“A grateful mind is a great mind that eventually attracts to itself great things “ ~ Plato
Are ccc holidays really here already?
Truth be told, while I absolutely love the holidays, I also kind of hate them. The minor stresses of juggling holiday functions, trying to find the perfect gift, navigating through crowds and traffic, feeling guilty about not really decorating (or cleaning) the house, tolerating that opinionated relative you see once a year, and rushing from place to place…it all seems less “minor” when it all collides.
Ironically, this celebratory season can be the time of year when it’s hardest for me to remember to be grateful. The Catch 22 is that finding gratitude is what allows us to rest our minds in peace and attract joy into our lives.
Gratitude can’t always be summoned at will, but here are some simple things that can help me stay grateful, calm, and mostly sane in the midst of the turmoil, and help me to focus on the things in my life that make it joyful:
- Indulge in a Simple Ritual. Find something enjoyable that you can do daily, like making and savoring a great cup of tea or coffee, stepping outside in the morning to see the sunrise (or in the evening to see the sunset), reading a chapter in a book you love, or listening to a few of your favorite tunes. Just make sure to focus your attention completely on this ritual for the time you’ve set aside for it and immerse yourself completely in it.
- Remember to Smile At Least Once a Day. Even when you’re not really feeling it, smiling can relieve some of your tension and maybe even release some endorphins. Fake it if you need to. The easiest thing is to smile at your kids or pets, but try smiling at a stranger. It might make their day!
- Do One Small Thing Each Day to Show Someone in Your Life Some Acknowledgement. This can be as simple as telling someone how nice they look, sincerely thanking them for their help, telling them how much you appreciate them, or treating them to a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Spread the love!
- Manage Your Expectations and Cut Yourself Some Slack. Can’t seem to pull off making that perfect meal, orchestrating the party of the year, or getting your entire shopping list done weeks before the big day? Let it go and give yourself due credit for what you’ve accomplished, even if it’s less than you had hoped. Not everything is within your control.
- Remember Why We Celebrate This Season. Remember that the magic of the season lies not in the glitter and trappings, but in celebrating the small everyday miracles that we sometimes don’t stop to notice, but are there nonetheless. Acknowledge all the small things that brighten your day.
- And, of course, celebrate the connections. Enjoy your friends, family and loved ones, and all the people that help to make this your special life!
May Louie first took yoga in college to fulfill a Phys-Ed requirement and immediately fell in love. She, unfortunately, did not continue with her practice but reconnected with it when she retired from her corporate job in 2002 and has since become a serious yoga enthusiast. After her second retirement last year, she completed her 200-hour RYT certification, studying with Dina Crosta, Ellen Mosko, and Jamie Segal Hanley, with a focus on alignment based flow.
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