The holidays can be a beautiful time of year filled with love, family, and the promise of a new year. It can also be a hard time for many. Whatever you may be experiencing—whether stress, loss, loneliness, addiction, grief, or illness—please know you’re not alone. Know that wherever you are is okay. That behind all of the cheer and pretty holiday pictures others too might be having a challenging time. They may simply be choosing to focus on the things that make them feel brighter.
Since losing my Father, the holidays have always been very difficult. And with the passing of my Grandma and Grandpa, I didn’t feel like celebrating last year at all. In fact, we really didn’t.
This year, I thought I would once again pass on all the holiday hoo-ha, but digging deeper, I experienced a sense of sadness when I thought about overlooking it. And I realized that I do want to engage in the spirit of it. I want to experience the wonder, the love, and the magic of the simple things. In being with people I love. In letting others know how much they mean to me. In giving what I have to give and being truly present in whatever it is I’m doing. In creating space for others who may also struggle during this time for a variety of humanly reasons.
What I’ve come to realize is that the holidays can be anything I want them to be. I get to choose this adventure the same way I get to choose all of the other ones. And so this year I decided to let go of the story that Christmas is a hard time. I sat with questions such as: How can I look at Christmas differently? And, what might joy look and feel like this Christmas?
I opened my heart to receive guidance. What came through was that I needed to create new traditions. Ones that meet me where I’m at now. This year it means getting a tree. A little one, but a real one. It means placing winter greens and candles around the house. It means cuddling up and drinking nog with my sweet little family. It means going to a Christmas buffet (something I am very excited about btw!) Taking inspired action has seriously jacked up the Christmas spirit over here. It’s not the same. I’ve come to terms with the fact that it never will be. Things are different. And there is so much beauty in accepting that. In honouring the truth of where I am. In making it sacred.
Through this process I realized that letting go of the old stories of how things ‘should’ be liberated me from the unhelpful thoughts that were no longer serving me. It was as though someone turned on the lights and I was experiencing my life in the present rather than from the past. It’s allowed me to appreciate things for what they are. I felt myself open up to the possibility of a Joyful Christmas and my heart filled with gratitude. I visualized myself laughing, smiling, and feeling peaceful & content and I am so looking forward to spending quality time with my loved ones.
This experience has reminded me that in any moment we can let it all go. We can release expectations and thoughts that don’t serve us, reset our intentions, and put energy into what we want to experience.
How do you want to feel? What inspired actions will help to get you there? Remember that within every breath is the opportunity to come back to yourself and connect with the magic of each moment. Whatever that means for you.
Wishing you much Love, Peace and Joy this holiday season.