Hey friends! Please check out our latest project, The Universe in Ecstatic Motion – we would love to see you there, and, as always, we appreciate your support. Love you! ♥️✨♥️
Hey friends! Please check out our latest project, The Universe in Ecstatic Motion – we would love to see you there, and, as always, we appreciate your support. Love you! ♥️✨♥️
Update: 21 Day Manifesting Challenge
So, as I mentioned previously, I signed myself up for Gabby Bernstein’s 21 Day Manifesting Challenge – and so far, so good! 😊 A real highlight for me has been the Facebook community….the people in the group are so wonderful, interesting, open…it’s been beautiful to read their stories and what brought them to the challenge. I love it!
Since the 1st of the year, Gabby has sent out an email each day with tasks to complete, and I have kept up – woot! woot! At the beginning of the challenge, we were asked what things we wanted to manifest, and to be CLEAR about those. My list included financial stuff (of course), improved health (not that my health is bad – for a fluffy person I’m in surprisingly good health!), and a way forward with my side interests. There was other stuff on the list, but these are some of the big ones. The main thing that I’ve taken away thus far is the importance of ‘clarity’…you can’t put something out to the universe and hope it will happen, if you aren’t 100% clear on what that something is! It just won’t work!
A second thing that Gabby frequently reminds us of is the intention behind the desires we have – and I think this is key. One of my items was that I want to improve my financial situation – the reason for this is that I don’t want to have to worry about money so much, I don’t want to be always running short on funds for things, I don’t want the stress and the worry… I want to be comfortable and happy, so that I can focus on enjoying time with my family (and not obsess over what everything will cost). I don’t want a heap of money so that I can buy strippers and drugs all day long – that would not be a great intention. I think my motivation is sound ….and I’m hoping like hell that it works!
“I’m worthy of my desires, and attracting what I want will bring more joy to the world.” – Gabby Bernstein
Here’s some other things I’ve made notes of to share with you:
When things get difficult…
Your energy creates your reality. Consciously choose new thoughts and you’ll raise your vibrations.
When we make feeling good our priority, everything else can flow.
Be unapologetic about how you want to feel.
I will keep you posted on how things are going as we continue through the rest of our 21 days – loving this!!!😊
I’ve dabbled with yoga off and on over the years, and I love it so much that I honestly don’t know why I don’t do it all the time – my own damn laziness, I suppose. Anyway, one of my promises to myself for the year (since I am not doing resolutions) is to get back to yoga, so… that’s what I’m doing! The plan is to do it at least three time a week (and hopefully more!), and see how it makes me feel. It’s been too damn long since I practiced, and I have suffered not one but two broken arms in the past two months (because I’m special like that), so I knew I needed to start slow and easy. I hit up my absolute FAVORITE yoga teacher Adriene Mishler (https://yogawithadriene.com/), and as usual she didn’t let me down. I began with a simple, easy introductory session that got the muscles moving, focused on the power of the breath, and didn’t cause me much discomfort in the aforementioned broken-but-healing arms. It will be awhile before I’m doing anything too complex, but the first session felt GREAT! Now to keep it up!
If you aren’t familiar with Adriene, check out her YouTube channel (and join the other millions of us who subscribe and follow her!) – she’s got videos for everything, her dog appears sometimes, and she’s so encouraging that you will feel like you’ve had a warm hug when you’re finished. She’s awesome! 😊
Happy Monday, friends! Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend – mine has been rather low key, as I’ve finally succumbed to the wicked cedar in the air here, and I’m feeling rather crap. 😔 I hope it passes soon, but I’ve been here in South Texas long enough to know that it’s just getting going…it’s going to be a long couple of months. Yuck.
Last Monday, I decided it was high time to get serious about meditation – this is the year I’m going to meditate regularly! I paid for the full version of Headspace for a year, and, as I predicted, paying for something had already forced me to use it…and I’m seven days in! Yaa me! If you aren’t familiar with Headspace, you should check it out – it’s a great app, super easy to use, and I’m loving it so far.
There’s tons of benefits to meditating regularly – check this out:
Written by Matthew Thorpe, MD, PhD on July 5, 2017
The popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its benefits.
Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts.
You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration.People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance.
This article reviews 12 health benefits of meditation.
Stress reduction is one of the most common reasons people try meditation.
One study including over 3,500 adults showed that it lives up to its reputation for stress reduction (1Trusted Source).
Normally, mental and physical stress cause increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This produces many of the harmful effects of stress, such as the release of inflammation-promoting chemicals called cytokines.
