Making Peace (on Earth) with the To-Do List
Another reminder of the message I've repeated for the last couple of years regarding this time of year...
Winter is traditionally a time for slowing down, regrouping and restoring. The activity and growth of the warmer seasons is meant to provide us with the means to survive through the cold with as little activity as possible. Obviously, this is not really our experience in modern times; in fact, the holidays tend to be the most frantic time of the year.
I suppose unless mass cultural agreement happens around reducing the unnatural pace, we will have to make more deliberate individual choices around finding spaces of peace and reflection in order to be more harmonized with the natural world.
If you find this time of year stressful, may I make a suggestion?
It's been my experience (and maybe yours as well) that a good deal of stress comes from the added things on our 'to-do' list that we feel obligated to do.
What is we took a moment (and a very deep breath) to look at some of those items, and asked, 'what could be the worst that will happen if I don't do this?' Who will be unhappy? Who will think less of me? Who won't understand? What part of my self-image will have to change or be sacrificed in order to have a little more peace this season? Who will go hungry as a result of not getting my Christmas cookies this year? (Side note: our old mailman used to pass along to our family pounds of cookies he received from our neighbors, because he always got just too darn much.. just a thought..).
And lastly, what truly meaningful 'to-do's' are suffering as a result of being lost in the shuffle?
So, if you can, give yourself a break. Enjoy the season. Get in touch with the stillness. Feel it in yourself. Your body and soul will thank you for it.