Oh, gosh, but I wish the phrase Happy Holidays were not so loaded with tension and expectations. As you read this, you may be buzzing on sugar, experiencing pressure from inside and out, surrounded by speedy messages that drive us to the “give-me syndrome”. We may have family and friends who expect us to be happy just because “it’s the holidays!!” All the while, we slide toward the New Year with too much adrenaline and as sense that our regular routine has vanished until some time after January 1, 2012. And then we will make our resolutions.
Remember last years’ resolutions? Are there patterns here that you cannot seem to change? Maybe, as you read this, you could take a breath and pay attention to this moment. Gently set an intention for moment-by-moment mindfulness. This is a resolution that gets written now in early December and lived, however imperfectly, without waiting for January.
What I hear are expectations that we have the perfect holiday. Expectations that are potential disappointments and they are undergoing their gestation as I write this.
So, let’s take pause, choose something to change now, not four weeks from now. Just for this precious moment. Pay attention and ask yourself what is important to you. Notice the societal pull, the thousands of ads everywhere for all the things we need to give and receive. I read once that there were five primary ways of loving and that giving gifts was on the list. The other four were giving of our time, giving service, touching and using our words to express love. Can we give these to ourselves as well as to others? Can we substitute loving-kindness for the stress of having the perfect holiday season?
May the spirit of Jizo, the guardian, guide you through the upcoming weeks, helping you to maintain your center as you surf the waves of the Season.