With awareness, you can feel confident in who you are without the need to defend the usual attacks from people who think they know you.Laura Di Franco
Many of us suffer during the holidays. Whether it be loneliness, sadness, regretfulness or just plain grumpiness, it’s easy to get sucked into the black hole of Bah Humbug.
Here are 10 ways to use the powerful practice of awareness to pull you out of the pit and help your holidays shine a bit brighter:
Realize Your Thoughts are Creating Your Misery
Awareness at its deepest and most powerful level allows you to observe what you’re thinking and when the light bulb goes off, you’ll see that what you’re thinking is why you’re miserable. Watch your thoughts like a hawk. Be a warrior when it comes to this level of awareness and you’ll begin to create a way out of the pit.
Honor What You Feel Instead of Reacting to It
When you become a warrior of awareness you realize every emotion has a physical sensation in the body. The problem is when we attach a story to those sensations. So honor what you feel by giving yourself some time to feel, breathe, meditate, or journal, without judging or attaching a story to it. As you give yourself this gift of feeling awareness you’ll experience the movement of the energy that creates stuckness. Stopping long enough to breathe with your feelings is sometimes just what you need to help yourself move through them.
Detach from the Past
When your thoughts circle back to holidays past, especially painful moments you didn’t enjoy, you’ll get stuck. Practice noticing you’re stuck in the past and that you’ve locked yourself up in that box. Clear your mind and come into the present feeling moment again. Just breathe.
There’s a lot written about forgiveness and sometimes it sounds easy. We know forgiveness is more for us than for the person we’re forgiving, but it’s difficult. I believe part of forgiveness lies in the gift of awareness. When you ground and center yourself in the present moment, feel the feelings in your body and let them move through, and stand in the power of the now, forgiveness is possible. When you fall asleep it’s impossible. Start with awareness.
Practicing awareness during the holidays means not comparing your experience to others. The second you pine after someone else’s Norman Rockwell painting you’re doomed. Your experience is yours, perfect in every imperfection. Be okay with it the way it is, laden with bells, holly, and peppermint bark or not. There are no supposed to’s or should’s.
Create A New Ritual
Do something different this holiday. Create a new tradition, alone or with friends, that makes you feel good. It could be as simple as taking an early morning walk or as elaborate as a fancy dinner party. Create a habit around something that nourishes your soul and make sure it becomes your new holiday ritual.
Do Something for Someone Else
There’s really nothing faster or easier to pull you out of the pit than helping someone else. If you can’t think of someone to help or nobody’s asking, then surprise someone you know with a little treat. Stop and talk to a stranger. Get out of your pit by putting your focus on the love or gratitude you possess and spread it around. Being aware of others helps you change the stuck energy of misery inside you.
Take Out Your Journal
I’ve created powerful moments in holidays past in the pages of my journals. These pages hold the sorrow and the joy that’s inside me. They hold love poems and loss poems. They hold recipes and stories. The blank pages accept my pain without judgment, and they wait for my secrets so I don’t have to hold onto them anymore. Write your heart out during the holidays and see what magical Feng Shui you can create for your soul.
Do Your Relationships Differently
When you practice fierce awareness with the friends and family you interact with during the holidays you are doing those relationships differently. With awareness, you can see them clearly and you don’t need to take things personally or react. With awareness, you can feel confident in who you are without the need to defend the usual attacks from people who think they know you. When you deal with others from a loving, awake place, the game of relationships changes big time and your holidays will get a little lighter, even more interesting.
Remember to Laugh
When you’re bombarded with messages about how the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, peace, and love, but you don’t feel any of that, it’s hard to lighten up and relax. Step outside of yourself and watch how seriousness infects your spirit. Don’t stand for it. Relax, lighten up, laugh a little. The holidays are a mess of emotions, expectations, and obligations if you let it be that way. Why not get a little less serious and laugh at yourself and with each other and allow the hot mess to remind you how you think, believe, and act in the middle of it is up to you.
This article by Laura Di Franco was originally published on December 8th, 2015.
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