“Today, Let us swim wildly joyfully in gratitude.” ~ Rumi

Holidays are a time for family, connection, sharing – and stress! Most of us feel obligated, pressured, overwhelmed, often stressed about money and gift choices, wanting to please, maybe not wanting to spend too much time with family, and the list goes on. Sadly, this time for giving and receiving and caring and connecting can bring out the worst in people – drivers and shoppers are often more rude, theft sometimes increases – I can feel the stress in the air. I especially feel the sadness of those who don’t have much, trying to take care of their families. Or those who don’t have families and are alone during the holidays.

I am blessed to spend the holidays with my husband Jim – it is just the two of us, we exchange gifts and have some fun meals, go for walks by the ocean, but don’t do much else. Even so, it is stressful – what to get him as a gift? What to cook? I admit that I am always happy when January 2 comes around and the holidays are over. Whew.

I do my best to be mindful, to be present and loving. I want to give to those less fortunate. I do smile and send love and blessings to people. And, that means I use lots of tools to avoid being infected by the stress and craziness, and instead remember that the holidays – and life –  is all about love and gratitude.

Coming into the present moment is the most powerful antidote to the pressure and stress of the holidays. That’s fine to know, but how? For me, I start with appreciation and gratitude. I give thanks for the smallest things in my life – my two hands that work, a body that is healthy, a bed, a car, a home, food in the house, living in California where we are relatively safe. Our lives are miracles – it is too easy to get caught up in the stress and pressure and “have-to’s” and forget to be grateful. Look around you – at the beauty of a plant, at the sky, at life.

Here are some other tools to help you let go of holiday stress and enjoy the season:

  • Tap when you are feeling upset, frustrated, stressed, judgmental..
  • Meditate – even for 5 minutes – follow your breath, listen to soothing music, go for a meditative walk
  • Get some exercise, stretch, drink water, eat healthy food – take care of yourself
  • Ground, breathe, come into the present time, catch yourself, remember to be kind – to yourself first & foremost!
  • Call in your guides and angels – and particularly your gatekeepers (guardian guides) to protect you from the stressful energy
  • Keep your home, and especially your workspace and bedroom energetically clear
  • Enjoy a healing session with me, a massage, spa time, nurturing.

Many blessings to you for a happy and peaceful holiday time.