Quote and a few Questions: Holiday Edition

The Christmas season, like any holiday, is a time that brings both our fortunes and losses to the forefront. If we’re honest, it’s a season of joyful indulgence, rest, and connection, and also one of self-recrimination, exhaustion, and loneliness for those with fragmented relationships in the spotlight. With that can come the challenge of reconciling a mix of heightened or conflicting emotions in our internal worlds. All of the sudden, our most robust personal work and growth might feel seemingly fleeting or out of reach as our deepest pain points are challenged. 

And yet, whichever practices we work with to cultivate our mental health and well-being are of the greatest relevance during these times- precisely during the times when our trust in our practices or in ourselves is shaky. The holiday season, or any period of time that challenges us immensely is as much our path as any moment in time, and so we must find a way to continue to breathe through it, rather than holding our breath (literally and figuratively) until we’re on the other side of it. Our capacity to witness our experience this holiday season without dropping into the dead centre of over-identification can be accessed at any level, flavour, and colour of experience. Even doubting our practices when things feel too hard can be witnessed with a watchful loving inner eye. We simply need to remember our capacity to do exactly that, and to forgive ourselves again and again when we forget it. And so, in the spirit of both the joys and pains of the holidays, some questions are offered here to reconnect you with your capacity to see clearly this season- that is, to see your inner experience with an unconditional and undiscriminating compassion

• What do you hear yourself saying frequently and repetitively this holiday season- either to yourself or to others? 

• By slowing down to actually hear yourself, can you connect with the emotional valence behind your words so as to discover information? Perhaps about what you might need more specifically that you hadn’t yet identified? 

• Is it a need that is better nurtured in solitude or by leaning into connection with someone you trust? 

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