At this time of year, there is so much coming at us! Everything seems important. Our calendars, our family, our TO DO LIST. What really is important? There is no quick answer, one size fits all for this one. Only you get to decide, and of course, your values dictate the answer. And there is that whole love of others thing going on. I want to SCREAM at the beautifully decorated trees on Instagram, and perfectly coiffed people on Facebook live videos!
What does this time of year signify for you? Are you religious, if so, there will be observations and celebrations that your religious traditions will dictate what you will be doing, and when? Even within those boundaries, you have your individual priorities and observations. This can begin the screaming, and fighting for finding peace.
I found while raising a family and finding my voice within the family structure, making decisions for how my husband and I wanted to raise our family, it was not a one and done kind of decision. We continually shifted, compromised, and stood firm. If you are hoping that there is an easy button for this, I don’t believe you’ll find one.
Make a list of non-negotiable activities and important elements.
When any of my five children were of napping age, that was a priority. It’s why they are all alive, and so are my husband and me. That was a non-negotiable. There were cookies, that I had growing up, the list went down to one kind, if that was all the time I had, we would have Snickerdoodles. We went to church as a family, the core, us and our kids, non-negotiable, except when someone had a fever or was puking. Now with adult children, and significant others, going to church as a family looks different. Some of these adult children are creating their own traditions. We don’t all go to the same church either. So what once was a non-negotiable, is not anymore.
My yoga practice and meditation time are a non-negotiable.
Are the decorations that you’ve always put up, along with your mother and grandmother, really all that important this year? YOU GET TO DECIDE. And then breathe. I used to love driving and looking at lights. When the kids had concerts, friends parties, and cookie exchanges, driving and looking at lights only happened on the way to somewhere we were going. This year, with my husband and I being empty nesters, we are going to go back to driving through neighborhoods, looking at lights. That won’t cause me to scream, even if my hours are long this year, at the office.
In order to have compassion for others, which for some reason at this time of year, there is more emphasis on, it begins with self-compassion. STOP comparing the online presence of others, to your private life. You can avoid the urge to scream when you practice self-compassion. Self-compassion is where we give ourselves a pass, we acknowledge that we really are rocking our world. Or if we aren’t rocking our world, we extend love and grace – forgiveness – to ourselves for unrealistic expectations.
It is only through self-compassion, when we have enough within ourselves, that then we can have compassion for others. It’s like the oxygen mask when flying. Only when you have your secured, are you able to assist those around you. I find self-compassion through my breath. (Interesting both have to do with breathing.) Not in frustration and expectation, resentment and passive-aggressive behavior, can I breathe with ease. I want to scream in those times. When I stop, breathe, and connect my heart with my breathing, am I able to love myself. Then and only then, will I have enough love to share.
I hope you let somethings go this year. If you want an easy way to begin your New Year off to a great start, enroll and become part of my Wisdom Book Community. http://deannalrobinson.com/wisdom-book-community/
Sending love and blessings,