Life is busy as is, but add the holidays and it's busy times ten!
We are so busy . . . "celebrating" -- with food, friends, family, shopping, and decorating.
Well, this year I want to enjoy twinkling lights?!
With too many "TO DOs" we overlook the "TO SEEs," all the little joys in the moment.
Too busy shoveling the snow in the rush to get to work, we rarely appreciate the cold, crisp air, the newly fallen snow, and all of nature's beauty in winter's stillness . . .
Time is moving faster than I can remember.
As a To-Doer-type of girl, I've spent way too many years huffing and puffing over "TO DOs" with little appreciation for seeing what's right in front of me.
Each year I'm excited about holiday time, certain I'd get that perfect family photo out before Christmas. I promised myself I'd shop early enough to enjoy a festive song-filled car ride to the store to buy stocking stuffers and avoid the uncut-expletive #$@&%*! musical version.
I've finally come to my senses: This season my "TO DO" list has "TO GO" !! Out with it goes all the anxiety. No more violent black X's as I'd cross off a "TO DO."
Nope - definitely not holiday-spirit like.
This season there will be NOTHING "TO DO"-- YAY!!!
Please join me replacing our TO Dos with gentle reminders to self. Kind of sounds better, don't you think?
This holiday season will be enjoyed, YES, more mindfully, with pauses for making space to RE -set . . . RE-lax . . .
Out with the anxiety-provoking "TO DO" list. On with softer, more loving reminders -- Starting and ending with reminding myself . . to breathe . . .
PAUSING TO RE-SET so I remember to enjoy some PLAY before it's all over.
HOLIDAY 2015: GENTLE REMINDERS TO SELF:
1. Upon waking, I'll tune into 99.5 FM to enjoy the sounds of Christmas or play some inspirational music like KLove Radio.
2. I'll pay attention to my home atmosphere. Creating an orderly, uncluttered beautiful calm outer atmosphere will make me feel more calm. My outer atmosphere affects my inner atmosphere. I'll light battery operated candles & sandalwood incense, buy fresh-cut flowers, add live plants throughout the house, bake delicious homemade banana bread . . . & set a timer or play some music 15 min. a day to stay on top of keeping a clear, clutter-free space to relax, breathe and enjoy --
3.. I'll Lift my mood by diffusing essential oils. Holiday Joy & Peppermint are delightful scents by Doterra essential oil to take in the smells of Christmas.
4. I will MOVE. Experts say It takes twenty-five minutes of continued exercise for endorphins to release and make me feel that "high" most runners talk about. So I'll try to find thirty (30) minutes a day - or 2 blocks of 15 minute segments - maybe just take the dog for a walk: cause if I can tire my pooch out early, I'll some time to rest later.
5. I'll Lighten my load & write. Maybe during the early morning hours or possibly right before bed -- while things are quiet, I can write for at least ten minutes. Writing whatever comes to mind -- I can release all the stuff I'm holding on to . . . my planning, my worries . . .just get it out onto paper. Purging the negative stuff will make room for dessert - or for the delicious, good stuff I want to bring into my life. Writing more about what I'm most grateful . . . hot coffee, my loyal doggie, sunshine, hubby's job, my faith in God. and all the Angels will get me into the habit of writing as well as thinking more positively. Keeping a journal by my bed and writing first thing in the morning and then again just before I go to bed will be a comforting method for planning and reflecting and getting me feeling aligned -- feeling lighter, more connected &organized. I'll feel more purposeful and create energy and enthusiasm for life.
6. I'll Soak in a warm bath. Hot water, a little epsom salts, some baking soda, and a few drops of jojoba or coconut oil, along with some of my favorite essential oils like Lavender, Sandalwood, Frankincense - a few candles - some relaxing music, and I'll escape the world.
7. I'll Read good books. Time reading each day -- reading scripture & inspirational works like Man's Eternal Quest or just browsing a new "how to" book for satisfying my longing to sew . . . (or maybe jewelry making, organic gardening, wholesome cooking, or playing the piano) This will definitely get me inspired.
8. I'll HUM. Since I can't sing, I'll hum. I hear humming is an easy way to unwind and relax and heal my body. I read that humming allows us to release emotional stress and brings us into a more balanced state of well-being. I'll hum while putting up the tree, while I'm stuck in traffic, taking a shower, and while walking my dog! I hear Chanting is another great way for releasing.
