As the days get colder and the nights longer, I feel a natural desire to turn inward and build my winter nest. This time of year is a balance between celebrating the holidays with friends and family and needing to slow down and get quieter.
If you, too, strive for a similar balance, I offer the following suggestions for honoring the season.
Tune in instead of figure out.
A good friend noticed that I typically responded to indecisiveness with the catch-phrase, “I need to figure that out.” My friend suggested that instead of figuring something out, I tune into what my whole self needed.
This practice was a game changer for me. I realized that “figuring out” is entirely a mental exercise, and while my mind is a great tool, it also causes a lot of unnecessary suffering. (Ever notice how much suffering is caused by sentences that begin with I should?)
I now practice tuning into what I am feeling, what my body is asking for, and what my soul is calling forth. As a result, I am better able to make decisions that honor all of me, and ultimately, the people in my life.
Want some support as you practice tuning in? Then consider coming to our next New Moon Circle on December 9 or scheduling a time to meet with one of our Shakti team members. We love helping folks tune in!
Strive for harmony – not balance.
“What?” you say. “You’ve been using the word balance all along and now you say not to?”
I know, it is confusing, but I wanted to use the parlance of the day so you would understand where I was coming from. The word balance has saturated the health and well-being field and suggests that if we had it, balance that is, then we would be healthy and less agitated, right? Actually wrong. Let me explain.
For a long time, especially when my children were very small, I strove for that pipe dream of “work-life balance.” I read articles about famous women with children that ran Fortune 500 companies and I listened to child experts who offered tons of suggestions about quality parenting: all in the hopes of figuring out this elusive work-life balance. (If you did not raise children, please insert another area of your life where you feel torn between what you need to do and what you want to do.) And you know what? At the end of the day, I often felt tired and worried that I let someone down.
And then one day, I realized that there is no such thing as perfect balance. There were just too many balls to juggle. There were days I nailed the mom gig and other days I wondered what my child would be saying to his future therapist. Some days I felt smart and competent at work and other days I was grateful that I showed up with clean clothes on.
Now that my children are older (19 and 12) and can dress and feed themselves, I am learning new ways of being with them. I also am discovering how much I enjoy my work and want to grow my capacity to do it. The desires to have mature relationships with my children and to seek professional development are only part of the overall picture. I also want to spend more time with my partner, go on more hikes, travel to new countries, study herbalism and more.
Will everything I want to do happen simultaneously? No. Every day I must pick and choose. My daily decisions are, for the most part, a practice in harmony. Harmony is about flow. It involves tuning in and very little figuring out. Listening for what is needed, honoring the time of the year, acknowledging where you are in life is all part of harmonious decision making.
Let go of limiting beliefs, trying to please everyone and worrying about what the neighbors will think. Instead focus on what you know to be true for you and the values you uphold. And may your holidays be bright.
Have a wonderful week.