- Family life does not always look the way it does on commercials – sometimes our relationships are difficult, we lose those whom we love or we struggle with health, finances or our own spiritual process. If the holidays find you in a place of experiencing loss or grief, do not run away from it acknowledge it. Grief and Joy are not necessarily mutually exclusive; if you do have heartache, be sure to allow yourself the possibility that there can also be moments of delight and loveliness in your life. This does not make you unfaithful to the one you have lost, it is actually an act of self healing, something any loved one would want for you. Trust in change, evolution and transformation. The fact is nothing stays the same so take one day, one holiday at a time.
- Make a decision and stick with it. Whether or not to go to that Christmas dinner or New Year’s party, whether to have a simple Christmas and not spend much money on anyone or go all out and buy those expensive special things… whichever way you go, make it joyful and complete. When we commit to our choices and walk with them fully we can find contentment readily. There are no wrongs, only choices, so celebrate yours this year and let go of the doubt that steals your mojo.
- Simplify. Sometimes our greatest stress comes from trying to do it all. This temptation to chase perfection is a constant work in progress but in every moment you can make a shift. It could be right when you’re walking up to the door to arrive at a potluck party and you realize you forgot garlic butter for the garlic bread. Just put that baguette in the oven and warm it up and serve it the way it is – enough is enough.
- Create! The act of creating and or expressing is one of the healthiest most high vibrational acts that we can choose. If you have a choice over the holidays between sitting in front of the television/computer/smart phone, or making something, dancing, playing interactive games with your loved ones, making music, doing a drawing of the person sitting next to you.. always choose the creative option. And make sure when you’re pursuing an act of creation that you stay in the moment. Don’t get focused on the outcome of making something too beautiful. Allow yourself to slow right down and be in the experience because this is where the delicious freedom is born.
- Gratitude, appreciation and observance. Being thankful may have been given a bad rap by your over zealous parents, but true appreciation is magical. And it’s not about being thankful because that’s the spiritually correct thing to do. It’s actually allowing yourself to feel how beautiful it is to receive the blessings around you because you are worthy of them and you deserve love and the joy in your life. Whatever you have or lack in your life, if you are reading this on a computer or smart phone, I promise you have so much more than many in the world. Notice your life, in minute, glowing detail. Love is everywhere when you find it within yourself.
- Happiness is a choice. As a child I knew a woman who survived an acid attack by her estranged husband that nearly killed her and left her severely disfigured. I remember Joan as one of the happiest, most engaged people I ever met. She told me that in the hospital after the attack she had experienced leaving her body and was given the chance by her guides to make a choice between life or death. Even when she was shown the profound challenges that lay ahead (something like 17 surgeries and unspeakable ongoing pain) she chose life. Having decided to live, she valued and celebrated every moment thereafter, establishing the first support program in Toronto for burn survivors, and bouncing into every room she entered with exuberant love and laughter. On a soul level, we have all chosen to be here, so we all have the power of knowing the joy that emerges from the unfettered commitment and appreciation Joan discovered. If Joan can do it, we all can. There is beauty in every moment, I promise. Let go and let Goddess take you there.
Take a quiet moment out of the next few crazy days and name six things that would help you hold a vibration of joy at this time, and keep it simple. Rather than I would be happy if my boyfriend gave me a Ferrari .. it would be, I would love to go for a walk by the water at sunset with my friend. I would be in heaven to go to bed at eight one night with hot chai and a new novel. I would love to buy my dog and I shortbread biscuits and eat them by the fire. It would be so amazing to hug each one of grown kids on the same day. Make a commitment to fulfill as many of these six as possible in the coming week. And after the holidays are done, when you are packing up decorations or saying goodbye to out-of-town visitors and there’s that first quiet space, pick up your journal and jot down notes about what really did bring you joy. Notice which of the simple things granted the greatest blessings and promise yourself to do them again next year.
There is little in life that love will not cure, especially self love. We are very confused about what we perceive as selfishness. The fact is that when we nourish ourselves fully, we cease the negative behaviors that affect everyone in our lives. When we allow for our own actualization, stepping up to be everything we want to be, it is not just for us, but for our loved ones and for the rest of the world.
Many of the primary celebrations and archetypal stories of the major spiritual traditions of the world involve stories of miraculous birth or rebirth. Miracles do happen – we are here to learn this and to live it. If you have a wish for this holiday season – even something so simple as a little quiet time, or a good conversation with an old friend, make sure you ask. The power of manifestation cannot unfold unless you are willing to state your desires clearly and trust in them to come to you when the time is right. Take your attention away from the constant worry that things will not happen, and give your attention to the belief that they will, for this is how miracles are made. May you celebrate the miraculous that lives all around you, and in this way discover your own path to peace and joy.
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