My favorite holiday is coming up, you know..: Thanksgiving. For our family it's all about gratitude and great food. It's the one holiday that tends to come without a heavy focus on material things or candy, and it graces our autumn without a great deal of hurry, stress, a zillion parties and plans.
Then the big one comes: Christmas. Within days of Thanksgiving, many people are frenzied and making at least some, if not their best, effort to simplify every year.
For the latter, I'll suggest one way to radically honor your vision of a simplified season. It's very simple, as most of the things that matter in life are: SELF-LOVE. Nope, it isn't selfish. Not in the twisted way our culture -- and our own internal voices of criticism -- has led us to believe. Loving yourself isn't easy, either. I know plenty of wise, proactive people who wouldn't dare declare that self-love is easy. It takes courage, dedication, and sheer generosity as self-love is an expression of a desire to love and be kind and generous with all of life, actually.
Loving yourself makes you more generous with everyone you care about, too. Its value is endless, but 'let's start with the basics: If you're mailing out Christmas cards that say "Peace and Joy this Holiday Season" and you're a walking example of hurried, worried stress, well... Perhaps it's time to walk your talk.
Every single one of the wisest people I know starts their day in a way that places an anchor of self-awareness and presence into the hours that follow. Give yourself this basic piece, this basic gift of mindfulness. What 5-minute meditation would help you start your day centered, assisting you to speak, act and make decisions that benefit your peace of mind?
There are 10,000,000,000 (ten gaga-lillion) possibilities. Here's one to try on.
The peace I am is the peace I will give throughout this day.
Love is the core of my being, and I will spend this day in acceptance of that.
Everyone whose path I cross will benefit from my presence.
Today I speak and act from this deep place of serenity that can overcome anything.
Please share your ideas or findings here, oh generous you! And truly, THANK YOU for doing the simple, but definitely not always easy, work of loving yourself. THANK YOU for leaning into light. Shine on!
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, is a lifelong letter writer, a mother, freelance consultant and eternal fan of Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street. This deeply personal blog and our recorded talks and workshops are devoted to one of her great passions: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.