The gift of holiday healing. Overcome stress and anxiety around the Christmas holiday season and gain tips and ideas to practice mindfulness, overcome holiday stress, and keep your sanity.
The Gift of Holiday Healing
So, today I want to talk about the Christmas holiday. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas can bring up a lot of mixed emotions. Some of you are truly looking forward to getting together with friends and family and it brings feelings of love, joy, and happiness.
For others, perhaps you are not as excited at the prospect of seeing all those relatives you only see once per year and you might experience some feelings of dread or anxiety. Memories of past unpleasant situations or verbal exchanges can affect your ability to have a positive attitude and outlook this holiday season.
Feelings of Love and Joy?
Often loved ones pass away during this time of year and it can be a melancholy time of wishing they were still with us. Perhaps someone you really cared for is no longer with you or has recently passed on.
The holiday season is also a busy time and it is easy to get overwhelmed. We get so wrapped up in the to-do list that it becomes easy to be short with people. Also, I think we all have a few family members that can push our buttons from time to time.
Unresolved Feelings and Old Issues
Stress, fear, anxiety, and depression can take their toll on anyone this time of year. Past holiday experiences can bring up unresolved feelings and old issues. Perhaps an expectation you had has been not met or someone disappointed you deeply.
A broad range of previously buried or forgotten feelings, like hurt, anger, and pain can creep up during a holiday celebration when you are again faced with seeing the same people. Those feelings are making themselves known for a reason. It is because your soul wants the healing from that issue. Your soul wants the healing to begin.
So, I thought today we could all use a little presence and mindfulness for this holiday season. With so many things to do you can end up feeling overwhelmed. For today’s show I have put together a few tips and ideas to practice mindfulness, overcome holiday stress, and keep your sanity.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as we are already in the middle of the holiday season. Christmas can be a healing holiday if you intend to make it that way. Enjoy and take in as much as you can. January will be here before you know it. Here are a few gentle reminders to bring healing into your upcoming family gatherings during this Christmas season. The first one is to remember to breathe.
Remember to Breathe
Many times we get stressed out from family, shopping, or extra cooking and forget to pay attention to our breathing. Take a few moments and center your mind on your breath. By going within, you can keep your mind focused on the tasks at hand. Remembering to breathe can also clear your thoughts enough to keep you from saying something you may later regret if tensions within your family are running high.
We have many parts of our holiday gatherings that we love. There may also be parts that we would love to change. Focus on being present with the parts that make you feel good and feel connected. Do you have a favorite activity that you do every year? Rather than just going through the motions, be present with as many aspects as you can and engage yourself. Fully engage yourself.
Also stay in the present moment. All too often we start thinking about what happened in a past Christmas or in the past year or about what will change in the future. Looking at the past or future just leads to unnecessary stress. By staying in the present moment you can enjoy your visits and activities a lot more.
If you are visiting a relative’s home, notice and observe. Take in the decorations and find something that you connect to. Is there a decoration you have always admired? Tell them and give them a compliment! Notice how everything feels and the atmosphere of the home.
Notice what your body is telling you too during this time. Your body is always giving you feedback. Gift yourself the gift of extra rest. Turn down that party invitation and take a night off instead.
Being mindful helps us stay in control when it comes to indulging in food or drink. There always seems to be a lot of extra high sugar and high calorie foods around that tempt us. Enjoy your favorites but allow yourself to pass on some of the extras. Particularly pay attention to what your body is telling you and what you have learned about your body from the past. For example, if dairy products bother you during the year, they will still bother you during the holidays, so you may choose to not have something with dairy products in it.
Embracing Holiday Gatherings – Seeing Your Family Through A New Lens
Okay, now I want to talk about those holiday gatherings and hopefully seeing your family members and loved ones through a different lens, a new lens. Getting together with family members whom you may see only once or twice a year can bring up emotions that you thought you have gotten past a long time ago. It may seem like you have to put on your suit of armor to go to a family function. So, you of course have a choice to attend or not. You have a choice to invite someone into your home or not. But before you make that choice, I wanted to talk about Unity and how we are all ONE.
Living on the Edge
These days everyone seems on edge with each other particularly with opposing political viewpoints. You know how it goes…you see a family member post something political on Facebook and you can’t believe how they can see things that way. And it goes both ways you know – Democrat or Republican or some other political leaning, it doesn’t really matter. You are going to have conflicts and you are going to have differences of opinion.
If the thought of talking about politics or other touchy subjects brings about feelings of dread and anxiety, I invite you to try looking at it from a different lens. Sometimes this isn’t the easiest thing to do especially if we are on edge, but I encourage you to view your family members through the lens of oneness. We are all one. We are all ONE.
Can you get past those feelings and to the knowing that we are all on this Earth for the same purpose? Every person is at a different point in their life path, that’s all. Everyone has a different answer to how to fix a problem. We all have a different point of view. Everyone has had a different set of circumstances and we will never know the entire story of someone else’s thought process. Again, we are all one in Unity.
