In this chilly and bustling time, where do you freeze yourself out of your own heart? Maybe you check the holiday list and check it twice, without even noticing that your name never happens to appear. Your Inner Santa doesn’t see you, even if you’ve been nice rather than naughty. And so you leap through the holidays and to the end of the year without ever bringing yourself along.
Despite the exhilaration of the season, there’s often something inside that just longs to be heard, to be seen. It can be naughty by overeating or overdrinking to get your attention. Or it can have a meltdown or get sick. Then maybe you’ll stop and appreciate it. Instead, it usually waits quietly to get noticed.
This is a season where temptations to ignore our quieter self abound. We push ourselves through the shopping and preparation, listening to the desires of others and our own harsh, whip-packing inner critic extolling us to work harder to make the holiday sparkle.
This is a time where a little warmth can go a long way. The warmth of your kind self, turning to listen to you. Compassionately witnessing your own idiosyncracies, your own generosity. Take a few minutes to put your feet up this week with a cuppa something hot. Perhaps you can catch that every-busy self-critic at work and invite her to tea. Listen with warmth to the ways she tries to grab your attention and makes you a problem. Ask her why she pushes you, keeps you in the fast lane. Does she believe that all will be lost if you slow down, care for yourself? Really?
What if all isn’t lost? What if allowing yourself some warmth actually helps you find something…something quiet, something peaceful. Something patiently waiting to be found? Something like to real magic of the holiday.
NOW make a list. List all the ways you’ve shown kindness for others, all they places you’ve given of yourself to make the world brighter. Breathe that in. Give yourself credit. Now, add to the list. List three things you won’t do that will free your time or head space. After that, list things that you will give yourself just because it gives you a peaceful or warm feeling to care that much for you.
Seems like as good a way to prepare, this season. Treating yourself with kindness. Putting yourself on the list.