I’m going to do something a bit different today. Something that I didn’t expect to be doing. I thought that today I would be writing about love, fun and festivity but there are other forces that are asking to be written about!
Like many people at this time of year, I am on holidays. Time off. Time away from work. Time away from routines.
While we all crave free time and holidays, they can also be the source of much upheaval and chaos. When the volume is turned down on the noise that accompanies our lives, it brings the noise in our heads into focus. ‘Ah,’ we realise. ‘The noise is not just out there; it is in here as well!’ The anxiety rises to the surface. The cloud of depression re-appears. These are not new illnesses. They are just symptoms of all the unfelt emotions we have buried throughout the year. It’s okay for holidays to involve conflict, angst, and drama, because it is the opportunity for all the suppressed feelings throughout the year to rise to the surface.
Many people get to this time of year and think, ‘I’m on holidays! Why aren’t I happy?’
There’s a lot of pressure on holidays: pressure to come together, to relax and be joyful and happy with family and friends. I have had several conversations over the last week about people who are unhappy in their relationships. Other people are dealing with the consequences of unconscious celebrating: drinking, drugs and over-indulgence. Others are finding it hard to keep to familiar and nourishing routines because they are overwhelmed by constant events and new faces.
It is common for these feelings of discontent to flare up at this time of year, when we all rise above the day-to-day circumstances of our lives and take stock. We work out what we want to take with us into the next year. Christmas holidays force us, collectively, to get conscious. Above all, Christmas is a time for reflection. Reflection is ‘serious thought or consideration.’ This doesn’t necessarily equal happiness. Reflection can lead to endings, new beginnings, changes, and upheaval. A conscious Christmas forces us to consider who we love, what lights us up, and how we can bring fun and lightness into our lives without compromising our responsibilities.
If you do one thing these holidays, don’t judge the path of your reflection. It might take you into darkness before you can re-emerge into light. It might take you into chaos and conflict so you can restore a new relationship dynamic. Above all, stay focused on the way you would like to feel. And remember, ‘Whatever you are thinking about is literally like planning a future event. When you’re worrying, you are planning. When you’re appreciating, you are planning. What are you planning?’ -Abraham-Hicks.
Naming the discomfort is always the first step towards healing it. If we graze our knee and it is bleeding, we don’t think twice about stopping the bleeding and starting the healing process. We need to approach our emotional lives with the same courage. Holidays show us what we need to heal.
Here are 3 ways to reconnect to yourself these holidays:
1. Take some time between Christmas and New Year to make some notes of how you feel in each of your core life areas: relationships, work, abundance, fun, creativity, community, family, adventure and self.
2. Spend some reflective time alone, even if it is only for an hour. Go for a walk or do some meditation.
3. Create a new story for 2015. If there is an area of your life that is constantly causing you stress, then start imagining a new story for that part of your life. Fantasise. Ask, ‘what would it look like if I had everything I wanted?’
I wish you all a conscious Christmas & New Year!