Are the holidays stressing you out?
Do you feel completely overwhelmed by all you have to do?
It feels like every year from Halloween to New Year’s FLIES by in a flash, and you look around going,
Where did the time GO?
And this is such an important time of year FOR you, for connecting with your fans, and for offering them something special. I imagine you feel a lot of pressure!
It can feel so overwhelming to be constantly putting OUT energy, and feel like you will never catch up.
Is it possible to find peace during the holiday season?
This is supposed to be the season of JOY…..
What if it could be easy?
Christmas was always a time of big celebration and joy. For most of my life, I couldn’t WAIT for Halloween, because dressing up marked the beginning of one big party, spanned over two months.
The house was decorated, lights were hung, and I couldn’t wait to get gifts for family and friends and participate in holiday gatherings.
Then, in 2012, Christmas became a time of extreme darkness. My marriage was falling apart, and instead of delighting in the holiday lights, I was clutching my wedding photo to my chest and locking myself in the bedroom. I was terrified of losing everything.
The holidays changed for me. What was usually a time of celebration became a time of painful memories. My world felt upside down. I found myself single at the age of 37, after believing I would be married to the same person until my dying day.
Everything was changing.
I remember walking through an outdoor art exhibit in Manhattan during Christmas time in 2014 and seeing a Christmas tree upside down…literally. I saw myself in this tree. This was how I felt in the midst of couples holding hands, of people singing Christmas Carols. I felt upside down. There was a time when I WAS that person, so HAPPY for the holidays. But not today. Today, I just felt off.
Have you ever felt this?
A pressure to be happy because of the season?
Have you put on a happy face to pretend everything is ok, when in inside it’s not?
I imagine that’s exhausting. But, it doesn’t have to be.
Over time, Christmas began to shift. And there was a return to the joy and celebration of my former years. I found love again in my life, and soon was getting married and moving into a home which I gleefully decorated.
But, there was a new awareness to the season.
I began to see the overwhelm in others, to see the sadness in others, and to recognize other people in my life who were having a hard time during the holidays.
But most of all, I could now FEEL it.
Up until my divorce, I would just hurl myself into the holiday season. If sadness arose, I would do everything I could to turn it OFF, or ignore it. I could hear a running critic in my head saying,
You’re not supposed to feel that! It’s the HOLIDAYS!
So, I would tell myself those feelings didn’t belong, and ignore the rising stress and overwhelm. Many holiday seasons, I would either get sick during, or right after. I would feel exhausted, and even though there was plenty of evidence for WHY I was feeling this way, I would just push through.
Now remarried, I had a much different view of the holidays.
I realized it held joy AND sadness.
Pain AND celebration.
The season wasn’t just one thing.
In fact, it was the pressure to BE joyous, to BE happy that was exhausting me all those years. Especially those years when I knew my life wasn’t working.
But, at that time, it was far more important to have it LOOK like I had it all together, than to finally admit I was falling apart inside.
When my life did fall apart, then I stopped pretending.
I stopped listening to that critic that told me I had to be happy all the time.
I stopped putting on the act of having it all together.
And I found myself in the holidays experiencing ALL the feelings that had been there all along. The difference was now they were being allowed. I was no longer shutting them off, or making myself wrong for them. And I began to experience a much deeper joy.
This was a joy that wasn’t manufactured.
It was a joy coming from self acceptance.
Maybe that’s what the season is really about…..
So, how do you find peace in the insanity?
Begin by admitting it IS insanity.
This time of year is PACKED with energy. If it feels like a lot, that’s because it is. I imagine you are feeling all the rise of energy around you as people hustle, bustle, get stressed out, and RUSH. We are all connected, so being around that is going to have an effect on your body.
It’s perfectly normal!
And for how you are feeling on the inside, take a moment and actually ALLOW how you are feeling.
And do this from a place of compassion and curiosity. This isn’t about making it wrong.
What if your feelings are here to guide you?
What if your feelings are information?
It’s a common misconception to believe that feeling our feelings means we are wallowing in them, but think of a crying child. What does that child want? Most likely, they want to be acknowledged and loved.
So, would you yell at the crying child?
Instead, try this simple tool. Hold your hand over your heart and check in.
What are you feeling? Then say,
Even though I feel sad, I deeply love and accept myself.
Even though I feel overwhelmed, I deeply love and accept myself.
Acknowledgement is actually what sets you free. The feeling can then PROCESS and MOVE through your body.
And instead of using all your energy to STOP feeling, you will magically feel better.
Because you are not ONE thing.
You are not just sadness.
You are not just joy.
You feel BOTH. You feel and possess the capacity for BOTH.
Most of the time, the exhaustion and stress comes because we feel we have to one be ONE way. Here’s the good news, you don’t.
You’re allowed to feel what you feel.
Tis the season to be merry.
The miracle is your life. Feel it all, and know that is what makes you alive.