The Christmas Holidays
by Nirmala Raniga
During the holiday season, we can get caught up in the magic of the season – picturesque snowy landscapes, heaps of gifts around a towering tree, and perfect gatherings of happy family and friends. When we compare the reality of our lives with such incredible images, often we feel inadequate and sometimes alone. Many of us, for example, have less-than-ideal family situations in which people struggle to get along, argue, or simply do not communicate at all. We may have a small circle of friends or limited finances.
When we have those feelings of being “less than,” we can remind ourselves of who we really are—Pure Spirit—simply by using simple tools the Christmas Holidays can offer:
During this holiday season, we can show how much we care by being compassionate toward those who need our loving attention, making nourishing choices, and celebrating the true spirit of the holiday.
We will always benefit when we connect with our hearts, take an honest assessment of where we are in our lives, and choose our words with care. When we are honest with ourselves, we will manage unrealistic expectations. Even when conditions are less than ideal, we can always have hope that through the positive practices we integrate into our lives, we will find inner peace.
As we know, we must always take responsibility for our own feelings and choices. We can also remain open to receiving feedback from others and reflect on all that we experience.
We have done so much and come so far in our lives, and we can use all that we have learned to inspire others, truly being “the change” for others to emulate.
Simply by walking through the world with a smile on our faces we can feel happier and spread joy to everyone around us.
While it can be difficult for those in recovery to trust and also regain the trust of loved ones, the most important thing we can all do is trust in the infinite wisdom of the Universe, which is ever-present and unchanging.
Self-care is one of the greatest gifts. When we feel light and happy, then we can share those good feelings with those around us. During the holidays, it is especially important to stay committed to our meditation practice and treat ourselves to things that help us feel wonderful – like a relaxing massage.
Wherever we place our attention, our energy will follow. By paying attention to and placing our awareness on the present, we will fully enjoy each moment as it unfolds.
Caring for one another is yet another beautiful gift we can share. Being there as a support and feeling open enough to ask for support when we need it are both opportunities to offer love and feel loved in return.
When we are able to relinquish the needs of the ego—to be right, to be the best, or to be the most important person in the room—and instead be humble, we are much better able live in harmony with everyone in our lives.
By staying open and flexible to whatever life has to offer, we are able to experience life in all its splendor without resistance.
Laughter has healing powers. Being able to find humor and lightness in our lives and not taking ourselves too seriously, opens the door to greater joy and love.
The holidays can be a time for indulgence, with rich food, late nights, and other good times hallmarks of the season. While a little indulgence once in a while can be fun, we can sometimes go too far and regret it later. Rather than indulging in things that no longer serve us, we can spend the downtime the season affords indulging our interests and spending time doing things we love.
Even though we are surrounded by delicious menu options during the holidays, it is important for us to support the body’s delicate balance and pay attention to our diets. A little treat here and there is nice, but overall, being good to our bodies will make us much happier as we approach the New Year.
Everyone needs to feel loved and appreciated. When we are affectionate to and grateful for our loved ones, that affection and love will roll back to us like the tide’s return to the shore.
Staying committed to our meditation and yoga practices will help us remain peaceful and calm. Yoga means union of mind, body, and spirit. When we align these interconnected parts of ourselves, we feel balanced and joyful.
Everything good that we have and experience in our lives is meant to be shared. We are all manifestations of Universal consciousness. When we share our gifts with others, we are giving of ourselves to those who are connected to us through this beautiful ocean of spirit.