These effects can disrupt sleep, promote depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure and contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking.
In an eight-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress (2).
Another study in nearly 1,300 adults demonstrated that meditation may decrease stress. Notably, this effect was strongest in individuals with the highest levels of stress (3Trusted Source).
SUMMARY:Many styles of meditation can help reduce stress. Meditation can also reduce symptoms in people with stress-triggered medical conditions.
Less stress translates to less anxiety.
For example, an eight-week study of mindfulness meditation helped participants reduce their anxiety.
It also reduced symptoms of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks (9).
Another study followed up with 18 volunteers three years after they had completed an eight-week meditation program. Most volunteers had continued practicing regular meditation and maintained lower anxiety levels over the long term (10).
Meditation may also help control job-related anxiety in high-pressure work environments. One study found that a meditation program reduced anxiety in a group of nurses (13).
SUMMARY:Habitual meditation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related mental health issues like social anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Some forms of meditation can also lead to an improved self-image and more positive outlook on life.
One study followed 18 volunteers as they practiced meditation over three years. The study found that participants experienced long-term decreases in depression (10).
Inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which are released in response to stress, can affect mood, leading to depression. A review of several studies suggests meditation may reduce depression by decreasing these inflammatory chemicals (15Trusted Source).
SUMMARY:Some forms of meditation can improve depression and create a more positive outlook on life. Research shows that maintaining an ongoing habit of meditation may help you maintain these benefits long term.
Some forms of meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self.
For example, self-inquiry meditation explicitly aims to help you develop a greater understanding of yourself and how you relate to those around you.
Other forms teach you to recognize thoughts that may be harmful or self-defeating. The idea is that as you gain greater awareness of your thought habits, you can steer them toward more constructive patterns (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).
A study of 21 women fighting breast cancer found that when they took part in a tai chi program, their self-esteem improved more than it did than in those who received social support sessions (20).
SUMMARY:Self-inquiry and related styles of meditation can help you “know yourself.” This can be a starting point for making other positive changes.
Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. It helps increase the strength and endurance of your attention.
For example, a study looked at the effects of an eight-week mindfulness meditation course and found it improved participants’ ability to reorient and maintain their attention (23).
A similar study showed that human resource workers who regularly practiced mindfulness meditation stayed focused on a task for longer.
These workers also remembered details of their tasks better than their peers who did not practice meditation (24).
Even meditating for a short period may benefit you. One study found that four days of practicing meditation may be enough to increase attention span (26).
SUMMARY:Several types of meditation may build your ability to redirect and maintain attention. As little as four days of meditation may have an effect.
Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help keep your mind young.
Kirtan Kriya is a method of meditation that combines a mantra or chant with repetitive motion of the fingers to focus thoughts. It improved participants’ ability to perform memory tasks in multiple studies of age-related memory loss (27Trusted Source).
Furthermore, a review of 12 studies found that multiple meditation styles increased attention, memory and mental quickness in older volunteers (28Trusted Source).
In addition to fighting normal age-related memory loss, meditation can at least partially improve memory in patients with dementia. It can also help control stress and improve coping in those caring for family members with dementia (27Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).
SUMMARY:The improved focus you can gain through regular meditation may increase memory and mental clarity. These benefits can help fight age-related memory loss and dementia.
Some types of meditation may particularly increase positive feelings and actions toward yourself and others.
Metta, a type of meditation also known as loving-kindness meditation, begins with developing kind thoughts and feelings toward yourself.
Through practice, people learn to extend this kindness and forgiveness externally, first to friends, then acquaintances and ultimately enemies.
SUMMARY:Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, is a practice of developing positive feelings, first toward yourself and then toward others. Metta increases positivity, empathy and compassionate behavior toward others.
The mental discipline you can develop through meditation may help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness of triggers for addictive behaviors (34).
Research has shown that meditation may help people learn to redirect their attention, increase their willpower, control their emotions and impulses and increase their understanding of the causes behind their addictive behaviors (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
One study that taught 19 recovering alcoholics how to meditate found that participants who received the training got better at controlling their cravings and craving-related stress (37Trusted Source).
SUMMARY:Meditation develops mental discipline and willpower and can help you avoid triggers for unwanted impulses. This can help you recover from addiction, lose weight and redirect other unwanted habits.
Nearly half the population will struggle with insomnia at some point.
One study compared two mindfulness-based meditation programs by randomly assigning participants to one of two groups. One group practiced meditation, while the other didn’t.
