We are always at choice.
With the holidays seems to come an energy that isn’t aligned with what we want for the season. Holiday rush. Holiday stress. The energy that comes from finding the last parking spot at the mall after driving around for 20 minutes only to have another car grab it when you clearly had your signal light on and were patiently waiting. Been there.
My sense is most of us are aware of this energy that arises, and are not particularly fond of it. Why do we engage?
Is it that so much is happening around us that we can’t help being swept up in the craziness of it all?
Is it that there are so many things to do, people to see, and parties to plan and attend that we have no choice but to rush around to one thing to the next without fully BE-ing where we are?
Is it the person that stole our parking spot or the shopper ahead of us that bought the latest fad toy that we’ve been looking everywhere down to the last place in town that put us in a bad mood?
As human beings, we’re hard wired to pick up on the energy and moods of others. In fact, we rely on others to determine our moods. We have what is called “open loop limbic system”, based on research from Daniel Goleman and his work in emotional intelligence.
I imagine a big collective emotional fog that surrounds all of us. There are parts of the fog that are clear, where we catch the emotions of others that are really connecting, supportive, and remind us of what’s important. There are other parts of the fog that are dense, hard to see, and thick with frustration and angst.
This fog exists all the time. Although, in my opinion, it’s particularly prominent over the holidays.
What creates this fog are emotions and emotional frequencies, and as you can imagine, emotions over this time of the year are turned up to 10. We experience the full range over the holidays, and usually in a much more intense way than the rest of the year.
So knowing this, what do we do? And are we hopelessly wandering around picking up and giving off emotions? Or, perhaps, might there be something we can shift?
I want to introduce another concept here. One I’ve been playing with a lot in my life lately with some incredible results.
What if the holidays and this time of year were easy? What would be different or available to you then?
Bare with me here. I know there’s a part of you that says, “yeah right, nice try.” Or a small part of you that longs for this but another part of you says “you don’t know my mother in law/extended family/how much uncle Sam drinks”.
How we show up in these moments, hold them, our BE-ing, dictates how these experiences are for us. In other words, we are at choice.
We are at choice how much these experiences impact us, at choice how upset we get that work isn’t closed, or the lack of a holiday bonus this year.
This concept has been challenging for me to grasp, and I find that there are so many layers.
If you asked me a few years ago if I was always at choice and creating my own experience, I would have said yes without a doubt. But then truer-truths emerge.
My desire for you this holiday season is that you experience being completely present. Not wrapped up in the perfect gifts, fad toys, have-to’s with family, but really feeling into what you want to create for you. How do you want to feel? Who do you want to spend time with? Who do you not want to spend time with? And do that.
BE in the energy of the season, all its magic and wonder. Soak up every moment of children’s laughter, under the mistletoe, signing of carols. Feel into the energy of presence. Not the to-do list or the what-if’s. Lean into the hard conversations that help you see how you do and do not want to be and do.
Something incredible happens when we’re able to do this. Time actually expands. Slows down. We see things and feel things previously out of reach to us. Food tastes sweeter, and friends and loved ones show qualities that make us care just a little bit more.
That, to me, is the gift of presence over the holidays. And BE-ing present is the greatest “present” we can give.