Personal Growth

Set an Intention to Enjoy the Holiday Season

By Suzanne E. Harrill

When you think about the holiday season do you get excited and look forward to fun and deepening your spiritual roots or do you get depressed thinking about having too much to do and dreading the social and material emphases in the month of December? We all have positive and negative experiences associated with the holidays; I encourage you remember the happy ones in order to keep your spirits high in the coming month. After all it is a choice as to where you focus your mind. Encourage your memories with the best-case scenarios to feel the joy of the season. Allow the little child within you to remember the feelings of anticipation and excitement for getting out of school for a couple of weeks, exchanging gifts, going to family gatherings, and eating lots of things not normally available the rest of the year. Hold these memories close as you go forward, in charge of how you participate in this year’s season to be jolly.

Why is it that two people can attend the same lecture, sermon, movie, dinner party, or holiday and have totally different reactions and interpretations of the event. Sometimes it is so different that you would not believe each participated in the same event. Most of us have heard many times that whatever you focus your attention on creates the reality you experience, drawing to you a match for your intentions, your attitudes, your thoughts, and your feelings. Many times we do this unconsciously and just react to situations and do little planning ahead of time to set the stage. This is also the case for how we anticipate and go forward into this holiday season.

Remember you are in charge of your inner world and how you choose to experience the coming month. Try setting intentions before a family gathering, religious service, or party where you think about how to get something of value out of the situation. Visualize what you want to create, feeling your preferences, and monitoring your attitudes and reactions so that you can affect your experiences for the positive.

This holiday season, while I do all the regular things ─ enjoy social gatherings, gather special presents for loved ones, enjoy visits from grown children and grandchildren, give time, money and food to people less fortunate than I am ─ I plan to focus on my intention to keep my spirits up. When tired or stressed, I plan to take pauses to look behind each experience for meaning and think about how to take care of myself. I want to emphasize seeing the true joy in each situation. Some situations I may even choose to forgo, such as baking cookies. In times past this was a fun, rewarding activity. Now, I choose to spend my time differently, participating in the ones that feed my soul. I plan to continue practices that nurture me, such as exercising, getting the proper sleep, eating healthy in between the tempting treats, and leaving early when an event does not match my interest level. Continuing my spiritual practices and inner time to balance myself are important too.

I offer the same to you. Rather than allowing yourself to be taken over by outer circumstances this season, refocus on your true values and rejoicing. Focus on what you want to explore and experience this holiday. Wake up each morning and set an intention for the day, evaluate what activities you choose to participate in, and how to take care of yourself as well as others.

Happy Holidays!

 

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