Holidays

I see you. Photo credit: viviphotography.net

Getting ready for the holidays? Are you excited, hopeful or just wanting the holidays to be over and done with as soon as possible?

I see you.

With so many lists, family dynamics, wants and needs to take care of, at times it feels like an epic military campaign involving strategies and plays that would impress even the most distinguished of generals.

We roll up our sleeves and battle through to-do lists, long lines at stores, fatigue, and burn the midnight oil. The level of focus required to buy the right gifts, white elephants and maintain a happy demeanor can be too much.

This pressure causes our bodies to squeeze, releasing stress hormones. The body interprets all this as a threat to its life. Pretty intense reaction to simply shopping for food and decorating a tree, right? Well, it is what it is and without solid techniques to relax, it won’t be fun.

Today, I want to share a couple of techniques that will ease the burden we all seem to bear during the season of giving.

If you are starting to feel a tightness or ache in your neck and shoulders or if the full weight of all those things you have to do has already begun to overwhelm you, here are 2 easy steps to bring relief and energize your day.

1a Say it out loud – Clearly,  state what you are feeling. Frustrated? Tired? Feeling it’s unfair  ie why do I have to do everything? Anxious, sad or isolated? It’s important to locate what we are feeling in the vast ocean of emotions. By locating and identifying what we are feeling we can orient ourselves and find our way home. If we don’t know where we are and what’s happening within us we can’t turn things around. Say it out loud. Write it down. It’ll feel better, I promise.

1b Say what you want – “I want to feel peaceful, this holiday for the family get together.” “I want to feel exhilarated.” “I want to have some magical moments.” Take some time to contemplate what you would like to experience over the holidays and prioritize creating these experiences for yourself. If going for a walks makes you feel peaceful add those to your calendar. If you want to feel exhilarated add a snowball fight or an adventure that opens your eyes and heart to your list of activities. Make it happen. You know you can.

2 It’s bigger than you are – it’s ok to admit that it’s bigger than you are, that you can’t control it all and that you want to give up. Take a moment, sit down, sigh  and place your forehead on the floor. In yoga, this is known as the child’s pose. It is a restful pose that releases stress.

Holidays

Child’s pose. Artist unknown to me. It’s beautiful.

When I do this pose, I let go and surrender to the universe all the responsibilities, fears and anxieties I carry. I admit that I cannot do it all. A feeling of humility comes over me that helps me reprioritize what’s truly important to me and what I want to achieve in that moment.

It opens the  possibility for my intentions to match my actions. I love the clarity that arises with this pose.

And that brings me to my final piece: a gift from me to YOU. I want to thank you for sharing this inner journey with me and for being willing to engage in life using consciousness as a tool for your wellbeing and prosperity. Thank you, my dearest trailblazers!

Click here and download your copy of Surviving Holidays – 12 Meditations. It will help you to lighten your days and to navigate difficult situations. It’ll nudge you towards joy and gratitude, bring light into your heart and peace to your desires. Download now! Get it for yourself and loved ones.

Protected: Surviving Holidays- 12 Meditations

 

The 12 meditations in this book are designed to help you navigate get togethers, holidays and parties with clarity, ease and love. Don’t wait to get fried or deal with awkward moments by squeezing your light and playing small, instead take a deep breath and dive into an enriching meditation to awaken your soul’s power.

The Password is- @FF#stp^754!

Let’s make the making of this holiday season a freedom exercised with joy!

 
positive

Utopia/Dystopia by Dylan Glynn

I would like to issue an advisory: please stay on a positive note.

When we read and/or watch the news or get on social media, it doesn’t surprise me that afterward we feel uninspired, unmotivated and imagine worst case scenarios.

“Oh my God! Donald Trump will have the nuclear codes!”

“Terrorist attacks!”

“Water protectors shot with rubber bullets.”

That is a scary world. If we want to make a better world, that cannot be our focus. It can’t ever be our focus when it comes to our imagination and visioning current or future possibilities. We must CHOOSE to imagine things changing for the better. We must imagine that peace, prosperity, and well-being for all is possible.

There are enough people imagining things going from bad to worse. Not because they want that but because the default mode is to go into fear. Even the most loving, kind, hopeful people feel pulled in directions that find them and the world in more suffering, injustice, and hopelessness.

I suggest that we focus on what we want and not on what we don’t want. We want to put in the time and energy daily, imagining positive outcomes and experiences.

By employing our imaginations in our favor when considering individual and collective tasks, we can design new desirable templates for ourselves and humanity.

Want peace on the planet? Great! Start with yourself. Connect to that peace that you want for the planet by touching the peace within you. What does it feel like? Is it calming or energizing? Does it change the way you breathe? As you have with your heart, become aware of the pulse of peace within you. Use your imagination to feel it and sense it. Don’t let your mind distract you here. Remember your inner peace also belongs in the world so radiate it out.

How about we step it up a little and exercise our imagination muscles? Your imagination muscles are that part of us that dream up new possibilities and ideas to create the worlds we wish to inhabit with our loved ones and with all of humanity.

One caveat, as the imagination works to create the positive world we wish to experience, there is an old phrase that comes to mind, “Nothing exists in hell without man’s consent”. Do not give in to fear.

