Sunday, November 28, 2004

Holiday Heaven, Haven or Hell?

You can make the holidays what you really want.
First, clearly envision the experience you want to have.
Next, ask those you wish to join you, to be willing,
Third, contribute ideas and inspiration, enthusiasm and willingness to work toward your desired outcome.
Start now to envision, believe, commit and communicate, prepare and participate.
It may take focused time and attention, but the results are worth it.

Every day we are choosing the experience we have.
Our choices influence our attitudes, our relationships, communication, purchases, diet, productivity, memories and our emotional state.
When we have unfocused time to think, ponder and contemplate, we can allow our mind to drift to unhappy memories or focus on joys, successes and blessings.
When we wake up in the morning, we can choose to be grouchy, critical and anxious or happy, curious and delighted.
When we relate to others, we can choose to be open-minded, appreciative and respectful or opinionated, judgmental and negative.
When we shop or eat, we can choose to give attention to quick fixes and temporary pleasures or be thoughtful, healthy and loving in our selections.

The Holidays offer opportunities to take time to focus on what we really want.
Some possibilities for your consideration:
Focus on the experience you seek: peaceful, loving, joyful, beautiful, caring, easy.
Choose those who wish to share your experience: friends, those in need, spiritual folks, celebrants.
Select the energy or ambience you seek: silent, sacred, playful, generous, ritual, feasting, lifting, etc.
Be selective about where you go, what you do and with whom in order to fulfill your desired experiences.
Take time to write down exactly what events, dinners, gifts and parties seem in alignment with your holiday choices. Be prepared to respectfully decline the rest.

It is possible for you to develop a holiday mission statement to remind yourself and declare to others what shapes your choices.
For example:
“Thank you for the invitation. This year I am choosing to spend a more quiet and sacred holiday.”
“While I usually purchase gifts for my family, this year I would like to do something different and more meaningful. I will be donating to a Wildlife reserve to save some hunted animals from extinction.”
Or, “This year I won’t be attending the huge whole family dinner. I will be spending Christmas Eve with my church family. And I want to spend quality time with each of you to really share, I will be inviting you for a meal."
“I have decided to stop spending money on often unneeded gifts and give gifts to homeless children, in honor of the family love we share.”
“I want to begin a new tradition of expressions of gratitude and love to one another before we open any presents.”
Or, “Let’s each bring one gift for the grab bag exchange and trade, to make it all more playful and less expensive.”

There are many more novel ideas. Be creative. Start with what you want to experience and give.
You can create these holidays being holy, happy and healthy for you. This is a great gift to others.
Loving you.
Betty Lue

Note: I will be offering a three week class on Honoring the Holidays at Unity this year. Join me in Spirit if not in person.

December 5 Values: What Really Matters
Creative Solutions offices, 140 Mayhew Way #1000, Pleasant Hill
First Sundays, 2 PM-4 PM. Contributions appreciated.

Honoring the Holidays
Dec. 1 Handling Stress with Simplicity
Dec. 8 Healing Sadness with Sincerity
Dec. 15 Creating Hope with Serenity
Wednesdays, 7PM At Unity Center of Walnut Creek. Love Offering.

Creative Solutions 140 Mayhew Way #1000, Pleasant Hill, CA 800-919-2392