Shawn Fuller 1 article

Related Articles

  • December 5, 2017 6:01 AM PST

Heartfelt Holidays - Experiencing a Peaceful Christmas


We’ve often heard the saying to keep “Christmas in our Hearts.”  That’s pretty easy to do, because Christmas is about joy and love and peace and giving, all of which come from the heart.  The problem many times is not that we don’t have Christmas in our hearts but that we are living in our heads.  It’s what we think about that blocks us from experiencing what we want to feel.  


In our heads live the expectations of Currier and Ives Christmas scenes and Hallmark movie moments.  We have unwritten rules about what needs to happen to make it a Merry Christmas.  We get so busy working on our Christmas “to-do” list that we don’t take time to make our Christmas “to-be” list.  What do you want to feel more of this Christmas? How will you add more of what you want - how do you add giving, excitement, joy or relaxation to your holidays?  In order to experience a heartfelt holiday we must experience it with our heart, not our head.


3 Practices for a Peaceful Christmas:


Keep things in Perspective.  We tend to overspend, overeat/drink, overcommit and overanalyze. To keep things in perspective, set limits for yourself.  Be realistic about your expectations for yourself and others.  Have a plan for how much you want to spend and attend those activities that will bring you the most joy.  Remember, obligations and expectations are in our heads.  If we’re going to induldge, indulge in matters of the heart. 


Be Purposeful and Plan Ahead.  It’s easy to experience anxiety when we spend our days reacting to situations.  When we react we feel as if things are happening to us.  When we are purposeful we decide how we are going to be, regardless of the situation.  Traffic, long lines, family conflict, or burnt cookies don’t have to ruin your day.  Instead, have a plan for those stressful moments.  What is a different reaction you could have?  Could you laugh about it instead of get angry? Could you take a walk and make some space from the situation?  Knowing that we can act instead of react is an empowering truth.


Be Present.  So much of our stress comes from regret over the past or worrying about the future.  But when we begin to notice in the moment all that we have to be grateful for that stress starts to melt away.  It’s impossible to experience worry and gratitude at the same time - they can’t coexist.  Practicing presence is quick, easy, and can be done anywhere.  To start, spend a few minutes in the morning to quiet your mind and feel 3 things that you can truly be grateful for (yes - feel them, don't just think about them).  Do this a few times throughout the day, even setting an alarm to remind you.  You could be in the grocery store, doing the dishes, or driving your car. Just 3 things that you can be thankful for.  Then at the end of the day, when you brush your teeth or just before you drift to sleep, pull that gratitude in one more time.


Christmas is only a few weeks away - 3 to be exact! Does that make you anxious or excited? You can decide now how you want to be and practice these 3 simple strategies to live in your heart this Christmas and experience a peaceful holiday.


  Choose to Share