As we move away from feasting with loved ones and the experience of giving thanks, we enter the time of Yule, a period where we honor the year that has passed and the people we shared it with. We do so by remembering them through the exchange of gifts and social ceremonies such as parties and special events.
This is a wonderful time for many—decorating Christmas trees, the smell of pine cones, burning of menorahs and spending time with your loved ones—in general, feeling the warmth of spirit and the people around you. I’m sure all of you are running around, planning and organizing your lives to the nth degree. There is so much pressure and so many details to attend to—all this multitasking can easily result in unnecessary stress and anxiety. Why don’t we just have a wonderful seasonal experience?
What are the things that cause us stress during this holiday season? Having to cater to family and friends, plan parties, make social arrangements, buy gifts, decorate our living space and make travel plans—and these are just a few things that cause stress during the holidays. When we run around and plan too much, we end up setting expectations and replacing the joy we’re supposed to feel with stress.
The holidays are not about looking great, giving the best gifts and making the perfect home—in other words, this season is not about your ego. It’s about your heart and your spirit. It’s about remembering people who made your life better, easier and more manageable; it’s about honoring your ancestors and appreciating what you have. This holiday season is about caring for the place where you live and knowing that you are still here on this planet for a reason. The reason why we are here is because there is a creative, loving, divine Source that brings an infinite amount of energy and experience into each of our lives. We are to honor this season of change in a peaceful, loving and balanced way so that you really understand its meaning on a core level and carry it into the New Year and with all those you come into contact with.
This is truly the meaning of the cheer and spirit that we all look for during this time. To get there, you have to remove your agenda, get centered and be willing to nurture and love yourself. You have to be prepared to set boundaries on anything that might stress you out or cause anxiety. It’s not the size of your money bag or how much you spend—it’s the size of your heart. You can always make heartfelt gifts and handmade tokens of your affection. You can find creative ways to gift your loved ones, like writing a song or creating a piece of art for them instead of buying expensive gifts and feeding your ego. Who doesn’t enjoy receiving something that comes from the heart versus something that someone has bought? No one really cares if you’re a big spender—only your ego does.
Spend some time thinking about your ancestors and those who are with us in spirit. I’m not saying to be a dud at the holidays, just that you should simply relax and take a load off. Take it easy and just chill out—and then give something back to you for all that you’ve done in this year. Don’t you think you’re worth it? Don’t you think you deserve to receive a gift? Add yourself to the list! Realize that you are also to be celebrated even though others helped you make it through the year. You went through all that you had to go through and accomplished much this year, and in my opinion, that’s worth celebrating. So book yourself a massage or facial and get poked, plucked, tanned, did and done for the holidays. Whatever makes you feel good about you—do it! You deserve it.
Ancient shamans believe that what you do this time of year dictates what the next year will bring. What do you want to be—a stress ball or a pampered one, filled with good cheer and abundance, ready to share and welcome in the New Year? Are you going to be naughty or are you going to be nice to yourself? It’s up to you. Choose well. Happy Holidays, with love, Shaman Durek.
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