“Go forth, the teller of tales, and seize whatever the heart longs for. Have no fear. Everything exists. And everything is true. And the earth is only a little dust under our feet.” - w.b. yeats
This life is yours to live and the holidays are not a time to forget that. It’s a time dedicated to celebrating presence, love, and kindness. But, as the onslaught of consumerism and commercialism seeps into the cracks of every channel – whether electronic or human – it doesn’t always feel that way.
But, we have a choice.
We have a choice to give into the consumerism tendencies.
To believe that we aren’t good enough until we buy everyone in our family gifts.
To believe that presents are valued over presence.
To believe that we will be judged for who we truly are if we choose not to partake.
Personally, I value time and experiences over tangible things and you’ll find most of what I teach embraces mindfulness as a leading value. Our society does not reward a lifestyle like this. Starting before Halloween, we hear about everything we need to purchase over the coming months… and what our children, partner, or family will feel when we purchase them the perfect toy, the perfect ring, or the perfect TV. I remember as a child hearing in the summer that my dad + step mom were still paying off the debt from last Christmas – and that no, we wouldn’t be able to adventure up to the Wisconsin Dells. Thinking back to that Christmas, I can’t even remember what thing I got, but I sure as hell would have remembered going to the Dells.
Because, the reality is that all anyone truly wants is TIME. Time is invaluable. You can’t put a monetary value on it. It just is.
And you, my dear, are worth all the time in the world.
Even if the feelings of overwhelm, frustration, and sadness seep into your emotional being throughout this time of year, remember that you do have a choice.
You have a choice to…
- purchase experiences instead of tangible gifts
- say no to gatherings that suck your energy
- say yes to events that feel good
- opt out of consumerism
- opt in to love
This isn’t a letter to say that holidays and cultural rituals are not important, because they do play a part in our creative consciousness. That being said, we have the choice to create these rituals any way we’d like. We are not forced to spend time with family that sucks our energy dry, or to travel across the country and sap our savings account, or to give into the consumerism tendencies of our culture.
We can choose to be mindful consumers. We can choose to bring kindness and love into every interaction, despite the consumerist side of the holiday season. We can choose to be a beacon of light + kindness throughout the year, instead of faking through it during the holidays.
Life is about feeling good. If the rituals and habits you’ve lived during the holidays throughout the years don’t feel good to your true self, choose a different story. Choose to be intentional about how you spend your time and energy. Choose to give the gift of presence instead of presents. Choose to love yourself, first, and do what feels right for you. Choose to live aligned with your authentic self – even if that means letting others down.
And, choose to celebrate presence, kindness + love this holiday season – whatever that looks like for you.
I leave you now, with a simple mantra to carry you through the rest of the year:
‘I am perfect + whole just the way I am.’
PS. If this resonates + you’d like to learn more practices to live mindfully throughout this time of year, Mindful Moments is a free 31-day e-course that will help you do just that. I’d love to see you there! Learn more here.