Back to the exercise. Please set aside some time and a place to practice this exercise.

When you are ready, find a good safe spot to sit. A place where you will not be interrupted or distracted.

Take a few moments to look around at your surroundings. Allow your gaze to move from object to object, taking in the colors, textures, and shapes of these objects. Do this for a few moments. Observe your breath and notice if it changes. If you have an especially chattering mind take a little longer looking around.

Each time you feel the chatter begin shift your gaze to a different object or part of the room. At this point, we don’t want to engage in any stories or feelings about what you are looking at instead we want to see the things as themselves: chair, plant, leaf, window, blue, floor, stick and so on.

This exercise serves to open the focus from being engaged in narratives and scenarios within you to looking at the world around you. Think of it like opening the lens of a camera to let in more light. We are letting more light in.

Now, imagine seeing people and situations as expressions of light. As you look at someone, or a place ask yourself: “Which colors express the essence of this person in this moment?” Is it one color, or many different tones?  By essence I mean their spark that is not tarnished by negativity, judgment or fears. Imagine being able to see them in their positive light.

When we allow ourselves to see the best in others, past their self-judgment and fears we help to let the light in. We expand the volume of possibilities available to us. When we only see with eyes of fear and hopelessness that circumference becomes smaller and so do our futures.

Doing the exercises above will shift your mind’s settings from the gossipy, fear-based chatter into illuminated, multidimensional possibilities.They will naturally unburden you, and make you lighter, and more lighthearted in your daily life. Please practice, practice, practice.

We all desire positive futures and outcomes regardless of where we come from, what our politics or religion or economics are. We love to feel good, healthy and prosperous. Let’s use our imagination for creating solutions that generate that. Let’s imagine ourselves being winners who create win-win scenarios, lovers that have enough love to include the enemy, prosperous with peace and life-affirming goodness for all.

But first, we have to imagine it for the heart and body to follow.

Now it’s your turn.

How do you handle your mind’s negative scripts? Have you ever tried working with colors and light? Share your story with me in the comments below – I always love hearing about your experiences and strategies.

 
solutions

Walking the desert in gold. Photo by Alexandra Nitsche

Being part of the solution is easier than we think.

But the first step in solving any problem is admitting you have it.  

Here’s one of ours: we spend more time focused on being consumers than on being citizens engaged in building a better society.

We want the new car, fancy new clothes. Not because we really need them but because there’s something embedded in us that says if I have more, the latest, the greatest, the newest, the fastest that somehow it will give us happiness; the happiness that nothing else can. That it can make us safe, secure and connected.

We only have to look at images in magazines, on billboards, on TV to see this promise. And when that doesn’t happen we think: Oh it’s because I don’t have that skirt. That thick hair, that dewy skin, so we look to buy other things that will make us feel better.

I’m not against trade or capitalism in general. I know they create prosperity and choices but what I am against is the brainwashing and addictive hold of consumerism. Clever marketing, lobbying by special interests at the highest level of government, and a derailed sense of self-worth entices us into thinking that this is THE way  to happiness and fulfilment overriding common sense, logic, and even religious or spiritual beliefs and values.

It says: If you want to feel successful then you need to buy this, look like that, have this lifestyle and because we are making it so affordable and convenient how can you possibly say no?

That is what I am rejecting. Not the product. Not the industry that made it. Not the system that produces tangible, physical products. Just the system that produces our view of that product and manipulates our view of ourselves in order to make us believe that we need that product.

Recently, I have been thinking about Timothy Leary’s galvanising call to action in the 60s: Turn on. Tune in. Drop Out. Here is how he defined what it means to “turn on, tune in, drop out” in his book, Flashbacks.

“Turn on –   go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them.” Wake up. Meditate. Become mindful. Listen to your inner voice.

“Tune in –  interact harmoniously with the world around you – externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives.”  Integrate your deepest wisdom. Walk your talk.

“Drop out –  an active, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. “Drop Out” meant self-reliance, a discovery of one’s singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change.” Conscious actions,  transforming stagnant hierarchical systems in the home and society.

I know it’s challenging to transform old hierarchical systems. I can be just as brainwashed as the next person when it comes to being a consumer. Powerless in the face of marketing behemoths and propaganda poised to hit my subconscious need to fit in and be part of the herd.

I see something nice, I want it. I think to myself: I deserve it. The marketing program running within me doesn’t include me asking myself why do I want that thing?

That takes awareness.

Let me break it down. I have a 10-year-old car that works perfectly well. It has some dents and I have been thinking about getting a new car. Why do I want a new car? Am I afraid that people are going to equate that because I have a 10-year-old car that I mustn’t be successful? That I’m not good enough? Am I worried that because I have boots and shoes that are 10 or 20 years old that people are going to say: “Oh my god she wore those last year!”?

I want to challenge those thoughts within me. I want all of us to challenge thoughts and behaviours, by enquiring about their purpose and usefulness for us.

It was by turning on, tuning in, and dropping out that a previous generation fought their rapacious nature. What solutions do you see rising to the surface to help us become conscious consumers of products, information, and news? To be engaged as true citizens building a better society together?

Speak to us. We are here to listen and help you find your way to the best you.