As we enter the fullness of the holiday season, we tend to have more plans, stay up later than we are accustomed to with friends, and perhaps drink more than we may otherwise. I am fully in support of the festivities that bring joy to the winter season. They lend such jolliness to what could otherwise be a dark and isolating time of year (at least where I live!).
These moments of gathering and laughter and good times can occasionally throw you off your game. You get less sleep than your body yearns for, you feel the effects of that last glass of wine well into the following day.
Because of the many gatherings, the kids who will soon be home from school, the vacation time--either at home or away--I find that I occasionally lose my rhythm, forget to prioritize my morning rituals (the ones that help me to feel aligned and full of innate resources & support).
I am used to getting my kids off to school and then sitting down to meditate, write down the things I am grateful for and my intentions--with a cup of warm water sitting on my new heart-shaped meditation cushion (oh how I love thee). It is a ritual I simply adore. I prioritize it over sitting down in front of my computer to “get my work done” because I know that from a place of joy and gratitude, I will have a much more productive and aligned day.
But when my son and my husband are home from school for the holidays, all of a sudden, I don’t have the same space I had before. I revel in cooking delicious breakfasts rather than sitting down with myself. Often, this is not even a conscious decision I make, it’s simply the flow of the day. And it feels good... until it doesn't
Generally, I don’t recognize the lack of routine, the days without meditation or writing in my journal, for a few days, until I begin to feel that deep, but subtle twinge inside me--like the emotional equivalent of a pulled muscle. I fall into despair more easily, I find myself asking questions that bring up the obvious negative response (such as: ‘Why am I the only one who helps out?’ Not only are these questions generally untrue--it they are simply bad questions to ask yourself since the search engine of your brain will come back with all the examples that support your foregone conclusion).
These poor questions send me down the rabbit hole of negativity, which in turn, creates tension in my body (a tight jaw, raised shoulders). It is usually at that point--when I feel the discomfort in my body--that I am able to become aware of what my brain has been thinking (often subconsciously). And oftentimes it’s laughable how a single bad question can bring up a world of hurt.
In my line of work, I see much evidence for the Law of Attraction--the idea that like attracts like. I see this physically in people’s homes where a clear surface can remain so, but place one errant item there and soon enough, it will have multiplied. But I also see it in the mental/emotional side of things: where the thoughts you focus on, are what you get more of. A wise friend told me recently:
Your attention is a precious resource. Be careful how you spend it.
So I make a conscious choice to keep my focus on what is working for me (there is so much!). When I find myself down the rabbit-hole of negative thoughts, I take a few breaths, become aware of the story that was playing in my mind (99% of the time it is not true--which is one reason it feels so bad!), get a dose of fresh air, do a sun salutation, race around the house with my son, do anything to get me out of my head. It takes all of 5 minutes and it improves my day in leaps and bounds.
Do you find yourself getting out of rhythm and routine this time of year? In so many ways that lack of alignment is the wonderful reminder of how important those rituals are (whatever yours may be). Just the way vacation makes you so happy to return home, a break from your daily rhythm makes you so appreciative of the time you do spend caring for your emotional self.
The holiday season is upon us. As a gift to you and yours, I created a tip sheet of how to stay on your game, during the jolliest time of the year.
Print it and pin it to your fridge. Send it to your loved ones. Share the gift of presence and alignment.
Enjoy slowing down and listening to your deep intuitions amidst the merrymaking and festivities.
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