Are you one of those
annoying efficient folks who’s got all your holiday gifts purchased and wrapped? Or are you, more like me, pounding your forehead in dismay as you contemplate the errand and to-do list – and its hard deadline?
Although in recent years I’ve backed away from the crazy holiday shopping scene (it helps that my kids are grown), I’ll never forget the comment a (male) friend made years ago when he saw me frantically racing around town.
“Wow, you’ve got a list that can choke a horse!” he said.
I have made it my mission in the decade or so since to trim down my list so that it’s more like a balanced horsie meal – no choking!
Seriously though, December is such a bizarre month – at least here in the Northern Hemisphere. Mother Nature has gone to sleep. The last of the browning leaves blow down the street. The days are often dark, the nights are long. Our bodies are calling us to hibernate.
And yet – the culture calls us out. Out shopping. Out to parties. To recitals and Christmas Pageants and tree-lightings and gathering after gathering.
And through it all – for many of us – shoots this strong thread of anxiety.
We look around and everyone else seems to be spending more, doing more, enjoying more… it appears they have bigger and better gifts, more lavish parties, more sparkly dresses, more toned bodies.
It’s freakin’ hard to feel like you’re enough at this time of year!
Basically, this is what I’m talking about:
When that anxiety begins to rise inside you, stop for a second to notice what’s up. (Instead of reaching for your credit card one more time.) Take a few deep breaths to allow yourself to separate for a second from the frenzy.
And then remember:
You have enough, you do enough, you ARE enough.
You’ve planned enough fun times, you’ve enjoyed enough goodies, you’ve bought or made enough gifts. You are having enough fun. Everything. Is. Enough.
I, for one, need to pull this thought around me like a security blanket when I venture out into the streets strung with holiday lights and thronged with shoppers.
When anxiety strikes, that feeling of ‘not-enoughness’, I’ve learned to take a few deep breaths.
And I say it again.
You have Enough. You do Enough. You ARE Enough.
Right now in this present moment. The ground is solid beneath you. You are whole, you are alive, you are individual and you are part of the one.
Love yourself, fully. Love those around you. Love what is.
Even though I recite this Mantra to myself every December – and share it with others – I still find myself confronted with that ‘not enough’ feeling as the Santa hats come out every year.
But believe me – this practice helps!
In fact I’ve found it so useful I’m hosting a few rituals on this theme in my local Portland community next week.
And I thought I’d share a mini version of the ritual here – for you to practice at home as often as you want this month. I’m keeping it super short, because I get it that you’re short on time.
All you need is a candle, two small pieces of paper, a pen and 5-10 minutes of alone time.
Busy household? No space to yourself? This simple ritual can even be done in the bathroom.
Believe me – taking this time will pay off! This care for your being and your emotions will allow you to be more present for your loved ones.
And is there any better ‘present’ than that?
You Have Enough, You Do Enough, You are Enough – Your Personalized Ritual
Light your candle.
If you wish you can light incense or some sage, or use a spritzer to establish sacred space. You can also just affirm you are now creating a sacred space.
Sit quietly for a minute gazing into the flame. Take 3-5 slow deep breaths really taking the air deep into your diaphragm. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth, pursing your lips as if they were around a straw. Imagine grounding yourself into the Earth. Some people like to imagine tree roots stretching down from their feet into the earth. Or you can just allow your breath to slow and calm you into a grounded and centered space.
Place one hand over your heart and ask yourself: What am I ready to release from my life right now? This might simply be your anxiety, or another emotion. It could be something bigger. Just listen for the answer and trust what comes in. Your imagination is the same as your intuition!
Write down 1-5 things that you are ready to let go of.
Say out loud (softly if necessary), “I [your name] lovingly release these things that no longer serve me.
Take 3-5 deep breaths again, with your hand on your heart.
Now bring to your mind three things in your present life that fill you with love and appreciation. It could be a person, a pet, it could simply be the existence of hot water. Again, whatever pops up first is fine. Spend a minute really picturing these wonderful aspects of your life. If your mind tries to jump to something that isn’t quite so great about it (but the hot water runs out so fast!), gently steer your thoughts back to the part that you love. Continue to breathe and really feel into the joy you get from your chosen good things.
Write down those three things (add more if you feel called to and have time.)
Affirm your gratitude out loud. And then repeat to yourself, “I have enough, I do enough, I AM enough.”
Blow out your candle and continue with your day.
If you can do so safely, burn your paper where you have written the items you are ready to release. You can do this in the sink or in a fireplace or wood stove. Otherwise, tear it up. Either way, one again affirm you are ready and willing to let go.
You may want to post your other paper somewhere you will see it so you can be reminded of the good feelings that flood you when you experience the wondrous things that already ARE in your life.
I’d love to hear how this goes for you! Share your gratitudes, your questions, or any insights you get from this ritual in the comments below.