Tis the season … to live consciously

The holiday season is supposed to be “merry and bright”.  So, why do I start feeling a tightness in my stomach and a mild sense of dread this time of year?  Is it because the days are getting shorter and the to-do list is getting longer?  Is it because I tend to sleep-walk thru the holidays doing what is ‘expected’ with a forced gaiety?  Is it because I don’t stop to reflect on what this season is really about … feeling grateful for my many blessings, reflecting on how I lived this past year, thinking about how I want the next year to unfold and how to live my life with integrity and purpose? 

I think it is all of the above, but this year feels different.  One of the things I’ve practiced this year is based on a quote by Eckert Tolle in The New Earth: “If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.”  So, for example, instead of resenting what I feel like I must do, I examine it and make a conscious decision that if I do it, I will do it with acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm.  I stop fighting with myself and grumbling under my breath or to others.  I try to do it with grace and ease.  (It doesn’t always work, but that’s why I practice!) 

I am practicing living consciously.  Bringing myself back to the present moment when I notice I am drifting into the past or future.  Noticing my negative thoughts and questioning them.  Reminding myself of Don Miguel Ruiz’ The Four Agreements (which if you haven’t read, you should!) : “Be impeccable with your word, Don’t take anything personally, Don’t make assumptions & Always do your best.”  I don’t always abide by the agreements, but I do try to recognize when I stray and remind myself to keep trying. 

I am a work-in-progress and that is AOK!

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