Holiday stress!! Or is it?


I think I want the Holidays to be a restful restorative and grateful time, in which I connect and celebrate with my close family and friends. Somehow it always feels like it turns into a frantic parade of negotiating joyful commitments. The way that happens is like this:

My daughters and I all get invited to holiday parties, dinners and events. There are traditions to be attended to -special foods, making cookies, decorating, Dickens fair and ice skating and holiday lights, holiday movies, gifts. and the list goes on. And somehow I am in charge of getting everyone where they desire or need to be while attending to groceries, regular errands and my own increased social schedule.

Make no mistake though. I thoroughly love doing all the visiting, partying,  cooking and crafting and I love the decor and spirit of gratitude and giving that is present during this month. It really is a time where we reflect on the friends and family who contribute to our lives with joy and support. And a time where we reflect on the past year and get ready for new beginnings.

And then, this year, something got added to that already packed schedule. I agreed to prepare for a performance that I had originally declined. I felt that I did not have the time in December, particularly later in the month, to adequately prepare. Since I dance as part of a team, this was particularly important to me. And I participate in this team because I love to dance. When it needs to be squeezed in it feels stressful instead of feeling like a source of enjoyment. But the director of the team and my friend and “partner in crime” made a compelling argument that I was needed.

So I said yes.

I chose to participate.

And now I have another choice…

I can either enjoy the crazy ride of a busy month with extra cookies, or I can perceive this as stressful and overwhelming.

And what I learned about myself in all this is that I like to be a valued team member. I like to be the solid pillar that holds it all together and allows everyone else to also do their part.  And when I can really remember that I can enjoy the extra energy that this month will require and the slightly frenetic flavor of my days and weeks which feel like they don’t have quite enough time to fit in all the fun. I can also let go of what I think others should help me with or appreciate me for. Because I AM the center of my experience and I get to choose what that will feel like to me. I can let it feel like the axis of a wheel which stays still yet allows forward motion, or it can feel like I am being carried by the current. I also get to support others around me to have a positive experience and to be able to create something beautiful and loving in the world.

I am so grateful for this lesson today

Do you want to join me in keeping the Holidays in perspective this month? Sign up for the newsletter and receive a weekly set of questions to organize around joy and away from overwhelm. You will also receive a pdf of my Authentic Holiday Joy sheet.


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