Growing up, Christmas had to be done my mother’s way. If you didn’t comply, you didn’t really get in trouble, but you certainly got the look. There was also this idea that Christmas was meant to be the best day of the year. No pressure there! I mean really? Who says? Why can’t every day be a celebration?
Falling into the trap of meeting the expectations of others with regards to the holidays is all too easy to do, and last Christmas I gave all of that up and chose to spend the entire day by myself. I wanted to see what it was like. I had a back up plan with some friends in case I changed my mind, but I didn’t. I went for a run. Swam in the ocean. Sat on my daybed on my verandah surrounded by my plants, listening to the sound of the ocean and reading a book. Cooked yummy food just for me. The whole day was me, my body, and my many plants. It was a day of being vulnerable with myself, trusting myself and not buying into any of the thoughts, feelings or emotions that other people have about what you have to be doing on Christmas. It was peaceful.
What if this holiday season, you gave yourself permission to choose for you? What if, from the space of gratitude for you and your body, you had a look at what you would like the day to be?
When I explored the possibility of spending a Christmas day solo, I asked myself, “What does Christmas mean to me?” For me it is about joy, about choosing to be happy. It’s also about gratitude for myself and everything I am choosing and creating. What is it for you? What does Christmas mean to you? If you unplugged from the expectations of others, from the projections of how the day is meant to look, what would you discover?
If choosing beyond the expectations and projections of the holidays seems like a bit too much of a leap, here are some tools to assist.
1 – Interesting Point of View
How many points of view do you have about what you have to do on Christmas? How much pressure do you put on yourself to get Christmas right according to what your family or friends have decided it should look like? Who do you have to make happy? For every point of view that comes up when you ask these questions say, “Interesting point of view. I have that point of view.”
There is a Christmas party at work, you have decided that you have to go. Pause, “Interesting point of view. I have the point of view that I have to go to this party.” Keep saying it until your world feels lighter. Now, “If there were no right or wrong, what would I like to choose? What is going to create the most for me and for my body?”
Use the tool of ‘interesting point of view’ to let go of the conclusions of what you decided you have to do so that you can discover what you would like to do. This is called allowance and as Gary Douglas says in his new book The Gift of Allowance, “Allowance gives you the freedom to choose and create beyond the limitations everybody else thinks are true.”
2 – Be Grateful for Yourself, What You Have, and What You Have Created
Christmas is often a time of reflecting on the past year, and looking forward to the next. It is all too easy to focus on what you haven’t created yet, rather than focusing on what you have. This year choose gratitude. Be grateful for you, for your body, for your friends, for the many beautiful things in your life. Celebrate and acknowledge everything you have created.
3 – Relax
The extra hustle and bustle that others choose over the holidays does not have to be your reality. You can have a sense of ease and joy through it all. No matter what is going on around you, take a deep breath and relax! Have a look at what relaxation is for you. For me, whilst it can include a warm bath, a walk on the beach, cooking, reading a book, it’s about way more than that. It is an energy that is infused into everything I choose and I am discovering this more and more every day. Relaxation is an exploration.
What is it for you? Ask and find out!
- What is relaxation for me?
- What brings me joy?
- In this moment, what would I like to choose? What would be relaxing and nurturing for me and my body?
You may have heard that choice creates awareness. What if you gave yourself the gift of choice even with regards to Christmas? What might you discover? What grand and glorious adventures await when you truly choose for you? Ask. Choose. Relax. Receive.