Participants who meditated fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn’t meditate (39Trusted Source).
Becoming skilled in meditation may help you control or redirect the racing or “runaway” thoughts that often lead to insomnia.
Additionally, it can help relax your body, releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state in which you’re more likely to fall asleep.
SUMMARY:A variety of meditation techniques can help you relax and control the “runaway” thoughts that can interfere with sleep. This can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep quality.
Your perception of pain is connected to your state of mind, and it can be elevated in stressful conditions.
For example, one study used functional MRI techniques to observe brain activity as participants experienced a painful stimulus. Some participants had gone through four days of mindfulness meditation training, while others had not.
The meditating patients showed increased activity in the brain centers known to control pain. They also reported less sensitivity to pain (40Trusted Source).
SUMMARY:Meditation can diminish the perception of pain in the brain. This may help treat chronic pain when used as a supplement to medical care or physical therapy.
Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on the heart.
Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function.
High blood pressure also contributes to atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
A study of 996 volunteers found that when they meditated by concentrating on a “silent mantra” — a repeated, non-vocalized word — reduced blood pressure by about five points, on average.
This was more effective among older volunteers and those who had higher blood pressure prior to the study (41Trusted Source).
A review concluded that several types of meditation produced similar improvements in blood pressure (42Trusted Source).
In part, meditation appears to control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, tension in blood vessels and the “fight-or-flight” response that increases alertness in stressful situations (43Trusted Source).
SUMMARY:Blood pressure decreases not only during meditation, but also over time in individuals who meditate regularly. This can reduce strain on the heart and arteries, helping prevent heart disease.
People practice many different forms of meditation, most of which don’t require specialized equipment or space. You can practice with just a few minutes daily.
If you want to start meditating, try choosing a form of meditation based on what you want to get out of it.
There are two major styles of meditation:
To find out which styles you like best, check out the variety of free, guided meditation exercises offered by UCLA and Head in the Clouds. They’re an excellent way to try different styles and find one that suits you.
If your regular work and home environments do not allow for consistent, quiet alone time, consider participating in a class. This can also improve your chances of success by providing a supportive community.
Alternatively, consider setting your alarm a few minutes early to take advantage of quiet time in the morning. This may help you develop a consistent habit and allow you to start the day positively.
SUMMARY:If you’re interested in incorporating meditation into your routine, try a few different styles and consider guided exercises to get started with one that suits you.
Meditation is something everyone can do to improve their mental and emotional health.
You can do it anywhere, without special equipment or memberships.
Alternatively, meditation courses and support groups are widely available.
There’s a great variety of styles too, each with different strengths and benefits.
Trying out a style of mediation suited to your goals is a great way to improve your quality of life, even if you only have a few minutes to do it each day.
Do you meditate? How does it make you feel?
This post is from January 2017, and it still rings true with me now, nearly three years later. Let’s give it a read:
I saw this article on Lifehack, and thought that I would share it with you:
Removing These 8 Things From Life Can Make You More Successful
By Amy Johnson
Lots of people think that the best way to become successful is to pick up lots of new habits and skills. While this can help, sometimes the best thing you can do is give up the things that distract you from your goals.
Instead of adding more things to your life, try removing some negative things that hold you back from success. Some are very easy to give up, while others require a little more time and effort.
Here are 8 things that you should remove from your life to be more successful:
1. Remove Excuses
Successful people don’t try to blame their family, their friends, their boss or their co-workers for their life. Instead, they understand that they are fully responsible for their own life and situation. They see this as a good thing as it means that they hold the power to significantly improve their life. When you make up excuses you are lying to yourself, which will hold you back from achieving your goals.
2. Remove Perfectionism
Perfection is unattainable, so trying to achieve it is a waste of your time. Instead of worrying about mistakes that you have made or physical flaws that bother you, simply focus on trying to better yourself with small steps. No one is perfect, but anyone can make the decision to be a better person.
3. Remove Fear
Lots of people make themselves smaller without realizing; they keep quiet during discussions when they want to say something; they avoid taking risks; and they always think about the worst-case scenario. This fearful attitude will stop you from achieving your full potential, so remove it from your life and be brave instead; speak up, voice your thoughts and actively chase your dreams and goals.
4. Remove The Need To Control Everything
You can’t control everything, and trying to do so is a futile task. It won’t help you to become more successful, but it will make you feel stressed, upset and frustrated. Instead of trying to control everything around you, make an effort to care less about the things you can’t control and focus on the things that you can.
