What would it be like if we really felt joy during this time of year?
What would it take to let go of the nagging need to: spend so much time, energy and cash to fulfill both our conjured ideas of society norms which are often both our own and others expectations of what a perfect Holiday Season looked like? Instead, what if you spend some time in quiet and asked, what do I want to feel – both give and receive in my heart? What if you trusted the answer?
If you're reading this nodding your head in agreement , or possibly feeling angst or thinking – but I have to and who is she to tell me what to do, please keep reading. What if before swinging into action you answered some questions like:
Who are you really buying the gifts for? And am I spending within my means and do I feel joy in my actions (as well as will feel joy when the credit card bill comes in) or am I spending because I feel pressure to buy and I worried that I've spent too much am an dreading when that credit card comes due?
Family: For your immediate family ask – am I buying my child, my spouse or partner this gift because I know it will enhance their life or because all their friends have this and I "have to" so they fit in?
For extended family ask: am I buying this gift because we have always exchanged or because of the amazing feeling you experience in stumbling upon something you know will bring a smile to their face and heart?
Friends: Do you really need buy one more friend a gift because you always do it and its tradition. Or, because it brings you real joy in both finding and giving that gift? Is the gift within your financial means?
I love to both give and receive. Over the years I realized I had found myself in a place of "no self choice" when it came to the holiday season. It took me a while to recognize I did have choice – I can choose to say yes and no. This continues to bring me freedom and joy during the holiday season. I'm not going to lie and say that I never feel pressure during the holiday to attend one more gathering, extend myself beyond my comfort zone, attend family gatherings, as well as exchange a gift that may have been purchased because everyone else was exchanging and most importantly spend outside of my financial comfort zone.
But the big difference is I'm much more aware of these choices. Sometimes I say no and I'll admit it's not always comfortable. When I say yes, I do my best to mentally and consciously choose it instead of feeling "I have to" which has made a huge difference in my capacity to allow the holiday season to shine – in a way that supports me. Here's to you consciously finding your choice to saying yes and no during the holiday season and ho, ho, ho most of all, let the joy in.