9. I will ♥Listen to my body & rest -- I will be still, i promise to just be . . . I will turn off the TV and shut myself off from anything that doesn't make me feel good, joyful, and alive. I'll try to include a twenty (20) minute nap for recharging or do some mindful breathing when I'm cooking or driving, maybe I'll even enjoy some coloring or playing the piano and I'll have just one glass of wine!. Engaging with my hands more will provide rest for my mind. Finding a rhythm -- any rhythmic movement that feels good -- bouncing a basketball, jumping on the trampoline, dancing, walking will take me out of my mind and into my body.
10. I will quiet my mind and try to meditate. Maybe a Guided Meditation will work best for starters Sometimes I need a little help unwinding before sleep, so I'll put on headphones and enjoy a beautiful guided relaxation meditation. www.ask-angels.com or i'll try this heart meditation for a start. I love this one by Sarah Hall for Self Love. There's more here.
11. I'll eat better. Healthy Eating has been a challenge. Before mindlessly grabbing for that calorie-loaded muffin or that delicious bagel slathered in butter, i'll stop and breathe. I'll take a minute to mindfully ask my body what it needs. And yes, I'll prepare something healthier and feel better that I've listened to my body. I can try making steel oats instead. While waiting for the water to boil, I'll tend to my plants . . . distracting myself by caring for something else will take me out of my head long enough for getting refocused. When the oatmeal is ready, I can dress it up with delicious fresh fruit, organic maple syrup; & some almonds! YUMMY.
12. I'll Stretch. Stretching a few minutes each day will work the kinks out, help me release and relax. Lying on my back for fifteen minutes in bed with knees bent, I'll let my body rest, feel the bed supporting me. I can simply rest and allow gravity to do the work my body needs. Just a few minutes stretching before jumping out of bed will get my system going.
13.. I'll LAUGH. Life's too short to be so damn serious. I love laughing. But lately I need to remind myself to laugh more, especially at myself!! Laughing more, especially at the things that normally upset me. (when Bandit races into the house all wet and muddy, when Matthew runs in to grab a snack without washing his hands, when my washing machine breaks down!) Yes in deedy, my kids, my hubby, and all my friends and family will be shocked when I'm laughing instead of yelling. Laughter heals and certainly lightens up the atmosphere for all of us.
14. I'll SMILE. I will smile at someone today! If I don't leave the house, i'll smile at myself in the mirror. Experts say Smiling is healing: it releases stress and is contagious. If I'm not in the mood to smile, I'll place a pencil between my teeth for 1 min -2 min 2xs/day. Believe it or not, it works! It activates smile muscles, decreases my heart rate and makes me feel happier and much calmer. Try it!
15. I'll Breathe. I am much more intentional with my breath these days. I grew up a mouth breather so breathing isn't so natural for me! I will practice mindfully breathing over the holidays to reset my mind and calm my body. Breathing intentionally will create pockets of space for reminding myself what's important and for telling myself how lovable, worthy, and valuable I am! With a mind and body that are in harmony, there'll be more room for holiday Spirit!
16. I'll Pray. All my life, I always wondered if I was praying correctly. I wasn't sure who to pray to. I envisioned God expecting a perfectly scripted prayer from me. But thankfully I've hung that up along with the stockings! This holiday, I'm handing over all my worries to the guy upstairs. I'm no longer begging! I ask for help when I'm feeling overwhelmed and get out of the way. Sometimes I call upon the angels, Ascendant Masters, Holy Spirit, Avatars like Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Mary . . . and even all of Them at once . . . All I do now is ask . . . and connect oh, and BELIEVE! Believing and trusting certainly allows me to receive!. If I'm looking for something more formal and instructional, I study this prayer journal for some help.
So won't you please join me this holiday season as I remind myself to PAUSE.
We can do this together.
After we pause, we can PLAY!
Our first priority on the list is to take care of "YOU" To-day!
Taking care of our-selves allows us to stay connected - aligned for filling our empty tanks. Frequent pauses reenergize, enliven, and lighten our load long enough for more joyfulness, for being able to PLAY more this holiday season!