5. Remove A Fixed Mindset
Lots of people have a fixed mindset and they make no effort to learn more or change their perception. This makes it hard for them to become more successful as their mindset is stuck in the past. Try to embrace knowledge and learning, and remember that you can always become wiser.
6. Remove The Desire For Overnight Success
Some people believe that the majority of successful people became successful overnight, or that they became successful by chance. While luck can certainly play its part, you can’t rely on luck to become successful. In reality success takes time and dedication, so you should plan for the future as well as the day ahead of you.
7. Remove Toxic People
If the people around you are negative and pessimistic, over time you will start to become negative and pessimistic too. Remove the toxic people from your life and replace them with optimistic, supportive people who genuinely care about you and your dreams. You will find that you are more motivated to work on your goals, and you will be happier and less stressed.
8. Remove The Need To Say Yes (When Really You Want To Say No)
Some people struggle to say no to the people around them, even if they want to say no. This normally means that they end up wasting time doing things that they don’t want to do, and other people might start to take advantage of them. Be brave and say no when you want to; only you can make your dreams a priority, and it is difficult to do that if you are too busy helping other people with their dreams.
This list is golden, don’t you think? Instead of telling you all the things that you need to learn to do and add to your already-overflowing life, this one suggests removing the things that don’t feel good. I LOVE this. I am crazy about the idea of not doing the things that don’t make you happy – for example, I don’t hang out with people who make me feel shitty anymore. I’ve known people who used to like spending time with me because they would put me down, and in the process build themselves up – which is no way to treat a friend, if you ask me. I’m done with it. I didn’t have a dramatic scene where I spelled out just how bloody much they sucked – instead, I always found reasons to say no to making plans with them…and eventually they took the hint. Done with that crap.
I’ve written before of my refusal to keep saying ‘yes’ to every single damn thing that comes my way – if I don’t want to do something (and I don’t have to for work/life), I don’t. Again, no big dramatic moments ever go down…I just say no. It’s liberating! I’m master of my own domaine, and I get to decide how I spend my time and how I am going to feel about it. Woohoo!! 🙂 Just say no – you should try it! 🙂
I’ve never had the perfectionist gene, and I’m pretty good at taking responsibility for my shit and not offering up lame excuses. I am addressing the fear issue at the moment, as this is a biggie for me. I avoid doing all sorts of things that would probably revolutionize my life and how I live it – all because I am afraid…which is silly. I have gone back to Gabrielle Bernstein’s book “May Cause Miracles” and I am working my way through it, day by day – I’m even doing the exercises and everything! Yaa me! This week, the focus was on being the witness of my thoughts, actions, and energy – and choosing love over fear. I love that. When things get shady and the fight or flight instinct kicks in – take a step back, and choose love. I will keep you posted on how this works out – I am a girl who could realllllllly use a miracle!
Have a good day, mes amis!!! 🙂
I’ve been writing about doing things to feed your soul lately…today I wanted to share about feeding your soul through your tummy! Here’s some recipes that I’m planning to make this week – we aren’t having a traditional Christmas dinner, as we had Canadian Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving recently…we are turkeyed out (and I gave up eating meat four months ago!). I’m going to contribute some dishes for our appetizer feast with my family on Christmas Eve, and then on Christmas Day we will have a breakfast casserole thing in the morning, and we’ve planned a seafood boil for dinner that day – totally switching it up!!! Here’s some recipes I’m planning to try out this week (including my all-time favorite dip that I’ve been LOVING since I was a tiny kid):
Some years we go way over the top and make tons of dishes, traditional food, etc…this is not one of those years. I’m working most of the holiday time, so I’ve not got a ton of spare time to get things together, and I’m on a bit of a quest to simplify things in my life at the moment anyway, so….keepin’ it simple this year. Hopefully it will still be lovely and all will be nice – maybe I will be starting a new tradition! 🎄
What traditions do you celebrate during the holidays?
This piece is a repost of something I wrote in 2017, and I share it now so that you can join me in marveling at how bloody far I’ve come. Here’s where I was:
In the spirit of sharing something positive, have a look at this piece courtesy of MindBodyGreen:
by Sonia Kumar
Life can seem like an uphill battle if we meet it with resistance. There are circumstances beyond our control and expectations that will be shattered. Rather than resisting life, if we meet it with acceptance, compassion, and an open mind, it will begin to flow more freely. Acceptance is the key that sets us free. Here are some truths I’ve learned on my journey that keep me on the path to happiness:
1. You are doing the best you can.
You are only doing the best you can with what you know. Once we accept this, we begin to be much more gentle with ourselves. There’s no point in beating ourselves up about past choices and actions, as we only did what we thought was best at that time. We are all a work in progress, and we are all constantly learning. Let go of perfection, and let go of harsh judgment.
