Taking time for self appreciation releases stress and reboots energy
1. As you gather with family and friends over the holidays, reflect on how each person contributes to your life. Think of at least one positive attribute of everyone present and also of those who may not be there. Think about how each person enriches your life and take a moment to feel and enjoy the flow of love and gratitude that resonate in your heart.
2. Blessings come in many forms and many disguises. They can even come dressed in negativity and we can find the gift if we drop our habitual responses and open our awareness. Look for these within your family, with your friends and at your gatherings. The positive ones are easy to identify. They make you feel good. The hidden ones are more challenging. When you consciously look for blessings, you need to maintain a state of openness and neutrality. It may be helpful to remember that everyone has a story behind why they do what they do and we cannot know others inner reality. What we can do is be aware of our own responses and look for the growth offered there.
3. If in spite of your best efforts, hurtful words or actions can emerge during holiday events. It’s well worth the effort to try to shift your perspective and feelings, people can surprise you! I have often seen that if I change how I feel and relate, the situation has a way of smoothing out and working well and others are free to shift their way of relating or not but it is much less stressful if you have opened your heart and embraced neutrality.
And if all else fails, remember you have the right to choose where to plant your feet.
4. Instead of continuing disagreements or holding grudges, experiment with a different view. Consider alternate perspectives. Listen to the conversation and play with the idea that a different viewpoint has merit. Let others be right. Forgive from your heart. Pay a compliment. Say something nice and bring a smile to someone’s face. Freely give a smile. Visit or call someone you haven’t talked to for a while.
5. Take time this week to reflect (if only for a few moments) on what is happening in your life, how you have changed, grown and expanded. Appreciate yourself for who you truly are beyond the mental constructs, stories and ideas.
6. Focus on and appreciate those who enrich your life and experience. Feel the shift in your heart and in your body rhythms as you focus on appreciation and gratitude. Truly give thanks and freely send these thoughts and feelings to others. Be a catalyst for gratitude from the inside out.
7. Above all, relax, take some time for you and enjoy!