If you pay attention to all of the voices of the media it’s the season for excess— to buy, consume, and entertain. I don’t know about you but buying things, consuming things, and entertaining do not bring me joy or peace.
Give yourself the gift of peace and joy
Giving simple gifts, spending time with loved ones, taking a walk in freshly fallen snow, contemplating the beauty of a flower—these things bring me peace and joy. More than anything else I find that contemplating the reason for the season and taking time out to give thanks and experience the sacred brings me the greatest peace and joy.
If I can find a simple way to be a blessing to someone else, that too brings me peace and joy. Giving a few dollars to the guy standing on the corner with a sign saying, “Homeless, anything will be of help,” without any attachment to how the money is spent brings me peace and joy. Smiling at and thanking a harried cashier at the grocery store brings me peace and joy.
I bet you can think of little actions that bring you peace and joy also.
Let go of the need for perfection
Let go of the need for the perfect decorations, perfect food, and perfect things. This year share experiences with loved ones instead of things. Make something simple to give. Take time out to feed your soul.
Here is a list of ways to unplug and give yourself a gift of peace and joy during this busy season:
- Go to a nearby greenhouse and walk through all of the green and flowering plants, soaking up the moist goodness of green things growing
- Take a walk in the woods and notice the shapes of the bare tree trunks and branches.
- Take a day off from social media (and email too if you can). Revel in the quiet and take time to meditate.
- Meet a friend for tea at a local coffee house.
- Find a labyrinth to walk. Take as much time as you like.
- Light a candle and read a poem aloud.
- Take a 15 minute art break. Choose your favorite art medium and play with no particular outcome in mind—doodle, draw, carve, color, paint, shape—whatever rings your chimes.
- Write a personal letter to a friend or loved one, telling him or her why you appreciate his or her presence in your life.
- Read a book.
- This one is for you to fill in… what brings you peace and joy?
May your holiday season be just what you need (not necessarily merry and bright). May you be a blessing to others. May you walk in beauty.