Are You Dreading the Holidays?

Christmas-Stress1Fir trees and candy canes are all around town, and carol’s float through department stores. Does this bring you childlike memories of toys and celebration with people you love? Or does it bring nightmares and depression?

At some point most everyone experiences loss and loneliness. There were years when the holidays were painful reminders of Christmas Past. I did my best to escape the holidays by working long hours and avoiding the malls with all that chirpy pain-in-the-neck holiday merriment. Bah, humbug!

The truth was, it hurt too much to celebrate. I wanted to avoid painful feelings by hiding away.

It is fair to question, “What is celebration? Do we really need it?” Is there a benefit to repeating the same rituals year after year?

The truth is that the music and lights and colored ornaments bring us together in shared acknowledgement of the passage of time. Soon we will celebrate the ending of one year and the beginning of the next. What will it mean to you?


“We can think of sacred ritual as the intersection of ordinary reality and spiritual reality. Ritual provides a safe framework, or container, for us to experience the sacred.”

Rachel Pollock – The Power of Ritual

The meaning that you give makes all the difference. Would you be willing to bring new meaning to your life by considering some new rituals?

Releasing the past. If you experience pain during the holidays, you might be hanging on to the past. Would you be willing to let go and create some new experiences?

Here are a few ideas that celebrate the passage of time and allow you to let go of past hurts and pain. You have to open your arms and let go before embracing new beginnings. There is no need to forget all that came before. Yet by releasing the energy of disappointment or hurt, you open yourself to forgiveness and love.

Here are some simple clearing ceremonies which you can include in your celebrations:

Turning Darkness to Light: You can do this ritual alone or with others.

  • Get some small pieces of paper and write out any thoughts, feeling or emotions which cause you to feel sad, angry or fearful. Include any that come from guilt, jealousy or lack. Write each of them on a separate piece of paper.
  • Now take them one by one and burn them. You might throw them into a fireplace or hold them over a candle and drop them into a bowl of water.
  • Allow the negative feelings and emotions to disappear from your heart as the paper burns. Watch the smoke rise and feel your heart lighten as it releases the past. Isn’t it wonderful?

Warming the Heart: Follow the last exercise with an invitation to new feelings.

  • Invite new feelings to take the place of the things you’ve just released. Decide what you would like to invite into your life. Would you like more love, sharing, friendship, creativity, or abundance?
  • When you released negative feelings you created a vacuum and nature rushes in to fill that vacuum. It is up to you to fill yourself with the good things.
  • Enjoy this simple ritual by yourself of with good friends. Announce each new feeling you are inviting into your life. Then toast and celebrate it with a sip of a warm drink such as hot spiced cider, hot chocolate, or mulled wine. Take time to savor each taste. Enjoy the sensation as each sip warms and fills you.

Imagine that every good thing you have invited into your life is now part of you and continues to grow in the coming year. Could you shift your holiday experience?

If the old rituals don’t serve you, create new ones this year.

Are you ready to make this holiday memorable? Make it a fresh new experience by healing the past. Download a free Holiday Meditation which uses the power of entrainment and visualization to bring you a sense of peace and joy.

Make a Difference This Holiday – 7 Steps to Conscious Celebration

buddhaDoes the holiday give you a special glow? Or are you gritting your teeth at the repetitive Christmas carols? What if you could take all those feelings and use them to discover your inner wisdom?

Holidays interrupt our normal routines. We have parties and extra activities. How you’ll experience these is up to you. This is a time to feel happy. When you feel happy, others are attracted to you, and you build your inner reserves. You store happy memories which can delight you at any time.

It is also true that the holidays are busy. The rush of activity makes this a perfect time to practice consciousness. If you put your attention on what is truly important to you, even while you are rushed and busy, you can shape a new habit. The holiday season makes this even easier because you are encouraged to be happy.

Here are seven attitudes that can increase your health, wealth and happiness. The holidays are the perfect time to practice them.

1. Eliminate resistance! Stress and tension are the result of one thing: resistance. You may be confronted with something you don’t like. It could be traffic, crowds, high prices, or rude people.  Suddenly you find yourself thinking, “I hate this!” Stop – you don’t need to resist! Accept the situation because it exists. You have the power to change the meaning it has for you.

2. Welcome life! You may have heard the saying, “Life is what happens when you were making plans.” It is so easy to get caught up in our plans. We imagine perfection… that only lasts until traffic, crowds, rude people, or bills disturb our plans. Balance your sense of direction with flexibility. You can achieve a lot with much less stress.

3. Be grateful! During the holidays, we express gratitude for many of the people and things in our life. It is easy to be grateful when things are going well. But could you practice gratitude during times of stress? What could you find to be grateful for? If you’re struggling, you might be grateful that you can simply take a deep breath! Open your eyes and see how others have contributed to you. Be grateful for your car, your clothes, your computer or the beauty of nature. Practice gratitude!

4. Find the gift! No matter what happens, find a lesson. Sometimes, this is hard. Like some of you, I’ve lost a family member unexpectedly. Grief and sadness are a real part of life.  Isolating ourselves from loss is pointless: Our feelings bring texture to our lives.

5. Let go of the past! After all, it IS past! You may have suffered and suffering very likely shaped you in some way. Could you let go of it and reshape yourself in a new image? You may have fond memories of wonderful times! If those fond memories, as you have imagined them, become a measure of current enjoyment, you will spend your life comparing. And if you’re comparing the past to the present, are you truly living in the present? Remember the good times, remember the bad times, and let them go.

6. Be the gift that you are!
How often do you stop to notice something unique and special about yourself? And no, noticing that you didn’t measure up, or beating yourself up, does not count! Have you noticed the times that you smiled… and other smiled back? Have you noticed how your contribution at work meant that others could succeed as well? When will you give yourself credit for creating so many good things in your life and the lives of others?

7. Make your present, presence! Since the holidays are disrupting your normal routine, it’s a great time to live intentionally. Notice what is happening in each moment. Take time to really enjoy the good times. Acknowledge your responses. Start noticing that you really are creating your life, each and every moment!

What could happen if you listened to that small inner voice? You know the one I mean. It’s the voice of inner truth and presence. Use the center of your creativity, your imagination, hopes and dreams. The traditions of the holidays focus on birth and new life – which makes this a great time to give birth to a fuller life!

Are you ready to make this holiday memorable? Make it a fresh new experience by healing the past. Download a free Holiday Meditation which uses the power of entrainment and visualization to bring you a sense of peace and joy.