel me.
The holidays are a beautiful time to sink in and be present, to enjoy the people we love and to connect — but within the context of that connection, we needn’t disconnect from ourselves. It isn’t an either/or equation…or at least, it doesn’t have to be.
You know what feeds you. if you are going to put anything on your holiday list…put that. And if there truly isn’t room for that, knock something else off. Because the reality is that when we attempt to be all things to all people at all times in all places…we are heading for a crash.
And not to get all bah humbug-ey on you…I love the holidays, I do. I’m just going to take a pause and breathe into what will truly help fuel the vision I hold for my holidays for myself and my family. It’s actually quite simple. It’s consciousness. Be conscious of all that you have and are; your blessings, your vulnerabilities, your joys and your sorrows, your hopes, your dreams desires, needs and fears. There’s no sense pretending differently. We are each a glorious, sometimes messy mixed bag, a work-in-progress. Cheers to that.
What are you going to opt out of? Me…I’m opting out of dismissing my needs. I’m opting out of ignoring the call of my body and spirit. I’m opting out of feeling guilty for not being able to do all things with all people (even when I want to). I’m opting out of second guessing myself. Yep, unsubscribing from it all. Most of all, I’m opting in to a new way…one of subtle shifts that will yield great impact upon my soul. I’m opting in to more of my Best Self. It’s never too late to show up for yourself. Care to join me?
So, how is this playing out in your world…are you slipping down the holiday vortex or have you figured out how to do this differently — what shifts do you have up your sleeve? Please share with us in the comments below.