The holidays can be a really tough time of year for me when I am trying to maintain balance between my regular household duties and ALL of the holiday extras (programs, gift buying, baking, hosting, etc.) It can be hard to stay jolly when laundry needs to be done, kids need to be shuttled and I need to add one more program to our calendar.
They can also be magical. My children are still young (5, 8 and 10) and believe in Santa. We make wish lists, sing Christmas carols, drive around looking at the twinkling lights and bake our favorite holiday goodies. We celebrate the birth of Jesus, give gifts to families who are in need and spend time with those we love. Memories are made not only in our traditional celebrations but in the day-to-day moments.
Finding time to do all of these activities can be hard and definitely keeps our calendar full. However, this year I am reading a very special book written by Courtney Carver. In her book, Soulful Simplicity, she invites us to pause, breathe and listen to our mind, body and spirit. In her book she asks the reader to consider the following steps:
Place your hands over your heart and listen as you ask yourself the following questions:
- How are things going in my life?
- How do I feel physically?
- How do I feel emotionally?
- What do I love about my life?
- Whom do I envy and what do I lie about?
- What changes do I want to make?
- What changes do I have to make?
Adopt the Gentle Warrior’s Manifesto to End Busyness
- I will not say yes when my heart says no.
- I will measure more by what’s in my heart and less by what’s on my list.
- I will prioritize love and health.
- I will ask for help.
- I will work with people who want my best, not my busiest.
- I will ask better questions so we don’t have to talk about how busy we are.
- I will not let my phone run my life.
- I will trade my FOMO (fear of missing out) for JOMO (joy of missing out)I will create space for solitude.
- I will linger longer.
I am challenging myself to be present in each activity I choose to say YES to. Being present will allow me to be in the moment and hold the memory in my heart. I don’t want to wish these years away and having young children keeps the spirit of the season alive.
May this holiday season offer moments for you to pause, notice and listen.