Are you ready to change the calender to 2012? I have been feeling that the next couple of weeks are so full that they are 'already done' in part of my mind. Shopping, wrapping, writing cards, caroling at multiple venues, planning menu's for gatherings - it's enough to make this yogi cry! So, I've meditated on what can help me practice ''mindfulness'', the meditation of being where we are with joy - and using a short mantra to focus myself on the miracles of everyday life, enhanced by the holidays.
As I read in a FB posting, any holiday that tells us to honor people we love can't be all bad! When I read that, I remembered that it is the essence of the holidays to reconnect and reaffirm relationships; gifts can be words of love, a homemade box of cookies, a simple tree ornament to hang in memory of a loved one and avoiding the trappings of excess, over-spending, over-scheduling and being out of harmony with who I really am by pretending to be who I am not.
The Yoga of the Holidays, is the yoga of everyday: the Yamas and the Niyamas. Often these are compared to the Ten Commandments. To practice yoga, I can start over whenever I need to and now is as good a time as any. Non-harming and Truthfulness, these two moral living codes can help me stay balanced. I start with myself and then extend to others. I use kindness to myself as a touchstone for joy, and truthfulness as a tool for intimacy in relationships.
Remembering the year I was in active cancer treatment, I know what it is like to not have the energy to put up all the decorations, send out cards on time, and wrap gifts in the wee hours. It's okay to do less, reserve energy and learn how to accept the gifts of kindness and good-cheer with a smile and a thank you. I say this thinking of four students who are on intense chemo regimes which have zapped their appetites and dampened their spirits, let alone their holiday spirits. It's okay to say 'no'; it's non-harming and truthful to take care of our bodies. If no one has given you permission to do less, consider this your permission!
Sending prayers of peace, loving kindness and compassion,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jean!