What do you think of when you hear the word “peace”? Calmness, relaxing, quiet, harmony, just to name a few. Peace can have many meanings, and relate to many different situations. It can be peace in your household, peace in your community, peace in the world or simply peace in your own mind. We can be our own worst critic. That monkey mind is relentless, isn’t it?? What if we gave ourselves a break during this holiday season, a truce if you will, and chose to be calm, find harmony, relax and be an example of PEACE.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Kindness
There’s no doubt that the year 2020 has been...well...unpredictable. Instability can make some people feel anxious, depressed, frustrated and maybe even irrational. When things seem out of our control and our freedoms are compromised (suddenly at that), we tend to either hold on a little tighter to things and people in general, or just retreat and stop trying. Regardless of the path you have taken this year - or maybe its a hybrid of both - remember that we are all just doing the best we can. So let’s decide to show more kindness to one another, including ourselves.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Gratitude
This one is big. How can you feel gratitude when things around you are falling apart? When the kids are, well, always there. When your spouse asks you “what’s for dinner?” Every. Single. Day. When you look at your bank account and your bills, and you think - how am I going to do this? When no one asks you, “are you ok?”
Through appreciation. Hear me out. When you can find one thing, no matter how small, to feel grateful about, that thing grows. And when you expand your appreciation by finding something new each day to be grateful for, your days become a bit brighter. And pretty soon, you find yourself feeling a little softer. Ideas begin to flow for challenges that previously seemed insurmountable. You have a bit more patience when your kids won’t leave your side because that means you understand that they see you as their whole world.
There are lessons in everything and everyone you encounter. You begin seeing them more clearly when you cultivate practicing just a bit of gratitude.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Quiet
On Christmas Eve I have a tradition I have practiced for nearly 20 years that very few people know about. After everyone has gone to bed and all the wrapping is done, I sit by the tree, with my eggnog, and just...breathe. It’s the most peaceful time of the season for me. The only light in the room is the tree and as I look at the gorgeous lights and pile of presents that fill the underside, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude, and peace. It’s also a glimpse of the calm before the storm, as wrapping paper and boxes will be flying in the morning!
This is also the time I have a private conversation with my stepdad and my grandma...they passed away within 18 months of each other in 2002 and 2003. They were my go-to people for a lot of things in my life and I still miss them immensely. I cherish this time to communicate with them, in the quiet. Before I go to bed, I take a picture of the tree as a memory.
This year I challenge you to find your own quiet time, whenever and wherever you can. Take the time to breathe, reflect and ground yourself. Remember, you can't give from an empty tank.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Patience
Full disclosure...I am not a patient person. I try reallly hard to be, and I am better than I used to be, but it is a constant struggle. I am a very creative person and I have so many ideas swirling inside my head some days (most days right now as I launch a business), that I just don't know how I am going to put them all into practice. Oftentimes what ends up happening is that I get impatient with myself or the slow pace that its taking to get from my head into reality, that I give up. I move onto the next thing. I write things down, I really try to keep things straight and organized for “future reference” or “later”. Then problem is that I have things written down in so many places that I lose track! And when I do find them, they can almost feel like new ideas. And then the rabbit hole reveals itself again, enticing me to enter…
The truth is, if I would just s-l-o-w d-o-w-n enough to see one thing to fruition, I KNOW that not only would I feel so accomplished and proud of myself, I would also open up space in my mind to create the next thing. I would feel that sense of completion, that would ultimately lead to more magic and impact. My ultimate wish!
So where do you need to show a little more patience? Either with yourself or with others? With the Universe, with time? I’ll wait here patiently while you ponder...
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Connection
As I write this, we are 7 days from Christmas. I’m not sure about you, but I feel like this year has FLOWN by. It’s about this time that the kids are starting their holiday break and many people are requesting time off of work so that they can tackle last minute shopping and prepare for allll the holiday parties that are yet to come.
This year will be different. Many of us are home already - all day, every day. It will require us to be creative about seeing loved ones...again. Easter and Thanksgiving were the same way. It’s hard, it’s sad and it can be very isolating.
So, here’s your next assignment: find a way - any way - to open those connections up with friends and family in a way that you can actually “see” them. There are tons of platforms to do this...my favorite for a group is Zoom. Everyone gets the same link, they turn on their video on their computer and “poof” everyone is on the screen! You could also utilize Google Duo, FaceTime and many others.
No matter what the situation is in our world right now, connection - however we can make it work - is important. We need each other. And that friend or family member that lives alone...make an extra effort for them. You will both benefit, I promise.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Joy
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘joy’? Happy, peaceful, playful? Those are all great, but what I’m talking about is something deeper. It’s a feeling in your soul. Like that feeling you get when you are doing something you thoroughly enjoy or when you’re spending time with your loved ones and the hours fly by. You lose yourself in pure, unfiltered JOY.
