December 13, 2013

The Holiday Blur

Ten years ago my focus was solely external: Am I achieving enough? Do people really like me? What will others think of [fill in the blank]? The I'm-not-enough feeling heightened with holiday expectations. I bought presents for everyone, decorated the whole house, wrote cards, hosted parties, and filled my social calendar. I hoped these externals would generate comfort, but I always felt depleted (and a little cranky).

Now I carry a different holiday intention: how do I spend quality time with people I love and also attend to myself? The answer varies from year to year, but always involves mindful choice. This year there are no decorations and few cards; there are some dinners and parties. There's lots of love and creativity; there's presence.

December brings the shortest days. It's a natural time for hibernation. And an important time for self-care--even in the festive bustle. If we let choice slip away, the holidays become a blur of must-dos. If we live in choice, the holidays provide heartfelt connection. We can't do it all and still enjoy the moments. Doing it all is exhausting (and actually impossible). 

In this holiday season--in this life--what's most important to you? Identifying what's most important is a gift to ourselves. Choosing what's most important is a gift to ourselves.  And with these gifts we become more alive, open-hearted, and available to those we love. Life is no longer a blur, but a series of moments--both happy and sad, yet fully and purposefully lived.


  1. Love, that's indeed what it's all about. Happy heartful Holidays, dear Joy!

    1. thank you, cococita. and i send those heartfelt, loving wishes back to you.