2. Everyone’s journey is different.
Your path will be different from that of your friends or your family. Whether you put your career aside to travel or get married much later or earlier than your friends, there’s no need to compare. Your life journey is completely unique; it’s OK if not everyone understands it either. It’s about you, not them.
3. You can’t keep everyone happy.
This is a losing battle. Everyone has different likes and needs, and they will be different from yours. Not everyone will be accepting of you and your decisions either. And that’s OK. That doesn’t mean that you need to keep trying to please them or gain their acceptance. You could lose yourself in trying to do so.
4. You can’t change people.
Maybe you’ve been in a relationship in which you thought you could change the person for the better. Or maybe you have a friend or family member who you think needs fixing or saving. Most of us have learned the hard way that we cannot change people. No amount of pushing, preaching, or nagging can change a person. Change has to come internally from them. All you can do is accept them as they are and set an example.
5. What goes around comes around.
Every action accumulates karma. Be mindful of your actions and how you react to situations—even when you feel wronged by someone. Wayne Dyer said, “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” Remember to think before you act and take responsibility for your actions and their consequences.
6. Age is just a number.
Age is just a concept created by our minds. It’s easy to let age-related expectations interfere with our lives. Some of us have arbitrary ideas of when we should have our career in a certain place or when we should get married. Life can’t be lived on a schedule. Do what feels right for you. Don’t let anyone else’s idea of what’s “right” or “normal” influence your choices. You’ll be much happier.
7. There’s no such thing as a right or wrong decision.
If we put too much pressure on ourselves to make the “right” decision, we may feel paralyzed and be unable to make any decision at all. Try to think less in terms of the right and wrong polarity. Even if we feel that we have made a mistake or chosen the longer road to get to our goal, you learned lessons you wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Same goes for our career and relationships—even if we make a slight detour, we learned from it. There’s never a wrong choice.
8. Judgment only limits our minds.
Every time we judge a person for their actions or appearance, we only end up limiting ourselves. A closed mind is a breeding ground for ignorance. Try to foster an open mind. Learn to see others with compassion, empathy, and understanding. Likewise, if someone judges you, that is a reflection of a limitation in their mind. It may not have anything to do with you on a personal level.
9. The world is a classroom, and we are the students.
Life will give us many lessons—some more painful than others. Our job is to look for the lessons in every situation and every person we come across. We attract people that will give us growth. Next time you feel hurt or triggered by someone, look for the bigger lesson behind it. A lesson will keep repeating itself until it is learned.
10. Setting boundaries is not a bad thing.
There are times that we will need to put some boundaries in place. We may have come across relationships or situations that feel toxic and leave us feeling depleted rather than refreshed. In situations like these, give yourself permission to say no or limit the time spent in draining situations. You are allowed to protect yourself. You deserve it.
11. If one door closes, another will open.
Try not to spend too much time grieving over lost opportunities, jobs, or relationships. If something doesn’t work out, take it as a blessing. Know that there’s something much more suited to you out there. When doors close, we are forced to think in new directions, and eventually we open our eyes up to bigger opportunities and healthier relationships.
