From Here to There (Part 2 of 5)
By Pati Hope
This is part two in a series of tips on how to mindfully celebrate during the holiday season. So many times we rush through it all in a whirlwind of doing, usually way too much! We give parties, accept invitations, shop and travel mostly without stopping to pause, checking in with ourselves and making conscious choices on how we want to spend this very precious time. And at the end of it all, we’re left in a pile of exhaustion and debt, wondering what the hell just happened? And what makes matters worse is that we spent all this time, energy and money trying to make others happy (from our perception) and we forget to do some things that make us happy.
Last week we talked about letting our holidays evolve just the same as we do. If you’ve been doing the same things over and over again, year after year, or if you’re holidays resemble nothing of the way they’ve looked in the past, now is the perfect opportunity to stop… breathe, and take a little inventory.
Is gift giving out of control? Are you saying yes to too many invitations? Is your baking more of a chore than a pleasure? Do you feel obligated or guilty? Is the family unit changing? Maybe you’ve lost some family members to death, moves, divorce or children simply growing up. It’s easy to hang onto the ways of the past with fond memories and be disappointed as life changes. Maybe it’s time to let go of some of the things you’ve been doing routinely throughout the years and start your own traditions.
I was at the airport one Thanksgiving day several years back and I chatted with a man at the shoe shine stand. I found out his wife had gone to be with her family and he was headed for Florida to golf. My old self would have thought how selfish he was, but my new, evolving self celebrated both of their rights, and even obligation to self, to do what brought them each joy.
More recently, one of my single parent clients, who was trying to hold on to what the holidays should look like, in order for her to feel okay and complete as a family unit, with little success shared with me her story.
“The children and I tried many times to get someone to come over, but it just didn’t work out. I decided to take your advice and just stay at home with just us. It was a fabulous day. No schedules. I made only what I felt like cleaning up. Ryan made the pies the night before. We went to the bird sanctuary and had a great walk. It was a wonderful, relaxing day.”
While I think family and friend get-togethers are essential and healthy, I continue to rebel as society and commercialism continues to dictate what this bliss we’re searching for should be striving to achieve, especially during the holidays.
What? Warm fuzzy feelings about our families? Not happening! As I speak with people about their families there hasn’t been one instance when someone has said, how they love everyone in the family and everyone gets along fabulously and they can’t wait to spend time with them all. No, quite the contrary, everyone has “issues.”
One of my favorite scenes in Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation Movie…when Chevy is trying to recreate his memories of the perfect family Christmas and everything was a mess! He asked his dad, “How did you get through so many celebrations?” His dad simply raised his glass and said, “I had a little help from my old friend Jack!” (Jack Daniels that is!)
So this holiday season as we continue our quest for conscious living, let’s have the courage to not settle for what we know, what’s familiar, what we’ve always done, and let go of how we think things are supposed to be. Let’s stop and choose how we’re going to spend our time and money and say no to things that aren’t on the list of things we can do with joy.
Let’s evolve and really live our own lives and not let anyone define who we are or what we should be doing and make this holiday season the best ever!
(In part 3 we will be talking about Love Languages, how we and others perceive love and how that looks around the holidays.)
Pati Hope – Author, Founder & Executive Director of Evolve to Live
As the founder of Evolve to Live, a Nonprofit 501 (c)(3) Educational Outreach organization, Pati is fulfilling a long time dream. By creating this organization, she is bringing her extensive life experiences, skills as an author (three books and counting), inspirational speaker, transitional coach, energy healer and adventurer under one roof to benefit her clients and community. She is passionate about providing workshops, educational outreach, sessions and speaking to groups both large and small to share her insights and experiences. Pati embodies the mission of Evolve to Live, which is to “Embrace Change and to live life with renewed passion and joy!”
Don’t Miss to Also Check Part I of Pati’s series: Holiday Evolution: From Here to There (Part I)