Monday, November 25, 2013

This Holiday Season, Return To Simplicity

The holidays are a time when our inner self may be exposed to more vulnerability than usual.  Much time is focused on the external world – preparations, shopping, responding, caring for, tending to.  Lots of stimuli bombard us, and it’s not only the holiday consumer goods commercials and advertisements that now seem to be starting in October.  Our inner self is now working overtime responding to these stimuli.  There are both internal and external pressures to keep up with. 

So this creates a new layer of stress, or roughness, for our inner self.  Our inner self is our oldest friend, the most tender and vulnerable part of us.   Our inner self is our heart space.  The part that has endured hurts throughout our lifetime – fear, abandonment, unmet needs.   This is the part of us that can feel ravenous with emotional hunger as well as be walled off from potential hurts, all at the same time. 

The holidays are an interesting time.  Our inner self has two conflicting demands – responding to the many external pulls, which at the same time creates an increased internal need for love and protection. 

I’m advocating that at this time, you turn extra kind attention, loving care, and protection towards your inner self.  Like being your own mother responding to her upset (inner) child with care, patience, and compassion.  I may even dare to say that during this time, turn inward first before you turn outward. 

Listen to your inner self’s needs. 

Give the gift of self-compassion.

Sometimes it’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.

Trust the process. 

Consider embracing simplicity during the holiday season. For example, this may simply mean spending time with the people we love and who love us back. 

Keep calm and let go (perhaps of the things and circumstances that no longer serve you).

For more holiday coping advice, see: