In the US, the holiday season kicks off with two very different events: the traditional festival of Thanksgiving followed by the riotous frenzy of Black Friday shopping.
That same duality seems to define the entire holiday season. It’s a time of celebration and joy, but it’s also a time when routine and order fall apart and things can get a little crazy.
You may be looking at a packed social schedule and a growing list of things to do. School-age children and college students are home on winter break, roaming wild without their usual structure. At work, there are schedules and projects to juggle around the distractions of time-off, potlucks and parties, and charity projects. Traffic is difficult, and even the weather turns unpredictable.
It’s at these times that it’s most important to keep yourself grounded by engaging in a discipline that connects you with your own center.
How you go about it depends on your own temperament and needs. It may mean a daily run, or a yoga class, or getting up early to start the day with a moment of prayer or meditation. It may mean making sure you spend some time outdoors connecting with nature. It may mean taking extra time off work to be with your family, or scheduling a lunch or coffee with a mentor or an old friend. It may mean journaling or reading, or a combination of things.
However you go about it, grounding yourself allows you to maintain a peaceful core that shields you from the chaos and stress swirling around you. You can stay focused, meet deadlines and make good use of your time. Outside work, you can remain in the moment and enjoy undistracted time with family and friends.
Above all, you can enter fully into the spirit of the season by being fully aware of, appreciating, and celebrating the blessings that are all around. There’s no greater gift you can give yourself and those around you.
This year, I’m going to try a new grounding practice of my own. I’ll soon be leaving for a much-needed vacation to travel with my wife to Australia and New Zealand. My next post will be in January, and I’m already looking forward to the conversations that we will have here in the new year. Until then, I wish you a bright and beautiful holiday season.
photo credit: Chris Gin