December 2011 Newsletter – REFOCUSING During The HOLIDAYS

I have a bumper sticker in my office that reads, “DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK!” My clients half-smile and nod their heads at this phrase.

Pema Chödrön reminds us that “Hopelessness means that we no longer have the spirit for holding our trip together. We long to have some reliable, comfortable ground under our feet, but we’ve tried a thousand ways to hide and a thousand ways to tie up all the loose ends, and the ground just keeps moving under us.”

I think that is a very fitting analogy for many who have experienced various shifting in their lives over the past year…loss of health, home, a family member, a job and so on. We can turn on the news and feel as if the “ground just keeps moving under us.”

Marianne Williamson advises that “when we accept ourselves exactly as we are, and where we are, we have more energy to give to life… There is a plan for our lives…”

During the years I lectured on “The Keys to Empowerment” I often quoted the following reminder by Sue Patton Thoele: “Freedom comes from knowing that though fear can’t be avoided, it can be faced, lived through, learned from and prayed for. Gathering the courage to face fear helps us believe in ourselves and gives us confidence in our ability to cope with and triumph in any circumstance.”

It is my wish that we might slow down this holiday season and instead of dwelling on the shifting ground under our feet, that we instead shift our focus. When we can change our perspective from fear or hopelessness to empowerment and gratitude we are protecting and strengthening our immune system, our heart, and our mental disposition. We are responsible for the changes we wish to see, and what we do and think accumulates. How we see our future is the result of our intention and our efforts today.

Anxiety, apprehension, worry, fear, and frustration can consume us during the holidays unless we set out to reduce the grip these emotions have on us.

  • Remember to breathe.
  • Take a few minutes to think about being grateful for what we do have in our life that is positive and supportive.
  • Do something nice, even unexpected, for someone else.
  • Catch yourself before complaining and say something positive.
  • Consume healthy foods and drink more water.
  • Make some time in your week to be physically active, to laugh often, and be more carefree.
  • Take several sticky-notes to affix to mirrors, your car, the kitchen cupboards that say “REFOCUS,” and then let yourself be reminded to shift your thinking.

Honor yourself in all ways, on ALL days, and seek to maintain peace of heart and mind in all you do.