As we get close to the year’s end, we see a parade of events consisting of the good, the bad and the ugly of the year as we close it out. We have anticipation of a new year and how we are going to change, get our life together and start new. Remember this, everywhere you go, there you are. We are still dragging our old self into the new year. The self that struggles with healthy eating, exercising consistently, seeing those around us as who they are instead of who we want them to be. What I am proposing is that we start now, loving ourselves and those around us for the state of disarray we currently all are in. Embrace the human frailty of what is in this moment true, real, uneven, and very much alive and loved.
Remove the To Do List of life, settle into it and just enjoy the fuck out of each moment presented. I am not saying don’t try to learn new things, to improve, to extend yourself as those are part of growing and becoming. What I am saying is love where you are and who you are so change doesn’t feel like a punishment or a chore and more like an adventure, a project, an experiment of what ifs. The goal is not that I have to be better, thinner, kinder, more organized, more creative, more …. but rather the goal is that I have to be me. Me trying new stuff, pushing against old tapes and beliefs, and trying new ones on. Knowing it will be shaky as a ride down a cracked sidewalk without training wheels. Shaky like the first time the nurse handed you your first born and left the room. Shaky like every new situation, great or small you have ever been in and how it feels when you start. Remembering oh yes this is the shaky part, go slow, watch for the cracks and bumps, look for the cushy grassy knolls for when you feel like you are going to fall.
Start this process by thinking about who you want to spend time with over the holiday season. What can you let go of that no longer matters? What is old expectation thrust on you by others or your inner dictator? How has your life changed and where can you walk away from pleasing others above nurturing yourself? Start small, make plans for simple play dates with loved ones. Identify one or two things you dread doing and see where the strings tie back to that which no longer serves. Problem solve your exit to dreaded events with a partner, therapist, or coach. Work out the steps on walking away from responsibilities that were never yours to shoulder or that their need for you to do so has expired. Stop trying to shoe horn the players into who you want them to be or to be who they were when you first met.
As you get closer to the holiday look to add small things that invigorate and excite you and remove things you dread. Break rules, traditions and create new ones for this stage of your life. Let go of the dogma that rules and intimidates. I loved the traditions of my youth around the holidays but over the years I created new ways to celebrate that make sense to where I am in the moment and who I am with. We grow and change and so do our relationships, our needs, wants and responsibilities. Keep the traditions that you love, invite in others who enjoy them too. Don’t be the holiday bully who needs things to stay the same for the sake of tradition. Just try to add new things that sound like fun, that are easy, that place little time and effort to land you in the place of celebrating, not orchestrating. Let go, drink a little drink, eat a little nosh, take a little nap, and crumple up that To Do List in favor of purposeful play, creative adventures, lazy snuggly downtime with people who matter. Try just being you, who you are now not better, not jolly, just open to the possibility of joy. Cheers!
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