My holiday stress comes from my ideas and opinions regarding the busyness of big cities, the gifts and witnessing the interactions between family. Christmas gifts, when I grew up, were usually needed clothing items. My children experienced much of the same, although we did our best to provide a toy from Santa. In today's world, where gifts are big, plentiful and expensive, joy and judgment rise and fall like a teeter-totter.
I have learned through my study of Ayurveda that eating is only part of the digestion process. I must also ask myself: Can I digest the noise, excitement and abundance of things? Can I let the breath and joy return each time judgment takes me away from myself? How do I keep digestion and indigestion from going round and round like the merry-go-round of my youth?
Kindness, gentleness and tenderness are the key words of my mantra this year. Although the teeter-totter and merry-go-round thoughts and feelings are not my favorite experience, I know they are parts of my life that provoke me to look for their gifts. And I have received numerous blessings from this mantra and have watched it extend to those around me. When my great-granddaughter whines, I do my part to relax. I have expectations that there will be time for my daughter and me, but I must surrender to what is.
When those unsettling emotions arise, I find that a guilt-producing voice leaves me rebellious, defensive and resentful. The self-talk that stops me is, It's okay, sweetheart. This brief and powerful meditation melts me into kindness, gentleness and tenderness. Gradually, I return to enjoying life, the holiday and my family.
This holiday, I am willing to digest all of what presents itself because my heart knows the truth. It's okay, sweetheart invites me to breathe and receive.