Between arranging Christmas lunch for the whole family, planning the holidays, hunting down the perfect presents and being dragged to a flurry of social and work gatherings, December can be a wildly hectic month! And then, just when you are about to wind down with a glass of organic wine around the dining table on Christmas day, you realise that you're anything but calm and actually, being surrounded by your whole family and trying to please them all can be anything but relaxing.
On this note, the wise Jane Kersel - our resident wellbeing expert - shares her last Content Ritual of the year. One which helps us understand how we can cope with those stressful times which can easily manifest during the holiday season and grow from them. Read it below.
The American spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, once said: “If you think you are enlightened - go spend a weekend with your parents!” It’s a great comment and one I often paraphrase in my own teachings - “if you think you’re doing yoga - go spend a weekend with someone who pushes all your buttons”.
Because it’s in that practical messy arena of relationship that all the stuff we maybe practice on a mat, or try to learn from a self-help book really gets tested. We are invited in those moments to take a deep breath in and to look squarely into the mirror of our projections and expectations and begin to see how and what we have practised over the year has led to who and where we find ourselves today at the cusp of the old-year meeting the new. So, take a deep breath in, decide that December with all its social gatherings, celebrations and present openings will be a time for your greater self-learning and honing of your relational skills.
Here are some pointers:
- Being given presents that ‘aren’t you’ – it’s no surprise that perhaps your great aunt whoever who lives far away and hasn’t seen you since you were a baby sends you a present that has nothing in common with you – so give her a break!
- It’s a little more disconcerting when your mother buys you something that you feel isn’t your cup of tea! There’s always that awkward silence as we reach for something sweet to say when inside us we are wondering who on earth she thinks we are. The real ‘gift’ in that moment is the teaching that lies there –cultivating the awareness to ask ourselves how come our mother doesn’t know who we are today? Is it truly her fault? Do we let her into our lives? Or are we still acting like a small child hoping that maybe this one year she will be some Mystic Meg and be able to fully get inside our heads and buy us exactly what we desire? Could we be brave enough to actually state what we’d like from her? Could it be something far less material in stuff and instead be relational “I’d like just to spend more time with you mum!”
- Having to spend Christmas day with the in-laws – there will be competition between his mother and you – drop your ego and get over it, as you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. You’re the newer more enlightened model – give her a break!
- Having to spend Christmas alone – there’s a big difference between being alone at Christmas and being lonely at Christmas. You can frankly be in a room of 50 bustling annoyingly loud relatives and still feel incredibly lonely in that room if no one really ‘gets” or “sees” you – so learn the difference between these two states. When we are lonely it’s because we are disconnected from ourselves - the only person that can reconnect us is ourselves!
- Finally in this festive season – take a moment to take stock – we are coming to that point of out with the old, in with the new…. So who’s in/out of your tribe moving into 2016? And why?