The familiar rounds of holiday parties, gift exchanges and requisite spirit are upon us. So how do you maintain a heartfelt sincerity throughout the whirlwind month of December? With INTENTION.
Repeat after me: Aum
Using a mantra seals in positive energy by focusing your mind on an uplifting thought. Instead of cursing at gridlocked traffic (don't they know you're in a rush to get your gift shopping done?!) repeat a word or phrase that will remind you why you're navigating the crowd in the first place. You'll feel more relaxed and aligned with your purpose. You can use a grounding mantra, like 'om', or try something that reminds you of your purpose. I like 'love', 'selfless', and while waiting in really long lines, 'find ways not NOT be offended'.
Honor your self
Fewer daylight hours and more social/family commitments challenge the quest for ever-elusive Balance. Make time for yourself, daily. Even 10 minutes spent in quiet meditation or doing an activity for pure enjoyment can be grounding and rejuvenating. If you don't take care of yourself first, how can you expect to give of yourself to others?
1. Sleep Keep a regular schedule and aim for 6-8 hours each night. Your body will thank you.
2. Simplicity Let go of perfection. Forget over-the-top. Remember, it's the thought that counts.
3. Sustenance Opt for whole, clean foods as often as possible, then cut yourself some slack when your neighbor offers a plate of chocolate peppermint fudge.
4. Sit and be still Wish lists, to do lists, grocery lists swirl in your mind like snowflakes in a blizzard. Spend a few minutes each day to sit and notice your breath, your body-sensations and to simply feel grateful for this moment of life.
5. Savasana Corpse pose calms the mind, relaxes the body and rejuvenates the soul. Try this version: legs-up-the-wall pose.
Joy, peace and other good tidings
Greek philosopher Epictetus was onto something when he said "the key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence call forth your best." Isn't that what the holiday season is about? We gather together during the darkest part of the year in order to share good will and lift each other up. If your family get-togethers are more reminiscent of the Griswolds' Christmas Vacation, don't overlook the importance of gathering with a group of friends. Take the opportunity to tell your friends and family what they mean to you- that's truly a gift more satisfying than the latest gadget, toy or iAnything.
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