Let me ask you a question: when you think about the holidays do you get warm and fuzzy feelings? Or does the potential family conflict, the financial outlay, and your jam packed diary knot your stomach up worse than the tangled Christmas lights you found stuffed in the box from last year?
Maybe a bit of both?
Now is the perfect time to contemplate the concept of INTEGRITY. What does it mean to be in integrity in your life? And how can you stay in your integrity during the holidays?
This word comes up while I’m teaching yoga. I notice students pushing past their limits–contorting just to touch their toes. If you are doing this, then you are out of alignment. You are not being honest with yourself about your limits. You are not honoring your body or it’s needs. It’s not helpful, and in fact it is harmful, to compromise your body just to get to where you think you should be in a posture. You are out of integrity.
Holidays can be laden with obligation and expectations so it becomes even more important to be mindful about staying in integrity within yourself. To do so you must get clear about your values.
What do you value? Do you value creating memories but loath the consumerism of the season? Perhaps setting up some traditions would fill you up more than draining your wallet on gifts.
Or do you get immense joy out of buying and giving gifts but your family wants to keep things simple and do a Chris Kringle exchange? Maybe you could donate to a family in need or a nursing home to get into the spirit of giving.
It could be that you’ve got several family functions very close together but you really desire some quiet time to enjoy your kids. You may have to think outside the box and do some negotiating to meet your needs and your family’s.
You see, this is the perfect time of year to practice finding ways to stay aligned with your values, needs and desires while also honouring the values, needs and desires of others.
And by the way—honouring other’s values, needs and desires doesn’t mean acquiescing to them if they are not in alignment with your own. Unless of course above all else you value keeping the peace. If not, this becomes a practice of lovingly empathising while fiercely maintaining your own inner integrity.
This is a season about connection, love and generosity. You don’t have to abandon your Self and compromise your integrity to be all of those things.
It is however a practice to find ways to stay true to your Self while being generous, loving, and maintaining connection with others. I’m not Christian, but I like to think that that would make Jesus happy.
And, hey, if you happen to falter, or even fail miserably at some point then there’s always the practice of being gentle with yourself. The Buddha would like that!
Whatever your spiritual beliefs or your holiday practices, I wish you a month (and beyond) of immense LOVE and deep PEACE. That is everything you deserve.
If you’d like to work with me, check out my Services tab to see what your options are. I would love to support you get clear on your values and even release some of the emotional charge around your family so you can be aligned and in integrity–not just during the holidays, but every day of your life.