I’m the first to admit I have some strong opinions, some of which have been wildly popular, and others absolutely not. That could be because we have been indoctrinated into a modicum of agreement on what’s polite, etiquette or even appropriate when it comes to giving unsolicited advice. Or (my suspicion is) we are simply afraid of the truth. However you look at it, the consequences for such straight talk can be stringent; tribal ostracization, social paralysis or, worse, no one likes you and you die alone. Yet somehow the threat of becoming such a pariah doesn’t stop me from trying to penetrate the unconsciousness that most of us suffer from. And sometimes it feels as though a direct blow to the ego is in order. Especially because, honestly… I just can’t help myself. I think I may quite seriously be genetically incapable of keeping my mouth shut under certain circumstances; either that or I have an emotional stigmata. While most of my uncontrollable urges seem to well from beneath the radar of my conscious awareness, there are just some things that swell from deep in my heart that I love to share, always in the hopes that any tiny eensie weensie bit may help comfort your soul and awaken you to the true nature of your divine self!
So here I go, like Donna Reed on steroids; here is some wholesome, salient, advice on how to get through the holidays, happy AND healthy!
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FORGIVE ~Make a list of everyone in your family and immediate sphere of influence that you are “out of sorts” with. Then either write a sincere letter making amends for your part in the situation, or sit quietly every day for the next two weeks for 3-5 minutes and pray for that person (people), wishing them everything they want for themselves (my definition of love). One of the fastest ways I know to free up your spirit so you can enjoy the magic of the season with a more open heart. You are also less inclined to medicate or do self-destructive things when you feel and begin to heal and deal with the truth, rather than cover the pain!
GET IN SERVICE~ Pick someone you know who is hurting (or suffering more than you) and reach out to them and see what you can do to make their season more filled with light and joy! If you don’t know anyone, there are a huge number of food and clothing drives you can contribute to or get involved in directly. Just go online. Including women’s and homeless shelters!
MOVE YOUR BODY~ Make sure you are moving your body every day and make it fun. Maybe sign up for a dance class, join the 5 Rhythms dance community, take up ice skating or tango. Or if you know how to do any of these, go teach a class at an a school or old folks home. As my friend Gabrielle Roth says the best way to heal the psyche is to put the body in motion!
EXPRESS YOURSELF~ Gift-giving can make anyone feel overwhelmed, resentful or even insecure. One easy and fun thing to do is make something from your heart! I wrote and recorded a song once and gave it as a gift. There are really inexpensive ways to do this now! Or if gifts aren’t an issue, join a church choir or start a caroling group!