And now, I welcome you, officially into The (dreaded?) Holiday Season! Yes, my friends, December is upon us... with all of its over-shopping, over-doing, over eating, over partying, over stressing, and over working. I, personally, am over IT.
December is so funny. It is a month where in the natural world every growing thing puts down the work and goes to sleep. Where the days get as short as they'll get and the creatures quiet down (when is the last time you heard a cicada?). The light is gone, and the world goes inside. I find exceptional beauty this time of year.... And yet, in the unnatural world, in our world, we completely speed up. We do more shopping, travelling, partying and generally try cram way more activities into this little month than into any other. And then we wonder why we're stressed out and rundown and getting sick.
I hadn't thought of December with awareness of the contradiction between the natural world and our behavior before this year. But it's helping me take a deep breath in my approach to the holidays. It's helping me step back this year and wonder: What do I really want out of this time of year? One thing I can tell you I don't want is to Shop (I hate to shop).
This year I'm trying something new. An idea, based on December itself. What if my Holiday intention could be: Simple Natural Beauty. That everything I do, create, and make happen could in some way be Simple Natural and Beautiful? It makes letting go of huge projects in favor of doing what I want- sitting by the tree drinking tea- sound much easier.
Setting an intention for a time of year or an event or even a moment is new and different for me. My intentions are usually reserved for the mat. But I'm finding that having an intention carries me into everything I do this time of year with a deep awareness and mindfulness. It gives me something to check against as I'm making decisions and it's keeping me grounded and focused.
So this month as I'll be striving for simplicity, for bringing awareness to nature, and for finding and creating tons of Beauty, I'll also try to report back on how it goes. Just thinking this way, I feel peaceful, more at home and relaxed. And that's all I really want this time of year.
Contemplation: What has your holiday season been like in the past? and What would you like your intention to be this year?