Over time hubs and I have simplified how we celebrate our holidays. We’ve replaced rushing, spending, and over committing with dim lights, bright candles and soft holiday music.
My amaryllis is in full bloom and the grandchildren will arrive Christmas day. There’ll be no craziness and stress, only hiking, exploring, and fun. It hasn’t always been this way!
I invite you to dare to be different this season. Give yourself permission to make all things new.
Don’t aim for perfection. The reality is kids fight, pets get sick, dinner is late, disagreements happen and relationships become strained.
Remember you’re only responsible for your own happiness. You don’t have to hold the world together.
Make the choice to be merry and joyful. I give you these exercises and quotes to guide you.
What internal environment are you creating? Look at the world, that's it exactly. ~ Byron Katie
1. Set your intention.
Instead of thinking of your “to do” list, make your “to be” list. I will be grateful, reflective and peaceful. My intention is to share the love that I am with others.
Every decision you make-every decision- is not a decision about what to do. It’s a decision about who you are. ~Neale Donald Walsch
What do the holidays mean to you? Decide what people, places, things, and events have a positive influence. Make everything count. Drop all that is meaningless. This step alone is life changing.
Life must be lived as play. ~Plato
3. Become childlike.
Plan to play, laugh and be silly. Go outdoors and enter a road race, rollerblade, hike, ice skate or ski. Indoors, make time for reading, painting, journaling, and board games. Never underestimate the power of planning good times for yourself.
All is calm, all is bright. ~Silent Night
4. Restore your inner calm.
Improve your mood and eliminate anxiety by taking time out. Go for a 20 minute power walk, sit in silence or listen to music. Nothing is worth more than your peace of mind and calm heart.
“Scatter Joy.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. Focus on love.
Do something spiritually uplifting. Visit a children’s hospital or an elder shut-in. Volunteer in a soup kitchen or donate to a favorite charity. Declare your love and appreciation to those around you. Unlimited opportunities for making a difference exist.
As you breathe in cherish yourself. As you breathe out cherish all beings. ~Dalai Lama
6. Stay in the present moment.
Don’t bring the past to the present. Put grievances aside. Practice acceptance. Don’t talk about yesterday or think of tomorrow. Joy is here now, love is in this moment. Celebrate your now!
To exclude anything that appears in your universe is not love. Love joins with everything. ~Byron Katie
7. Create a spirit of unity.
Be kind. Become genuinely interested in others. Offer to lend a helping hand. Focus on the good. We all want to give love, to receive love and to know that we matter. Join with others. Separation is an illusion.
You can’t disappoint another human being. You can only disappoint yourself. ~Byron Katie
8. Ask for help.
You don’t have to do it all. Resist becoming a martyr. Let go of the desire to control everything. Assign tasks to others. Let go of “shoulds.” Being a victim is never fun.
The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful ~Einstein
9. Under indulge.
Say “no” to overspending, overeating, and excessive drinking. Soothing yourself with unhealthy habits or addictions is a temporary fix. Learn to stay centered and grounded in difficult situations.
I'm very clear that everyone in the world loves me. I just don’t expect them to realize it yet. ~Byron Katie
10. Drop your story.
Don’t dwell on unhappy times, memories or events. Drop your expectations on how others will behave or treat you. Refuse to gossip or complain.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Ward
11. Express gratitude.
Appreciate others. Practice gratitude for simple pleasures. Tell five people you are grateful for their presence in your life.
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hann
12. Be true to yourself.
Treat yourself with kindness. Give yourself the love and acceptance you want from others. The single most important thing you can do, to delight in the holidays season is to meet your own needs.
We fear what isn't—never what is. ~Byron Katie
13. Sit with your sadness.
You may be depressed because of the lost or absence of a loved one. Honor your feelings and emotions. Seek the support of a friend or counselor.
Spread your heart wide open, have an attitude of gratitude and LOVE your SELF enough to receive. ~Matthew Fry
14. Learn to receive.
Be gracious when you are offered an unexpected gift. Accept it with gratitude and appreciation. When you feel worthy of love you won’t feel obligated to reciprocate.
You cannot make someone love you. You can only make yourself someone who can be loved. ~Derek Gamba
15. Give more than you receive.
Give what you want to receive. If you want to feel love, become loving. If you want empathy, be more understanding. If you want to be peaceful, create a peaceful environment.
Savor the moments you have with your loved ones. Celebrate!
For last minute shoppers: 50 Ways to Simplify Gift Giving