This time of year can bring so much love and joy; and, for some, conflicted feelings and stress of varying sorts. Maybe you experience a mix of it all.
When my sons were younger, our holiday season was filled with wonderful traditions we created and enjoyed together. We made and used homemade ornaments, made presents for their friends, and baked cookies for neighbors and went around delivering them with a song. It was all about celebrating and spreading love and joy, and sharing in the abundance of our life.
My claims defending the holiday were futile, and I succumbed to their wishes. But it left a big hole for me each year, feeling lost amidst all the holiday energy everywhere around me.
In reflection, I can see now that I sacrificed something important to me, blaming their desires for my emptiness, rather than creating some things I could still do. Does this happen to you in any way? How much do you go along with "whatever", instead of using your power to be a deliberate creator? (If not during the holidays, perhaps in other contexts?)
This year, feeling a bit confused, I took some time to reflect deeply on what I truly care about regarding the season, and even did some research. It was so helpful! I did it to reconnect to the deeper meanings possible that I can relate to and to feel really good about participating in. I highly recommend the website:
- I really believe in the increased power of the collective. It's palpable when we meditate together in my guided meditation classes. So, for me, when so much of the planet this time of year is focused on love, and joy, and freely giving, and abundance, I want to be a part of that celebration and positive impact that collective energy has!
- In the year 273, the Christian church selected Dec. 25th to represent the birthday of Jesus. Personally, I think the man Jesus Christ was trying to teach us that we are all Spirit/God/Source Energy birthed into human form; and Christmas can be a reminder to us of this, and of a teacher who tried to teach us that we are all children of God in this way. As I understand it, he also tried to teach us about the value of giving and receiving. It really does feel good, doesn't it? I think it's in our souls.
- Before this, for thousands of years, this time was celebrated in cultures the world over as the winter solstice and a celebration of light and rebirth of the sun at the beginning of the solar year. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel, referring to the circle and continuity of life. Many of today's Christmas traditions have roots in ancient Pagan customs with a basis in the solstice celebrations of nature, its cycles, and the continuity and circle of life. The customs of feasting together with friends and family and of exchanging gifts are as old as time. I now have a renewed appreciation for the holiday decorations and other traditions, and for celebrating throughout an extended season, versus just one day.
One of the most basic tenets I do my best to live by is to focus on what you want/like/can do, versus what you don't want/don't like/can't do. It's the starting point towards desired change. This is why I took my time to reflect and even do some research. It has opened up a lot of good-feeling opportunities for me!
So, what about the holiday season or solstice is really meaningful to you? Whether it be Christmas, the solstice, Chanukah, or whatever holiday, how could you imbue what's meaningful to you into the weeks ahead, even in small ways? Take some time to get clear on this for yourself; and be true to yourself. Once you've done that, I'd love to hear some of your thoughts and ideas!
What gifts can you give others just in your presence? I think this one is big.
From this way of thinking, I've thought of a number of ways I'll be bringing my Spirit into this season, some of which you're invited to! I hope you'll join me.
Wishing you a season filled with the spirit of peace, love and joy. Remember, it's up to you!