The Same Old Stories
So, when the same old stories come up, when the same attitudes show up at the dinner table, how can you promote Unity? When the same poor comments on how come you aren’t married yet come up or some other equally obnoxious comment, can you turn down the flames of anger and come to a place of peace inside of you?
How can you see the common thread amongst all of us? And you know, this is not just about the holidays. This is every day of the year. Now, you may or may not say anything out loud to anyone else in the room, but I invite you to make peace if only in your mind, with family members whom you don’t agree with and focus on the things you do have in common. Commonality goes a long way in overlooking someone’s political viewpoints, and like I said, this goes both ways.
So, now let’s go a step further and talk about forgiveness. You may never agree with what has been said or done in the past, but can you forgive? You don’t need to agree with someone’s point of view or someone’s reason, to forgive them. Forgiveness is for yourself. The act of forgiveness allows healing for yourself. Forgiveness is not giving somebody a pass on something wrong, or that was perceived as wrong. The gift of holiday healing for you. To know that you have worked through that and it’s done. Can you finally get past the hurt and emotion and see that person and the role they played in a situation? Can you see them through the eyes of oneness and wholeness? Again, we are all one.
A Forgiveness Technique
When a situation arises that gets your emotions to run wild, practice saying these words: I love you, Please forgive me, I’m Sorry, Thank You. I love you, Please forgive me, I’m Sorry, Thank You. This is a form of Ho’oponopono, a forgiveness meditation and healing technique that, said repeatedly will bring calm and peace to any situation. I invite you to add this to your spiritual toolbox for any situation and for any time of year. I love you, Please forgive me, I’m Sorry, Thank You.
The Gift of Holiday Healing
You have the full ability to heal from your past. It all starts with a decision and an intention that you want, whatever the issue is, to fade out of your consciousness and become a thing of the past and will not continue to to affect you in your present life. That can be easier said than done, in some cases. The point is to acknowledge that you want to begin the healing process. That is all you need to do for now. Acknowledge that you want to begin the healing process. The rest will come in its due time.
Enjoy the Moment and Live in the Present
When we think about getting together with family during the holidays, often we take a trip down memory lane to the last unpleasant thing that was said or done. I invite you to take a moment to be present and to savor what you do enjoy, whether it be the holiday lights, the smell of cookies baking or anything that brings a bit of joy to you day. By living in the present, thoughts of the past really can be let go and dissolved.
Giving and Receiving
Let’s talk a little about giving and receiving. There are so many things you can give to someone else besides a physical present or in addition to a physical gift. Often we feel spiritually depleted but in reality you are perfect, whole, and complete just as you are. You have enough extra in your spiritual well to be able to give. You also have the ability to receive in the same amount. So, here are some things you can both give and receive that won’t cost you an extra cent this holiday season.
Give An Extra Hug
How about that extra hug? Don’t hold back this time. It is okay to hug! Children need about 12 hugs a day and as adults, I think we still need 12 hugs a day. Reach out and give that relative or friend that you know has been going through some hard times an extra hug when you see them. Let them know that you are really glad to see them again. Show it in your face and show it in your actions.
Give An Extra Prayer
Something else you can give is an extra prayer. Is someone in your family or circle of friends going through an unpleasant experience? Sit quietly and think about that friend or family member and send them healing thoughts and prayers that they will have the strength to get through their problems of the day. Do not make the problems your own, but show compassion and kindness that you understand their problems.
Give An Extra Loving Thought
You can also give an extra-loving thought. Catch yourself in mid-thought when you are making a judgement about someone, particularly if a certain scene is replaying itself again this year. Replace it with an extra loving and healing thought about what you do like about that person. Realize that they are a part of lessons you are learning and love them for it.
Give the Gift of An Extra Apology
You can also give an extra heart-felt apology. Apologize for the things that were said or went unsaid that may have hurt someone else this year. Let go of your ego and making the first move toward healing. By letting go, you can bring healing to another and in return receive healing yourself.
Give the Gift of an Extra Phone Call
You can also give the gift of holiday healing by taking the time to make that phone call you were thinking about all month. Take an extra 10-15 minutes to call a friend, not just email them, but call a friend that maybe you have fallen out with or someone you know who may be in a nursing home. Talk about the old times and reminisce. A great time to do this is between Christmas and New Years. We have a friend from many years back that we haven’t seen for a long time that always takes the time to call at least once a year and catch up. It is always great to hear his voice when he calls.
An Extra Good Deed
What about those good deeds? Do the good deeds we didn’t do for each other this year. Whether it is shoveling someone’s driveway, or inviting an elderly neighbor over for dinner or any volunteer work that may come along, take the time and do at least one or two of the thoughts that have crossed your mind recently. You never know who you are going to meet.
Gift the Gift of Holiday Healing
You can also give yourself the gift of holiday healing by making sure you find time to be around people who make you happy, especially if your family gatherings are a bit stressful. Seek out at least one happy friend and give them a phone call or arrange to finally get to visit them.
So, to wrap everything up what I want you to realize is that we really are all one and we are all part of the whole. That is the gift of holiday healing. What brings healing to another brings healing to ourselves. I also want you to remember you are perfect, whole, and complete, just as you are.
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