I have always loved the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The news showed them getting the tree in place and placing the star at the top. They talked about it as being a star that is filled with hope during this time of year. Besides living with hope there are at least two essential components of living life to the fullest; they are cultivating peace and joy. To foster this we must know that we can be flexible in what we do, what we say and what we think; in other words, we hold the right to be able to change our minds and do things differently at a moment’s notice.
The second is that this knowledge is the foundation of the philosophy that every day presents us the opportunity to start over. I know this is not new to you, but we can get so set in our routines and rituals of how things need to be, that we forget that we have the ability to adapt and change. We cause ourselves much unease when we are unwilling to bend.
2020 has already presented us with challenge after challenge and now the cold weather and the holidays are approaching, we are facing new obstacles. As hard as this has been, we have also learned how to pare down our activities to those that are most essential and have learned how to stay connected with friends and family. However, because the holidays are so rich with tradition and family gatherings many of us are wondering how we can remake the holiday to still feel joyful when nothing feels the same.
This year is certainly different, but I think that if we can first spend some time reflecting and tending to our spirit, everything else will fall into place. Here are a few ideas to consider in making this holiday time filled with hope, peace and joy.
We can rethink our holiday rituals to see if they still bring us comfort and joy or if they produce extra work that leads to exhaustion. Perhaps there is an easier way, or we can make it simpler, but just as meaningful. Here are some ideas:
- Celebrate the winter solstice.
- At the end of the day create a ritual of asking yourself where you experienced hope, peace or joy that day. The days are busy and filled with responsibilities and challenges and we often forget about the good. This will train your mind to begin to look for and relish the good when it happens.
- Make a daily intention to invite joy into your life.
- Give yourself time to play and to do the things that make you happy.
- Express gratitude regularly for the goodness that is in your life, including those who love and support you.
- Choose to look at life with a sense of awe and the wonder of a child.
- Connect regularly to the spirit inside you that guides and informs your path.
- Send blessings to anything that is causing you discomfort and refuse to carry any anger by taking steps to resolve it.
- Show kindness to someone every day from now until the New Year.
- Offer positive comments to yourself.
- Take time to enjoy the quiet.
- Expect the miraculous to happen.
Finding and fostering hope, peace and joy within ourselves is one of the most important things we can do to live fully. When we honor this sacred process, it spills out to all we meet and this is the spirit of the holiday, whether we get to spend it with our families or not. Wishing you all the miracles of the season!