One of the biggest things is the giving and receiving of gifts. This can be wonderful -- reminding us to be thoughtful of others and show our appreciation. But it can also be difficult -- leading to overwrought feelings of expectation and a covetous impulse.
Instead of allowing the holiday stress get the better of us, let's try something new. Let's give ourselves a gift this holiday season.
The gift of mindfulness. The gift of peace.
Among the parties, house guests, and card lists, there's room for presence. Throughout the decorating, cleaning, and cooking, there's space for calm. Even in the crowded parking lots, shopping malls, and freeways, there is room for kindness.
The peace we seek during this, or any stressful time is always up to us.
So this is my mindfulness challenge to you: for the rest of this month take a little time out of each day to be present-- take a little time to find peace.
Start simple... give yourself the gift of a short mindfulness break. Set your phone timer for one minute, close your eyes, and just listen to your breath.
Be patient with your yourself. Sometimes when life is busy and you're feeling overwhelmed, even one minute seems like an eternity. But giving yourself even that one minute of peace will leave you feeling renewed and ready to tackle that shopping list again.
You'll find the benefits of this short practice will radiate out from you like warmth from your winter heater. The peace you show will rub off on others. The peace you find will help you find more peace yourself. The peace that comes from mindfulness is a gift that keeps on giving.
Give yourself this gift at least once every day now until the New Year. Turn this peace break into your intention. Mark it down in your calendar and set a reminder to help keep you in check.
Make being present with yourself your present to yourself.