Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or any other holiday celebration (or maybe not at all). There is no denying that there’s a certain magic to this season like no other. Sure there’s much to celebrate in the Spring, and the Fall but when December comes around our spirits seem to soar with anticipation and warmth for others near or far. We begin to think of all the people who we have or had in our lives that care and cared for us and reflect back on the past year as it wraps up in it’s final month. Looking back I know I feel such a sense of gratitude towards my past experiences, gifts, people and all that I’ve been given. It’s as simple as that- gratitude-, knowing how lucky I am to have my health and that I’ve got through another exciting year. I believe it is through this reflection that we truly think of others and make perhaps a little more effort to let them know they are thought of during this time and not alone. Possibly the greatest gift of all that we can give to each other is in looking out for one another. This is our time to focus not on ourselves but others that’s as simple as putting a smile on someone else’s face.
It’s also a time for slowing down, enjoying the simple things and wonderful company. The year flies by so quickly that we all seem to be so busy keeping up with life that we don’t get a chance to look back upon it. So when December rolls around and we begin looking back on all that has happened one realizes what a wonderful year it was. Indeed a time of reflection and appreciation for what and/who we are lucky to have. Along with an anticipation and curiosity-let’s say- for the new and upcoming year. My mind is often filled with possibilities and hope that it will be better than the last. It’s a fresh start to make a difference, reflect more, be more grateful, make better choices and think of others more. This is what matters most to me during this time, what it is all about, this holiday season.
So to all, I wish you a safe and happy season. Keep warm and know you are thought of.
Accepting Change as a Process and Taking it Day by Day
Firstly let me say that getting comfortable with change is a process that occurs by taking things day by day and accepting things as they are-even when they aren’t as ideal or perfect as we would wish them to be-. With that said, it’s not easy and might never be totally worry-free especially if it is a change we had little say in. One thing I’m finding helpful is learning to accept change rather than spend exhaustive energy on trying to fight what I can’t change. A big learning curve and process for someone like me who doesn’t always take well for change, but is finding it a worthwhile thing for my well-being (and you never know, you might find the same for yours).
The alternative is fretting about it until we’re blue in the face and creating for ourselves an uphill battle like trying to paddle up a river with a strong current- in the opposite direction-. We’ll only end up in the exact same spot but using up all our energy. The only thing we can change is how we chose to look at things- perspective- and what is right in front of us- the present moment-. That’s all. As the expression goes: “worrying won’t rid yesterday of it’s problems, but it will rid today of it’s strengths.” It is indeed this message that I’ve been reminding myself of lately in the midst of change. When I am feeling like change is catching up to me or happening too fast and I feel myself struggle to deal with it I go to practicing the art of focusing on the day and tasks at hand. One thing at a time, and one day at a time I’m getting through. Amongst all this, I am gradually finding a more positive way of looking at the world and day by day it gets easier to accept the six letter word we all dread- CHANGE-.
To all those out there who ,as we all do, struggle or occasionally feel overwhelmed by our constantly changing world. It’s okay, everything will get easier if you take it day-by-day, and appreciate what is right in front of you while it’s still there. Before long it won’t take you much convincing to believe that it’s going to be okay. So keep calm and carry on.
Being open can be one of those emotionally startling “Ahhh!” topics that we rarely feel safe to bring into the light of, yet is as I’m finding crucial in discovering our authentic selves and bringing them forward. Yes, deep down in the depths that make up everything on who we are there is an authenticity that no one should be able to take away from us. Just as a unique as our finger prints in helping us realize what makes us special. This realization has taken me quite the time to figure out, and see for myself which is perhaps why only know am I truly glimpsing into who she is and through the help of others knowing that this girl (who may not always know what to do or always have it together) is enough. That I am enough. A big “aha” for me recently and reminder not to try so hard.
One particular part of that has also been opening up or should I say being comfortable doing so at my own pace- no faster or slow- than I feel comfortable doing and revealing to others. Especially through my writing, as I find my rhythm and voice in whatever project I take on. I’ve known one thing for certain, and that’s my motto in it has always been to “follow my heart” in whatever message I am trying to convey. It sometimes can be a challenging discovery and a risky one but as I am learning with each new insight, it’s a worthwhile one. With a very intuitive heart and mind, straying from being myself isn’t any easier. So rather than fight it I’ve chosen to embrace it- wholeheartedly- as part of my practice.
An interesting concept talked about in a fantastic book I’ve been reading called “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. In it she talks about Wholehearted living as putting ourselves out there, and being vulnerable- in other words showing up to our own lives-. Something I can surprisingly relate to while reading this book more and more, and find help in defining my authenic self not only in my writing but in living and as I continue on my journey of trying to be Wholehearted and find the right people who can support me along in my journey. I’ve discovered that these are the people who will always have my back, encourage me to continue on when I’m feeling down and appreciate my honestly when I’m not feeling as chipper. Most importantly, it encourages me to be open and honest with all of you as we go on this journey together.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead; Brene Brown; Avery publishers, 375 Hudson Street; New, New York; 2012
There must be something to maintaining a sense of balance between work and play. That allows us to be a productive worker, yet when we become too much enthralled in one or the other there’s at least the opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate. For me, as someone who can be highly perceptive of the world around me I’m finding this more and more important. It can be a tricky tight-rope walk bordering on not working hard enough and perhaps working too hard when it becomes too much.
For me, I have always had a strong sense of what’s important and figured out ways to fit everything in to allow myself the happiness and fulfillment of doing the things I love. Whether it be as simple as spending time with friends, or to myself, or participating my writing group all are things that contribute to my well-being. As outside obligations grow with a great importance and responsibility along with an awareness of how important a good night’s sleep is to functioning, I’ve pulled away from these activities unaware I was creating my own discontent.
What’s new and recently came around is the awareness of self and my own limits. All this time, I had been putting off the things I love thinking that would be affecting me as a hard worker and too much extra activity. Little did I realize though that by participating and doing these things I was actually a more productive individual by being more motivated, easier to work with and most importantly contributed to my over-all happiness- imagine that becoming more happy doing what I loved meant I was more motivated to the lesser fun things and obligated. If only I had realized this sooner. In the end, it all comes down to your own individual search for that happy medium that allows one to enjoy the hard work they are doing and find a balance of including participating in the activities that you may enjoy because in the end it feels really good when you’re back out there again making not only yourself happier but by being better company others happier in the process.