I’ve written before of the stresses that I am currently having at work, and I am trying so hard to embrace this thinking as presented above – it’s just so hard. As my door closes here at my current job (who am I kidding???! That damn thing has been slammed in my face repeatedly!), I am putting it out to the universe, and hoping that a power so much higher than me will take care of me and put me where I am meant to be, as it sure as hell isn’t here any more. This makes me sad, as I have loved this school and community unlike any other place that I have worked – but it’s not the same anymore, and it’s time to move on. I doubt that I will ever again find the workplace joy that I once knew here, but perhaps I will find something even better. I hope so – I spend A LOT of time at work, so it’s best when it’s a place that you like to be. 🙂
What do you believe is necessary for a happier life, my friends? Whatever it is, I hope that you find it!! 🙂
I’m so happy that the girl who was so sad has found a way out of the darkness and is basking in the light of day – I love it! ♥️ The amount of stress that my work situation was causing me was incredible – I keep hearing from former colleagues who see me now that I look younger! I’m sure it’s not true, but dammit I will take it, thank you!! I feel better, my work/life balance is considerably better (woohoo!)…EVERYTHING is better, especially me. I feel better about myself, more hopeful and optimistic – and truly that’s half of the battle right there. Woohoo! What a difference a change of environment can make! ♥️
I always thought that in order to engage in something like a gratitude practice, you had to be all fancy and formal, get yourself a Tibetan gong, some incense, and a flowy tunic – turns out I was wrong. I got a new planner a year ago for Christmas (I’m hoping for one this year!!), and every day I sectioned off an area and labeled it ‘Gratitude’ – every single day I would write three things I was grateful for. Some days it was profound stuff, other days it was things like sour cream and onion chips, cold beer, and the popcorn smell of a puppy dog’s feet (for realz – smell their feet, they smell just like popcorn). I have done this task every day for the entirety of 2019 – and, let me tell you, this has been a motha of a year, so taking time to focus on gratitude was a good idea. I added an app to my phone (Grateful) that is pretty much the same idea. I like it, but still prefer writing my gratitude down in a notebook.
Here’s some great ideas on how you can make your life exponentially better by focusing on gratitude:
Last month I got the om (ohm) symbol tattooed to my left shoulder – it looks like this:
I LOVE it – and when the kid asked what it meant, I explained it this way: om (ohm) is the sound of the universe, and it’s important to be quiet in order to hear it….I told her it’s kind of like the lines from the musical ‘Hamilton’ – talk less, smile (and listen!) more…and it will help remind me to remain in a peaceful state, to focus on kindness, compassion, calmness and joy. I love it and thing it looks awesome on the front of my shoulder – Yaa! ♥️
What are you grateful for, friends? I can’t wait to hear how you practice gratitude in your life!!
I’ve been really struggling with Christmas this year – I’m running dangerously low on holiday spirit. I’ve gone outside and sang Christmas songs loudly for all to hear – but that didn’t work nearly as well for me as it did in the movie “Elf”….I’m waiting to hear that there’s been a noise complaint. We didn’t put up our tree as early this year as usually due to some renovations that we had going on (the new floors are bad ass, so it was worth it), which likely hasn’t helped with my ho ho ho this year, either. Come to think of it, I’ve struggled with Christmas spirit since I moved to Texas – the lack of snow and cold weather makes it a bit tricky for me, which is something I never thought I would be bothered by! It gets hard to feel festive when you’re wearing flip-flops, I guess….
It’s more than just the weather, though – I think I’m feeling worn down by all the expectations that come with the holiday season. We are expected to hand write Christmas cards, expected to have gifts and treats for every person we meet, expected to attend every function, expected to wear an entire month’s worth of holiday sweaters and bake homemade cookies for all of the parties (and for Santa)…all of it. It’s exhausting. As each year goes by, I find myself doing less and less – and then I feel guilty, as if I’m a shit friend because I don’t hand write cards to people, and a shit parent because I don’t bake ten types of cookies to give the kid choices when she snacks. I need to do better with some of these things, but I just can’t seem to keep up with it all…and most of the time, to be honest, I don’t want to.
Just because I don’t send handwritten cards, doesn’t mean I don’t love my friends. They know I love them (I hope)! And just because I buy cupcakes and cookies for the parties at the kid’s school doesn’t mean I don’t love her – it just means that I’m busy AF and don’t have time to spend four hours getting baking done (and, let’s be real here: my baking will NEVER taste as good as store bought. EVER.). I think it should be okay to take shortcuts and make your life easier whenever possible – there’s no need to go over the top and throw a Martha Stewart Christmas UNLESS YOU WANT TO. We really need to cut down on doing things because we think we should – ‘should’ can be such a shitty word, and I think we ought to look at removing it from our vocabulary. Seriously. It rarely makes anyone feel good.
Clearly I am not alone with these ‘holiday blues’ I seem to be having – the New York Times published an article entitled “Yes, It’s OK to be Sad During the Holidays” in November, and it’s like they peeked into my soul to get this one written: “Feeling like a sad sack of coal during the holidays is far from unusual. Between the crowds, dwindling bank accounts and tundralike weather (not to mention the short window of sunlight), it’s a wonder any of us can keep it together.” I feel seen, for realz. The article goes on to offer some great tips on managing the holidays – I hope you will check it out.
Do you ever feel blah at the holidays or are you all Buddy the Elf all the time? If so, tell me your secret! 😉
I’m just going to leave this here – let it soak in. ♥️