When is the last time you can say you felt that? If it takes you more than 10 seconds to answer that, it’s been too long.
So where do you start? By finding just one small thing to do each day that makes you feel good. By thinking of how you WANT to feel and finding something or someone to be around that helps you feel that feeling. Does watching cat videos make you smile? Do that. Reading a good book under a warm blanket? Do that. Playing with your child or grandchild? Do that. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes! Little by little you will reignite your spark, and soon that spark will grow into a flame, and before you know it you will find it again...your passion, your bliss, your JOY.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Rest
As I write this, we are embarking on the Winter Solstice. A time for new beginnings (of sort), a fresh start (kinda), but also a day that marks the darkest day of the year. To me, that signals a reason to rest and reset. The last two days I have slept in longer than I have in months, and I think it’s because my body is telling me that I need sleep. How about you? Are you feeling it too??
No matter if you are or you aren't, whenever you feel your body, your soul, your mind telling you that it needs to recoup, recover, rest...LISTEN. You are that important. Trust me on this.
Now if you’ll excuse me, my cozy bed, eye mask and relaxing music are all calling. Sweet dreams!
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Love
Love is an energy, a feeling, a belief, an action. Anything you do in a true, authentic spirit of love will grow and benefit others. It’s also about love of self...a true appreciation for the you that is you. In Human Design terms today begins a cycle of self love, integrity with self, having your own back. Listening to your body, your soul, and ultimately your heart.
Just 4 days before Christmas, it’s about love of family. You may not be able to be near your family this week, but you can still show them love, send them your love in the form of a phone call, a video chat, a handwritten note or even with a prayer.
Our world is changing, friends. We are beginning a new chapter. An era of collaboration, consciousness, community, “we” instead of “I”...and ultimately an underlying vibration of LOVE.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Food
Yes, food. Does that seem like a strange category to be included here? Now, to be clear, I mean more than just the physical morsels you consume. I am also referring to the “food” you give your mind and your soul. To me, that is just as important, if not MORE so.
Food (the kind you consume) can be a form of social construct. It’s present during intimate get togethers, big family gatherings, special celebrations such as weddings or baptisms or even just a comforting friend while you’re binge watching Netflix (again).
Living in a pandemic it’s become clear to me it’s more about nourishment than actual food. Sure, a lot of us can say that we have also consumed more carbs than we’d care to admit, but I’m willing to bet that even without thinking you have also begun to nourish your soul. You’ve had more time to think, be still, assess...and decide.
You can decide how you want to nourish not only your body, but your spirit. Your body never leaves you and your spirit, your soul, your essence...well it’s nothing short of a miracle and it’s with your forever. Choose wisely.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: Boundaries
(You get a two-fer today since I didn’t post this last night. :-))
Normally (whatever “normal” is now) at this time of year we would be feeling stressed out running from one holiday party to the next - family, office, friend - trying to make everyone happy, fit it all in. I know for me when that happens the magic of the season tends to get a little fuzzy. But it’s hard to say no, isn’t it? And I mean, if I’m being honest, most of the time I actually WANT to participate in all of these gatherings. I’m a people person and I LOVE my people!
But what about the times when you don’t want to go? Or you don’t want to participate? Or you are only doing it out of obligation? For me, what happens is my energy gets zapped, or I get edgy…or both. And how does that translate into the feeling others get by being around you? Apathy, avoidance, frustration...no fun for anyone.
This applies not only to the holiday season, but in your everyday life. Setting boundaries is NOT about making anyone else “wrong”, it’s about HONORING yourself and what you want to make space for in your life. Your energy, your soul, your heart are all sacred. You are unique. And you deserve all the good things.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: PresenCE
In this final post, I leave you with this...one of the greatest gifts you can give or receive is your presenCE. To truly BE with someone, to listen to them, to actually see them. Presents are wonderful, I love them as much as the next girl, but you know what really warms my heart?? Having all of my children (and grandchild) with me, hearing their laughter, listening to their stories and sharing in their lives. Connecting with my close friends, the ones who feel like family, even if it has to be on video right now instead of in person.
When the time comes for my spirit to leave this earth, I want people to remember me not by what I bought them, but rather by how I made them feel. I want those I love to know without a shadow of a doubt that I love them. That even though I may not be able to see them as much as I want to (or not at all right now), they still feel my “presence” and know I am here for them always. It’s truly the greatest gift I can give.
Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you for reading these posts, I hope you have enjoyed them and they have inspired you in some way. May you find peace and joy not only today, but in the coming year.