The holiday season has officially started. In our fast-paced society, it has become more difficult to let down and enjoy the small pause points that come as a result of getting involved in the art of celebration, whether religious or secular.
This upcoming season is marked with extra challenges given the state of our political climate and the massive environmental catastrophes that have occurred.
“If only…” is a normal response that our intellect naturally goes to when we are faced with negative outcomes that we never expected.
When change is thrust upon us, our fight/flight response is triggered. Our fists go up, our running shoes are ready, but who or what is the enemy?
Unfortunately, if we aren’t mindful and respectful of both our thoughts and feelings, we will freeze in place and be reduced to shadow boxing the air in a hyper-vigilant and frantic attempt to hold on.
When that doesn’t produce any relief, we will start punching ourselves or those closest to us and there goes the holiday cheer.
Let’s drop back for a moment and recalibrate our thoughts so that our emotions can unfurl from the fetal position and we can clear a path to create new levels of personal enjoyment.
Our goal is ultimately to suit up and show up, committed and involved. If you can accomplish that, you can reconnect to your personal power once again. Then, and only then, will you regain the ability to create anew, one intentional step at a time.
Many of our tried and true premises about how to manage our lives responsibly may be solid and workable when our lives are predictable. When dealing with the unknown, three upfront behaviors need to be implemented.
We need to let go of the survival habits of rigidity and closed-mindedness in favor of learning how to be flexible and open to new ideas and to fully accept what is currently happening.
Since life is never 100% negative or 100% positive, standing up and moving on must become a priority. Next, decide that the stories you have dramatized are ready to be retired. Replace them with the willingness to be compassionate and kind, especially to yourself.
A healthy intellect is capable of assessing past decisions and projecting future probable outcomes by using the skill of comparison. A clear mind, with a specific intent, makes discerning choices. The more discerning we become, the greater the chance of positive outcomes from our decision-making.
When our solutions work, we feel smart and capable. Therefore, when our supposedly sound decisions “go south” we berate ourselves with harsh internal judgments that leave us defeated and anxious.
To protect our bruised ego from the embarrassment of feeling wrong, our intellect goes into overdrive. It gets stuck in reverse and uses our imagination to try to recoup the future we envisioned by resurrecting past decisions that we didn’t make. “I should have, I could have, I wish I had, I regret that I…” The tape continues to loop around endlessly, sinking our vitality and zest for living to all-time lows.
It may be time to realize the power that is contained in our ability to imagine so that we can use it constructively.
The first step is to make a firm decision to manage both your thoughts and your feelings. Stop the runaway, obsessive thinking about things that you are powerless to change.
Stop dramatizing your situation, but at the same time make sure to own the real heart hurts that must be acknowledged, accepted and respected.
Open your mind and heart to allow the awareness of simple pleasures to take root in your daily life.
Place your feet firmly in the present, facing forward on your personal path. Adapt, adjust, reconcile and embrace the simple, ample, and sufficient energy gains that surround you, right here and right now.
Take on the task of noticing at the end of each day what gives you energy instead of giving all your attention to those things that didn’t please you.
Commit to finding out who and what makes you happy. Actively seek out those things that will allow your holidays to be filled with abundant peace of mind and newly birthed moments of satisfaction and contentment. Start now.
Susan is a local author and personal development facilitator. Reach her at beyondintellect.com.