Happy December! How is your holiday season shaping up so far?
?OMIGAWD, I am so stressed out! AAHHHHH!!? I hear this multiple times, daily, in my work with people. I hear it all around me, outside of work. I hear it in my own head sometimes! We spent a whole DAY on this topic during my recent Create Vibrant Health?, Foundations retreat. And I definitely hear it more during the holiday season. People even get stressed BEFORE the holidays, thinking about how stressful the holidays will be. Hm. Houston, we have a problem.
Therefore, today?s musings have a Mind Savvy? focus. How can you better use your amazingly powerful & splendiferous mind to create a better health & life experience? This is what ?Mind Savvy?? is all about. Let?s get to it?
Here?s the bottom line:
It?s not life?s events that cause problems or stress. It?s our resistance to life?s events that cause problems or stress. And then, it?s our emotional reactions, and the mental stories that we build around those events, that cause us stress.
Let?s take the holidays, for example. A situation where your already full life becomes more full?due to expectations, tradition, must-attend gatherings, holiday card sending, holiday shopping, holiday decorating, tangled and/or non-functioning strands of lights, etc?is really just self-created. You can opt out of anything, at any time. And, you can change how you think about it.
For instance, in 2012 and 2013, I didn?t send out holiday cards, which, at that point, I?d been doing annually for 20+ years. Great news is, no deaths occurred for lack of receiving my card, it had no effect on the joy of anyone?s holiday experience, and I didn?t lose any friends over it, either. I know that last part might SOUND like an exaggeration, but you also might notice a ring of truth to it, if you start paying attention to what the soundtrack playing in your mind actually sounds like!
Here?s my invitation. Make a list of what is ?stressing you out? about the holidays (or any situation). Then,
- Decide what you have control over and what you don?t. You DO have control over whether or not you attend the big holiday party at the Jones? house that you just don?t feel like going to this year. You DON?T have control over whether your ?dysfunctional family? is going to say or do things that end up bothering you when you get together.
- All of the things you DO have control over, mindfully decide if you?re in or out?or maybe ?in,? but in a less time-consuming way. If something is ?out?, just let it go! You can re-evaluate next year!
- Lean into the fact that now, everything that you?re doing, in relation to the holidays, you?ve chosen. You?re no longer a ?holiday victim.? You?re the masterful creator of your own life & experience, and THAT is empowering (and true!). And remember that, still, none of it HAS to happen! If you literally did NOTHING different in December than during the other 11 months, everyone (that matters) is still going to love you and your life will still be grand.
It?s all about changing your mind. Which is what most things in our lives are all about. I invite you to mindfully try this out on little things first, and then keep expanding it to ?bigger-seeming? things. Maybe use it to enjoy your holidays more!
In addition to letting some pressure off the ?stress valve?, you may also find that when you have less ?stuff? on your plate, you actually have more time to mindfully connect with the people you love in your life. And THAT is the stuff of true holiday Joy!
Like most topics involved in Mind Savvy? or Soul Food, this content may ?bring up? some things for you. That?s no problem and is totally normal. I offer these writings as a window through which I have come to see life. Ultimately, only YOU know what resonates with you. Just notice what comes up, consciously open your heart & mind, and see where you end up over time.
With love & relaxation,