The holiday season can be a bit of a conundrum. Although this is supposed to be a time to slow down and reflect on that which matters most, it often seems as though there’s so much that needs doing that there’s nary a moment left for contemplation, and time to connect with our true self.
It is essential that offer ourselves compassion and time to reconnect and recharge, in order to really show up for those that we love. Sometimes we need to take a walk outside, prioritize extra rest or talk to a good soul-friend when we are feeling stirred up emotionally.
We don't need to struggle. we don't need to fall into the patterns of stress and overwhelm. We can chose ease instead. We can slow down, simplify, and be mindfully present to our life right now, with all of its blessings and abundance. We can seek rest even amidst all that we need to do, and practice kindness towards ourselves and others that’s born of a deep knowledge that we’re enough, in every moment, exactly as we are.
Mary Oliver speaks to this beautifully in her poem, Wild Geese:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
I think Mary Oliver is right: we don’t need to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting, we just need to be completely who we are. The world needs us, our strengths...and our "imperfections."
This holiday season, when it seems as though there’s too much to do, let’s stop, just for a moment, take a gentle breath, and ask, “Is ease available even here?” Let’s look for the place of rest right in the middle of the chaos. What if nothing at all “out there” needs to change, and perhaps we don’t even need to change? We can discover that place of surrender where everything is alright just as it is, and where we’re all perfectly imperfect, and exactly enough, just as we are.
MEDITATION: Take a few moments to pause in the next few days. Each time you feel yourself start to fall for struggle, simply stop whatever you are doing. Take a few moments and sit with yourself, finding the place of ease within. Close your eyes for a few moments and imagine breathing in through your heart, and spreading the energy of loving kindness through your entire being with each exhalation. With each inhale, feel as though you were taking in the breath through an opening in the heart, and with each exhalation, let this glow of love spread. Melt into the warmth of your own heart-----trust me....you have time.