Holiday Lessons

Let‘s get real here. The holidays are a mixed bag full of sparkles and dust. To have time off of work, to travel, eat lots of yummy food, spend time with loved ones, sleep in and to receive and give presents can all be magical sparkles. However, there is always a ying to the yang to help balance us out. The dust can settle to the ground with food and wine hangovers; family time can get tense, anxiety of making plans and trying to fit in everyone and do too much can swarm the mind and body. However, this isn’t just the holiday season. In fact, this is an extension of, the “good” and the “bad” we encounter on a daily basis.  No matter what dust or sparkles are flying around your holiday season, you get to embrace the moment and soak it in, and I encourage you to be mindful about what you are experiencing and how you are reacting. Let this holiday break give you some feedback of how to take care of yourself. 

This holiday season, I had the lovely honor of having my sister visit me in Seattle.  The day after Christmas, we decided to go snowshoeing on our way down to Portland. Sounds simple and amazing, right? However, logistically the trip was kind of a nightmare. We had to race around to rent snowshoes, buy chains for the car tires, learn how to put the chains on the car tires, drive further to get to the mountain, got lost, and finally made it to the mountain later than planned. While we snowshoed, it was hard not soak in the winter wonderland beauty, however, I caught my mind racing to our next logistical steps: driving down the mountain safely, returning the snowshoes before the store closed, and finally, driving to Portland to meet our friends for our dinner reservation.

Instead of allowing myself to get caught up in the tornado of my thoughts I simple acknowledged my thought pattern and took charge by repeating to myself, be here now. Be here now. Be here now. Saying this phrase simple anchored me back into the beautiful moment. To think I could let my mind take over and distract me from enjoying the experience of my sister, partner and I snowshoeing is so silly! Not every moment in our life might be as pretty as our winter wonderland, however, every point gets to be special and teach us something if we slow down to listen. This experience re-taught me how attached to being on a schedule I am. Instead of feeling like a victim to our logistical nightmare, I practiced what I teach. I realized that we got to do all of those steps.  They weren’t a “have to.” We got to drive an extra two hours, we got to get lost and in the end we got to spend more time together.   

So no matter what you are experiencing during your holidays, sparkles or dust, enjoy it. Be there now. Soak it up. Let it teach you something. Whether your travel plans got messed up because of the weather, you got the most thoughtful present from your friend or you had an uncomfortable interaction with a relative, soak it in. Be there now and try to learn and grow from the experience.  Life is precious, so be there now to enjoy and learn from it. 

Let this be here now practice support you as you think and plan for 2016. Instead of letting your mind anxiously jump to the future and all that you want to accomplish, try creating intentional space for yourself to plan, think and dream about 2016. Enjoy the moments that are left in 2015 because, baby, you wont be getting those back.  Be here now.