Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Re-filling the Well

I spent the last few days mostly offline as I enjoyed the holidays with my family. It was quite refreshing to be unplugged and in the moment with my loved ones! Today brings the gentle return of my attention to the greater world, and with it, the reflective mood that ascends upon me at this time of year.

The winter holidays have us in a flurry of activity, and we tend to set aside our personal needs to meet holiday deadlines. It can leave us feeling drained, sluggish, and out-of-sorts afterward. We are likely sleep-deprived and perhaps suffering from a little gastric distress in the wake of the celebrations. 

The day after Christmas for my family is our day off. We recuperate from the busy weeks of December, sleeping in a bit and being grateful for the exchange of time with family and thoughtful gifts. It's a day to sit in slowness, taking the day as we like. 

Winter brings us the gift of going within, and the brief respite after holiday celebrations can give us some time to re-fill our wells. It's beneficial to us to take some down-time and allow some extra rest and quiet space to do the things that fill us with joy. We need this time, and it's even better if we can establish a simple self-care routine that we can use on a regular basis. When we don't take care of ourselves, our body puts us out of commission with illness. A little prevention is worth a pound of cure, and we have the right and responsibility to care for ourselves. When we do, we are happier and healthier and that ripples out into the rest of our the people we love and the things we want to do.

As we round the corner to the new year, many people make resolutions, which more often than not dissolve by early February. I had to give up on the concept of New Year's resolutions years ago, as they only left me wallowing in low self-esteem as I failed to meet yet another goal, with no flexibility for the changes that inevitably happen throughout the year. At some point, I realized that most of my resolutions were based on what I thought other people expected of me. That will never be something I can be successful at! 

My personal goals need to be the things that fill me and make me a better person. My goals have to help me become the person I want to be, and I can't just have goals at the beginning of the year. If I'm going to be healthy in body, mind, and spirit and experience growth during the year, I must be open to new things along the way, adjust the current goals, make new ones, and let things go that no longer resonate with me. I must face the things I fear the most. And I must not beat myself up about failures. Failures provide growth, so long as we allow ourselves to look at them and find the gem within the lesson that will help us move forward toward success.

Here's hoping the remainder of 2012 gives you the space to indulge in self-care and the time to reflect on how amazing you are right now, in this moment! May the new year breathe fresh life into your heart and propel you forward into fantastic new ways, surrounded by loving family and friends to support you in goals and growth that bring you joy and peace.

2013 will be full of glorious new things for me to share...special offerings in my newsletters for subscribers, a couple of books I want to publish, classes on herbs, meditation, and Reiki, and who know where else the journey will take me? I promise to give my very best from my heart, and I will share what I can as it comes through me. For now, here's a little something I'm offering for those who'd like to take part...

I'll be sending out a special New Year's gift to all those on my mailing list in the next few days. If you'd like to receive that and other inspirational goodies via my weekly-ish newsletter, you can subscribe to my list in the white box on the upper right side of the page. :)

Love & Light,

Friday, December 14, 2012

For the Children

As the news hit me about the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, all I could do was fall to my knees and allow my heart to break in solidarity with those who have lost their children and family members today. May they be surrounded by the love and prayers that the rest of us are sending out for them. There are no words.

Events like these leave us in shock, harboring disbelief, anger, and raw pain. There is little the rest of us can do right now except light a candle, pray, gather together, and focus on sending their community all the love and light that we can. 

If you feel called, stop on over to the The Loving Tree page and leave your thoughts and prayers there. Together we will hold loving space for the Sandy Hook community in our joined hearts. Many thanks. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December Daze

December seems to sneak up on me every year, in a bash-me-on-the-head kind of way. Last year was particularly difficult for me, as a I dealt with a pinched nerve in my shoulder (think copious shopping and gift-wrapping) and I just couldn't get into the spirit of the holiday season, no matter how much meditation and other things I did to try to lift myself up. I felt like there was no time to enjoy the events of the season, and I was frustrated by the commercialism of why we were buying things for people who didn't need them. I couldn't wait till the holidays were over and swore I'd make changes for the future.

At the end of last season, we threw out the old tree that had dysfunctional lights. I went through the ornaments and got rid of the ones we didn't put on the tree anymore. We parted with the kid's artwork from preschool (they're in high school and middle school now) and looked forward to a new start. I told my family that next year would be different, and I wanted time to enjoy our family and not focus so much on the gifts. I needed to shift our perspective. 

Last week we bought a new artificial tree that looks like a real tree with snow and glittery ice and pinecones on it. The lights were no-fuss and set-up was easy. If I don't add any ornaments to it, I will love it just as it is. We stopped getting cut trees years ago, as I just can't kill a tree for the sole purpose of bringing it into my home for a few weeks and then turn it into mulch. My relationship with trees is too deep to do that, and as we can't plant more trees in our current yard, a live tree with an intact root ball is not an option. I hold no ill-will toward others who choose a live tree, as the sensory experience of a pine or fir is a true gift to have within a home. I simply need to find that joy outside, as it feels most appropriate for me.

I am not stressing over the gifts this year, and I making sure to take time for self-care every day so that I feel good and can do the things I want and need to do with a joyful attitude. I love this time of year, where the trees are stark and you can see the shape of the land. Early mornings provide magical murmurations by graceful starlings against a palette of soft blues, purples, and pinks of the morning sky. This year is about bringing in the joy of every day, taking each moment as it comes. 

Gratitude is helping me keep things in perspective. The shopping I'm doing is within the bounds of love, grateful for my family and friends as I shop. I will be patient at the mall and toy store. I am thankful that we have the money to purchase thoughtful gifts for our children, nieces, and nephews. I will take time to step out in the cold air and gaze at the stars that brighten the skies so vividly at this time of year, freed from the humidity of the earlier months. I will turn down activities that don't fill me with joy, and if there are things I must do, I will shift my perspective so that I do them with a glad heart. 

This year will not be a blur of shopping frenzy and overfilled schedules. What's important to me will be center stage - family, friends, the beauty of our natural world, and days filled with love. Those are the reasons for the season, whatever winter holiday we celebrate.

May your December be filled with days of simple joys that fill your hearts, and may the only daze you feel be from the awe of colored sunrises, brightly lit homes, and the glow of smiling faces wherever you go.

Many blessings,