Holiday Post Mortem

Now that we are safely into the month of January, it’s a great time to reflect. Not only on the past year but also on what actually happened during the holidays. For me, I know there were a few ups and downs. As much as I tried to stay even-keeled and centered, there were a few times where I felt totally overwhelmed and a sense of physical stress in my body. Tightness in my chest, rapid pulse- and this was about Christmas shopping!? Time with extended family was mostly very enjoyable and I also caught myself in judging others, assuming they were judging me.

What I noticed over the holidays is that who I am during the year is who I am during the holidays. I’m actually just a more amplified version of it because there are the additional elements of spending, indulging, concentrated time with family and friends and general expectations of creating holiday magic and perfect memories at every moment. Whatever my issue is during the year, it is guaranteed to show up between Thanksgiving and New Year. Whether it’s spending, sugar or my righteous political views- there will be an opportunity for me to see how I really show up when it comes to my trigger points. December puts a lovely spotlight on all of it, so there are plenty of chances to audit me.

I tend to over commit and extend myself, so throughout the holidays, I tried (really I did) to simplify as much as possible and focus on meaningful time with family and friends. That one went pretty well. We had some great gatherings with friends at our home and instead of going out or even making a big dinner, we ordered take out. It worked great. I didn’t overcommit to baking 10 different holiday treats. Two batches of gingerbread. Doable, and still felt the holiday vibe. I didn’t go crazy eating holiday chocolate as a way to soothe my stress and escape (except once). Cards? Um….. check back with me in a week. The ‘New Year’s cards still have to go out. The more interesting thing is that they’re my New Year’s cards from last year but that is another story……..Family relationships? No blow ups, but I know I have some work to do there and that it’s 100% my work. Ram Das has a great quote ‘If you think you are enlightened, go home for Thanksgiving.’

I guess the bottom line is that truly our life is one big mirror and an opportunity to receive feedback. Every situation and interaction in some way reflects us back to ourselves. The question is whether or not we’ll be willing to look honestly in that mirror. Things really come to the surface during the holidays that might have been easier to avoid seeing earlier in the year. The other news? 11 months to go before we’re back in holiday mode- better get working on that self-awareness stuff.


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