What is your emotional destination this holiday season? Do you find yourself psychologically congested this time of year? Do you get stuck in family and social traffic? Do you tend to ignore the obvious stress landmarks? Do you find your energetic vehicle running on empty well before you reach your destination? Unsure about which spiritual highway will get you to where you want to go the fastest? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are not alone.
We are living in this amazing time of growth. We are witnessing technological advances that are connecting our global world. We have a bouquet of choices that allow us to have daily contact with news events in small towns across the globe to ordering our coffee ten different ways. And our families are becoming more delightfully colorful as well. We have single parent households, step families, interracial families, etc. etc. etc.
What it comes down to is that we have more choices than ever. I like to tell my clients that we have a billion and one choices a day (yes, I can be dramatic!). And yet, the majority of clients, when I initially meet them, come more from the perspective that life is happening to them. They seek me out feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. They are often caught in the mindset that “life is happening to me! I don’t have a choice! Life is out of my control!
The reality is is that you are always at choice. Perhaps your choices aren’t always appetizing, but you are always, I repeat, at choice. This in itself can be an incredibly empowering if you can remember this throughout your day. And of course, remember it throughout the holiday season. This year, I am giving you full permission to design the holiday of your dreams. You get to choose how you want to do your holidays this year. Let’s start by pulling out a journal or inviting a friend/partner to join you in exploring your ideal holiday.
First of all, I want you to visualize your dream holiday. Where do you want to be? Who do you want to be with? How do you want to be? If you are spiritual, what would that look like? Don’t hold yourself back! Pretend as if money wasn’t an issue, relationships weren’t an issue, anything that might be holding you back, is no longer an issue. Step out of your realistic or pragmatic self and allow yourself to play. As Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is the preview of what’s to come.” I notice that most of my clients will hold back when I encourage them to dream, to fantasize and to imagine. Some of my client’s will say, “what’s the point, it isn’t going to happen anyway.’ This is the deal, giving yourself permission to dream starts lubricating the wheels that have been stuck on your personal train. Your dreams start pointing you in the direction of your core self, your life purpose and your passions. Yes, you might not make it to Greece this holiday season, but what is it about Greece that really gets you excited? Does it point to your core values around travel, diversity, warmth, slowing down, sensuality,etc. etc.?
Because the holidays are upon us and it might not be in your budget right now to get a massage everyday from now until New Year eve or go to Greece, let’s move in to creating a holiday that is fulfilling, realistic and can incorporate elements of your dream holiday. Please refer to my wheel on my website and print it out so you can work with this. I want you to look at every wedge and ask yourself, “Complete fulfillment this holiday season in this area would look like……” For example, complete fulfillment in health this holiday season would be feeling energized, healthy, fit and grounded. Complete fulfillment with significant other/romance would be feeling connected, romantic and intimate. Now, the next step is to take this deeper. What does it mean to you to be energized, healthy, fit and grounded? What does that look like to you? For example, “ I know I am energized when I don’t feel like going to bed at 7pm. I know I am energized when I get up in the morning alert and refreshed. Healthy might mean mindful eating, regular exercise and moderate drinking. Etc. etc. etc.
The next step is to start setting your holiday goals. Be as specific and concrete as you can. For example, in the health area, I will work out four times a week at the gym, I will engage in mindful eating/drinking and use a food journal to hold me accountable from December 1st to January 10th, I will sleep eight hours a night and take my vitamins daily. I will meditate every morning for fifteen minutes to help me stay grounded. In the area of significant other/romance this holiday season I will spend one hour of alone time with my partner everyday during the holiday season, (if your dream was to go to Greece) I will create and follow through with a night in that features Greek food, Greek music and dancing, (if your dream was to get daily massages) I will designate one (or several) night (s) to be massage night with my partner. And if your partner isn’t open to massage, under health you can have as a goal to get weekly or at least one massage during the holiday season.
If you get off track, try not to judge yourself. Instead, allow yourself to get curious by the things that might of gotten you off track. And ask yourself what you need to do to hold true to the delightful goals you set for yourself.