As we shift and evolve, the holidays seem to take on a life of their own each season.
In living consciously it’s important that we give ourselves permission to be wherever we are with our feelings about the holidays at any given time. The goal would be to eliminate from our vocabulary the words should and obligation, especially at this time of year. I am a big advocate for only doing the things that one can do with joy!” Let me explain.
Mindful living would allow the holidays to evolve as we do. As a child, the holidays were a really big deal in my family. Our celebrations could have been a model for a Norman Rockwell painting. They were filled with extended family, food and lots of presents. As my siblings and I became young adults and everyone began their careers, the holidays became less about family and more about time of get-aways with lovers and friends. Then as we began getting married and having children of our own the holidays began to once again resemble the celebrations of early childhood. But then, as life once again shifted, and the children grew up, my parents died, and I got divorced there was nothing that I wanted to be further away from. In fact, The Holidays became a four-letter word for me. I instantly turned off any Christmas music and mushy gushy Christmas movies were a major taboo. I declined all invitations to parties and gatherings and I was certain to have embodied Scrooge.
It was at a time in my life when I was mad, really mad. Mad at God, mad at my family, mad at society, mad at all the lies that I had believed but mostly I was mad at myself, but then that’s another story.
However, as I began evolving, I stopped acting like a victim and decided that I was going to be in choice. “How and with whom, if anyone, did I want to spend my precious time with?” I learned to say no, with my head held high, to anything that didn’t bring me joy, which at that time, was everything. I began to really appreciate my time with me, getting to know me as my best friend. A holiday alone is like living on a different planet for a day. No one calls, no one wants or expects anything, and I get to spend the day anyway that I want. I can watch movies all day, take a nap or enjoy a drive.
And my holiday evolution continues now that my children are beginning to have their own families. I see myself shifting once again but with new traditions and values being incorporated into our celebrations and I happy that I am still able to say “No, thank you,” without feeling obligated in anyway. And now, instead of regretting the holidays, I treasure the time they bring and my ability to choose me, by declining (or accepting) the many gracious invitations without excuses or guilt.
Read Also: A Path to Mindful Living by Pati Hope
How does holiday evolution apply to conscious living? It’s simple. All we have to do is to make sure, especially during the hectic-ness of the holiday season, to make the opportunity to pause and to choose what it is that we can do with joy in every moment. Sometimes that takes reevaluating old beliefs and traditions and letting our past experiences of the holidays, and let them change, shift and evolve as we do.
Our time in this life is limited and precious and it seems senseless to spend it in ways that don’t feed us. What I’m really hoping is that you feel the permission to spend your time during the holidays however YOU want to, because when you are at peace that translates to the peacefulness of others. What’s best for you is best for those around you… guaranteed.
Article by Guest Writer: Pati Hope
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!”