Here we are once again, in the thick of the holiday season. As always, it's a mix of fun and stress, anticipation and dread, nasty colds and tasty hot chocolate. It's a time to close out the current year and start preparing for the year to come. It's a busy, potentially overwhelming time.
How are you right now? Are you rushing around trying to get too much done? Are you worrying about your finances? Are you fighting off an infection or struggling with back, shoulder, or joint pain? And are you down on yourself for how much you've been eating, or how much you've not been exercising?
Even though it may seem normal, or even appropriate to feel harried at this time of year, it's not entirely necessary, and you can benefit greatly from taking a few moments each day to check in with yourself about where you are and what your physical, psychological, and spiritual needs are. By doing this you can make necessary adjustments and avoid becoming sick, stressed out, and overextended.
I used to think I had to go to every holiday party I was invited too, and that I had to look amazing and be extremely interesting at those parties. I used to have a huge conflict about the commercialism of Christmas, which I would grumble about to anyone who would listen. And when I was a new mother, I cried my eyes out about the fact that my babies were pleasingly plump and had lots of love and presents, while billions of other babies and mothers around the world were hanging on by a thread.
Over time, what I've realized is that it's possible to actually enjoy the month of December, but that this can only be done by slowing down, making some mental adjustments, honoring my personal needs, and only doing what I want to do. If I don't feel like going caroling with my church or girl scout troop, I stay home and drink tea instead. Do I mind being seen as party-pooper? Not so much.
I guess what I'm suggesting is what I'm always suggesting, which is to make a habit of caring about how you feel and what internal signals you are receiving. It no longer works to just do what we've always done, just because we've always done it. If you're like most people I know, you're waking up to new ways of being and new ways of seeing yourself. And as we move into 2012, I believe this will become even more prevalent.
This week, I invite you to slow down, stay conscious, and know that the universe (and I) wish you radiant good health, and an intensely happy and peaceful holiday.