Cultivating Peace During the Holidays


I am not sure when the holidays became more about checking off the to-do-list and less about peace, love and joy.


As much as we may try, and as much as we may say, "this year I am not engaging in the drama," we are all human and we are all connected to one another and to the collective consciousness. Especially those of us who are energetically sensitive, it seems even in the air there is a feeling of hustle and bustle. Traffic is more hectic. There are lines in every store.


I am not here to argue just what is the true meaning of Christmas. Whether or not the story of Jesus is a part of your celebration, to me, Christmas is a time of giving. I know, the retailers all love me for saying this, but I do not mind the giving aspect of Christmas. No, I don't think anyone needs another sweater or another purse or another pair of shoes, but, at Christmas, I am put in the position of finding gifts for a variety of people who I may or may not know a lot about. I know a lot of people have chosen to forgo the holiday gatherings and gift exchanging, but, for me, it is a part of the holidays and one of the aspects of family.


Sometimes I think we put too much thought into what we don't like about the holidays and not enough time into just enjoying the moment. I enjoy going out with hubby and browsing through stores we never visit any other time of the year. I enjoy contemplating how other people are interacting. I enjoy walking around in crowded places and focusing on my breath, breathing in, breathing out, thinking about peace and love and joy, and sending missiles of love out to whoever happens to be in my path. I even enjoy having vendors shout at me, inviting to try their samples of food, or smell their fragrances or check out whatever is their item of the moment. This is fun!


How do we cultivate peace at Christmas or any other time of the year?


Be peace.


Be present in the moment.


Don't focus on the things you don't like.


Breathe.


Remember life is fleeting. The person you are tolerating for whatever reason may not be here tomorrow. The gift you give them or the meal you share may be your last or their last.


Our family recently suffered the loss of the father figure to two of my grandchildren. Although I did not have occasion to spend a lot of time with him in life, he had been a part of my family in one form or another for about fifteen years and the loss was shocking and devastating.


I had a dream a few days ago where he came to see me. In the dream I knew he was dead. I was happy to see him and greeted him warmly with a hug. He expressed his love for my daughter and the kids. I remarked that I saw him more now after his death than I did when he was alive, although the kids were a big part of his life and he and my daughter had evolved their relationship as good friends over the years.


The night before he passed he enjoyed his last dinner with my daughter and the kids. No one knew it would be their last meal together.


Cherish the moments.


Don't make a big deal out of small inconveniences or slights or omissions. Love anyway.


The love you give will be returned to you. (oh, and so will the grudges and the judgements and the grievances.)


Enjoy the cake. Go out of your way to be kind. Even to those who aren't overly kind back or with whom you may have grievances.


What is the key to having peace during the holidays?