Monica J. Griffith

We have arrived!

Halloween has passed and we have turned the calendar to November – Holiday Season is officially upon us! It is time to let go of summer fun and begin the transition of Fall to Winter.

What is it about the holidays that makes them – well, the ‘Holidays’!? What comes up for you as you begin to prepare for this new season?

Here is what comes up for me: spending money, buying gifts, baking, cooking, wrapping, travel, work, cleaning, entertaining, decorating, writing cards, mailing packages, shoveling snow…seems to go on and on! And yet – I love the holidays! What I would like, though, is if it could be more simple, more stress-free. Is that even possible?

What would it be like to create a stress-free holiday season? Can you even imagine? When I asked someone that a few days ago, she said: “The holidays are kind of like having a baby – it’s incredibly painful for a while, then once the delivery [holiday] is over, you forget how awful it was going through it and just remember the good stuff!” Wow! I’d never thought about it that way! I would like this year to be more ‘good stuff’ and much less ‘awful’!

Here is a formula, if you will, to create a Season of Simplicity. There are four steps: Explore, Dream, Discover, Create.

Explore what has meaning and relevance for you. What experiences of holidays past do you recall with joy – that warm your heart? Is it the people who celebrated with you; the activities of walking in the snow or playing cards around the fireplace or maybe a group of friends together in the kitchen baking cookies? Perhaps it is vacation time away from work, recharging your mind, body and spirit. Of all the memories you have from wonderful holiday experiences, can you see the common theme? Just guessing here – but I doubt it was how spic-n-span clean your house was, or the exhaustion you felt after a day a non-stop shopping and spending money you really didn’t have on gifts no one can really recall now!

What if you focus this holiday one or two of those things that really bring you joy and make those the absolute best – letting go of some of the other stuff that has little meaning for you?

Dream about what it will be like, on January 2, to reflect on this holiday as one of the Best Holidays ever! What does that look like? Can you put in writing the vision of your dream? Here is how it might go: When I look back to the holiday season of 2017, I see that I enjoyed the preparation and time with my family and friends. We laughed as we reminisced times gone by. We ate well and everyone contributed to our festivities. No one overspent money or energy! I had time to relax and enjoy each passing day – reflecting on what is really important as I leave my footprint on the season. What would that reflection be like for you?

Discover what is getting in your way of being able to make this dream/vision a reality. Here are a few things you might look at. Do you: shop without a budget; frequently pick up things at the checkout that are not on your list; take on too many responsibilities without enough help from others, fail to ask for – or accept help…Once you become aware of what may be getting in your way – a very slight shift in how you are being will open the space for you to begin to delight in the season!

Create a space of gratitude. When you experience gratitude, your ego moves out of the way. You can only have one or the other – gratitude or ego – they cannot coexist. Gratitude is grace and grateful is a sense of being. As you move into and through this holiday season, become appreciative of what you are doing and how you are creating this simple season. It takes only a moment to express thankfulness – and it is a moment free of stress that both the giver and receiver experience!

And, as always – remember to breathe!

Fall to Winter – – another beautiful season of life.