The holidays are just about upon us, I can already feel the flurry in the air, invitations are arriving, lists are being made, expectations mounting, even the holiday blues settling in among some. Add in about eight birthday celebrations in our inner circle, myself, Travis and the boys included, and phew...it could be exhausting just writing it! But, this is actually my favorite time of year. I love Autumn and Winter in it's full breadth, I always have!
After becoming a mother, rekindling my crafting desires, committing to slow food, and feeling pulled to everything D.I.Y. in the name of showing my children how it's done....the holidays began to feel like quite a stretch. I found myself in the midst of trying really hard to make a beautiful experience for my children, but short on sleep and presence, over extended and under joyful.
Still wanting to create a season of magic, wonder, connection, celebration, warmth and memories, I set about finding a better way for myself, and my family to do this. My intentions were always to create this experience, I was just going about it in the wrong way. I began to look back to my own childhood memories and explore what stuck, what really made an impression on me, what didn't. More often than not the really simple things made their way into my heart. Remembering my Grandmother's house on Thanksgiving, immediately I can call up the smell of the feast in the making, and attached to that smell are feelings of belonging, love, joy and celebration. I recall the love my mom put into creatively wrapping each gift and how I smiled unwrapping every bit, but I have no recollection of what it was that I unwrapped, only the love. The sound of the fire crackling at my Dad's house and the care with which he tended it so that we could all enjoy the warmth cozied around together. It's the little things that I attached to the feeling state. It is the feeling that we call up when we remember. It is, in fact, this feeling state that we are trying to create with all of our actions, but often we are unconscious of what that feeling state really is, and we miss the mark.
I have found that by taking some time, before we are in full holiday swing, to get clear on the experience we are wanting to have we are better prepared to actually create it for ourselves. So, step one to the holidays as you wish is: clarity! How do you really want to feel this holiday season? What feeling state do you want to experience? These are your values, if you will, for the season.
Once we have clarity around the values we are living by this season, step two is committing to living by them. This is where the practice comes into play, the practice of being discerning, and staying true to you. This isn't to say we don't include our beloveds, we do, it is to say that we are committed to staying in alignment with our values regardless of whatever cultural pressure there may by to do otherwise.
If you would enjoy more of this conversation I invite you to join us this Sunday, November 23rd for a one hour tele-class. On the call we will cover all four steps to creating the Holidays on Your Terms I will also pass on some effective communication tools for having empowered conversations so that you are fully prepared to communicate clearly how you would like to walk your walk through this precious, tender, inward time of year!
To join the free Community Conversation: Holidays (and all days) on Your Terms register HERE. Can't make the call? register anyway - I'll send you the recording for you to enjoy anytime.
Wishing you the very best of the season.