Here we go! The momentum is building, the holiday tunes are playing on repeat, the decorations are being hung. If you have small children, the countdown has begun. "It's the most wonderful time of the year"....Right?
I happen to love this time of year. The lights glowing through the dark days, the smell of pine and fir from the trees and wreaths. How crisp the air feels in your lungs. The magic that even us adults can't help but feel.
But there are so many other emotions that get packaged up with a nice big bow for us to open up every year.
The stress of to-do lists, shopping, socializing (especially if you're an introvert), parties (and all the imbibing that goes with them), long days and nights spent creating meaningful gifts, or upholding treasured traditions. The financial stress of meeting yours and others expectations for gifts. The grief of missing a loved one, from a loss, strained relationships, or distance. And the loss of meaning that happens when we simply consume and run around, without time to absorb any of it.
Meanwhile, all the other mammals are hibernating! That's really what our bodies want to do - snuggle up in our homes by the fire, sip tea, and read a book. Instead, we feel the need to push ourselves extra hard to make it all happy and bright.
So how do we receive the gift of peace and joy, with a little ease sprinkled on top this holiday?
We start by asking for it.
By putting it on top of our to-do list each day: 1. Breathe deeply. 2. Meditate. 3. Get outside.
Maybe it means getting up earlier to soak up the early quiet hours of your day. Or inserting a walk outside at lunchtime rather than shopping on Amazon or responding to emails. Or committing to getting to the Yoga Studio or gym, or booking your massages before everything else gets in the way.
My children are constant reminders that my loving presence is the most valuable gift I can give them. And this is true for everyone we meet.
Can we offer this more fully by taking care of our selves more wholeheartedly this month? I know we can.
In an effort to help us all out with this, I am happy to be offering two Restorative Yoga Mini-Retreats at