I remember noticing the beginnings of holiday onslaught just around Halloween, and thinking: "Jeez, already!" Well, it's in full-force now, isn't it? It seems that everything about this time of year conspires to make us speed up, buy more, plan more, eat more, visit more, and stress more. I know from every year past, that the more fun I try to cram into this time of year, the less I actually enjoy and the more likely I am to crash at the end of it all. It seems to be a lesson I have to relearn every year. This year, I'm ready to change that.
This year, my plan is to practice slowing down every time I feel this push to do more. So far, it's working well with my tendency towards stubbornness. I'm am stubbornly doing my best to resist the frenetic holiday pace that threatens to push me towards the "finish line" of 2013, where I'm likely to wind up exhausted, sick, and trying to find my center again.
So far, I've cancelled two weekend trips that promised to be fun when I planned them, but instead produced a crowded feeling in my inner world and family life, as the departure date approached. Our weekends for this month are now wide open, largely unscheduled, and I plan to leave it that way. I'm not going to pretend that it's been easy to say no to so many temptations of the season or that it has been easy to leave so much space in our weekend schedule during a time that "should be" so busy. There is a nagging feeling that I'm missing out on something really great, a little restlessness, and the ever-present tendency to want to "book up" every free moment. Luckily, I'm stubborn.
I've got a crazy month ahead of me to practice this slowing down, but so far, the results are encouraging. I'm realizing that when I'm not frenetically racing towards 2013, I actually have the emotional space to practice generosity, connection, and relaxation. I am so grateful for my relationships with clients, friends and family, and I want to be emotionally available to show them their meaning in my life with my presence of mind and heart.
I invite you to join me in this challenge to slow down this holiday season, take inventory of what really matters most in your life and make that the focus on your holiday activity!