Human “Being” not Human “Doing”

Dear Self,

Just a friendly reminder… you don’t have to do it all.  Yes, I know it’s the holidays and the possibilities to “do” are endless.  You can make homemade gifts, homemade cards, and dozens of homemade cookies.  You can decorate your house inside and out.  You can say “Yes” to every invitation, even two or three in a single evening!  You can continue to go to work, run errands, do chores, spend time with loved ones, and add all the holiday expectations on top of that while continuing to have the same 24 hours in a day that you had before the holidays came along.  Yes, Dear Susan, you can hustle and bustle the holiday season away… or you can be gentle with yourself and let go.  BE.

 

You imposed the high expectations on yourself and you are the only one who can give permission to lower them.  Be realistic, be present in the moment with loved ones, and most importantly, BE.

 

As Lyn Cox reminded me today, we are human BEINGS not human “doings”.   Allow the stillness and tranquility of winter to permeate you.  Rest, relax, and rejuvenate for while the daylight is returning, this is the time to go within.  Trees lose their leaves and the sap slows.  Animals tuck in for long winter naps.  You need that, too.  BE.

With all my love,

Susan

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Do What Makes You Happy

My boyfriend gave me the simplest yet most profoundly wise advice after I rattled off my holiday “To Do” list, which included cookie baking, house decorating, gift wrapping, tree trimming, card writing… (see where I’m going with all of this?), he simply said, “Just do what makes you happy.”  It makes perfect sense.  Who said I had to spend a fortune on gifts?  Who said I have to make dozens of cookies?  Why can’t I take this time of the Winter Solstice to do what comes naturally– get quiet, reflect on the past, & look ahead to new possibilities that will come with the returning light.

Our earliest ancestors did this instinctively.  They knew that to everything there was a season & lived at one with the Earth & her cycles.  Recapturing that respect for nature, I honor the time of darkness as I do the time of light, knowing each balances the other.  As nights grow long & cold, I line my nest with cozy blankets, sip warm drinks, & create hearty one-dish meals that comfort & nourish.  I read books… lots of books.  I reflect on what I’ve accomplished this year, who I loved, & who loved me.  Like Janus, I look back while also looking forward to how 2012 can be even richer with love, laughter, support, & equal measures of work & play.  I’ve suffered a lot of loss this year but each loved one who passed left me with countless cherished memories that float into my consciousness on a stream of bittersweet tears.  I recognize & honor that flow of emotion, too.

So, we put up a tree covered with lights & natural ornaments to bring in the light until the sun returns.  No cookies, no holiday knickknacks cluttered about, & just the amount of shopping that I can afford.  By removing what doesn’t matter, I’ve made room for what does– my family, friends, & peace.  Peace & love I wish for you, too.