I hear her: my authentic voice, for the first time in many weeks.
It isn’t that I haven’t had a million thoughts that race with the speed of life. And it isn’t that I haven’t been present. Nor is it that I haven’t connected or gotten grounded in my essential self in meditation.
I’ve been in process, creating, following through, and living the plans I’ve set out to do. I have been following my inner guidance, abiding and faithful.
Yet, the voice that I hear, in the stillness of being - when I am not engaging in anything particularly goal-oriented, like a deadline or when in an “I must finish this” mode, has a higher quality, and a deeper resonance.
This noble voice from within, emanating wisdom beyond my physical years on Earth is perhaps my soul speaking. Its message aligns with the wisdom I would not know in my headspace.
The quiet whispers of the voice within evokes peace. When I am One with this voice, I am at peace: peaceful and peace-filled.
What is it, exactly to be at peace with yourself and your business during this time of year?
The "busy season", particularly in December is interesting for a number of reasons. Outwardly, celebrations and life abounds - energy is everywhere. Get-togethers, reunions and festive get-togethers are perfect for the holiday season.
Being year-end, retailers rush to capitalize on the shopping and gift-giving frenzy. Why not? If consumers are hungry to buy, smart retailers should be present and give all they’ve got in their marketing hat.
As many live out the season of giving, we are also open to giving our time to volunteering at shelters and others places where our services may be needed. Also wonderful as we serve our communities to connect and be with others.
We may do all of those things and funnel it through our small business- even creating themes or blogs to serve our holiday promotions and help those who really need our services.
And many times, as successful as we may be, we might find ourselves running a bit ragged.
Tattered is what comes to mind at the end of a long day. I find myself really looking forward to my head hitting the pillow and snuggling up to my flannel sheets and sleep meditation.
It seems that when we are busy, and our schedules are full, we may not hear quite so well, the distinct voice that is the inner authority within.
If you find yourself needing self-care, running on autopilot, or worse, running on coffee and eggnog fumes, you might be mindlessly trying to survive the holiday season.
When you find yourself giving too much, it may be time to receive.
I recommend stopping, dropping, and rolling to receive the 7 precious gifts only you can give yourself. These presents you give yourself will supply gifts that will rejuvenate and refresh your tired soul.
The 7 invaluable gifts you give will provide you mastery over yourself and creates a mindfulness of time. Time, after all, is one of our most precious assets, which, provides much-needed space to breathe.
These seven priceless gifts to yourself is a way of creating space for breathing, for your inner authority to speak to you, allowing you to shine brightly through the holiday season and not be completely depleted of the life force that sustains you.
1. Slow down.
Less is more. If you are one to go all out on Christmas, ask yourself what it would be like for you if you didn’t go all out this year. For many, doing less and slowing down during the holidays is a downright sin. But for just a abscond, imagine the possibilities. Slowing down is an intentional gift. To slow down is completely against the mainstream grain. In the fury of getting ramped up for the holidays, we are taught to make a list, and lists of lists so that we can be more efficient, check off things that we’ve completed so that we have a sense of accomplishment. The instruction here is to slow down and do less. the practice is to be intentional and do exactly what needs to be done, leaving space for... Space! When we do less and focus on the really vital things in life rather than all things, the quality of what we do improves. Imagine the possibilities that may open if you planning everything to the nth degree and leave wiggle room for life to unfold. The holidays aren’t about controlling everything but rather, about creating possibilities to unfold. Pick 1 or 2, really important experiences or memories you wish to create and focus on those possibilities with lots of room for the spontaneous unfolding of life.
2. Work With Your Hands.
Make time to work with your hands. If you are the type to function on a strict schedule, it would be wise to schedule downtime and work with your hands. Schedule a painting session, write where pen touches paper, or go knit. Crochet a scarf, clean the kitchen floor or plant a small garden as a project. The tactile experience of working with your hands fosters inspiration and creativity that bubbles up and spills generously into other areas of your life, personal and business.
3. Make Time for the Important Ones.
Make time for important people. Be with Loved Ones. Notice that this point is to not simply be with people, but rather to connect with people who truly matter to you. Many times, we might run ragged going from one venue to another in the name of celebration that we (intentionally or unintentionally) avoid connecting with others. People are important to us for a reason. We are all tied together in human interactivity and we are forever tethered to the energy that feeds us and sustains us. The holidays are a really great time to speak our truth, clear the air and release ourselves from stagnant energy, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the spirit of love.
4. Deep Listening
Listen. Listen deeply. Be open and available to what speaks to you. Guidance is all around us in the magic of the holidays. Are you being still enough to hear what is calling for you and what is calling to you? If you have your sweet ears perched to listen, what do you hear? Are you truly hearing what’s yours to know? How are you open and receptive enough to truly hear the message that is for you?
5. Write From Your Heart
Journal. Write it down. Remember that you are a masterpiece work in progress and write it down. Keep a journal, however it resonates with you, if how you want to keep track of your progress. Perhaps you may want to write down a journal of your accomplishments, or the direction your inner authority has directed over the years, and whether you have listened to it. And, the results of your actions to your inner authority.
Maybe you want to write down what guidance you’ve received in prayer? A gratitude journal of the many ways your prayers have been answered? Perhaps a journal of the many ways your prayers were NOT answered and why you are grateful. Whatever it is, writing it down allows you to document the highlights of what is important to you and what you are conscious of at the time. Periodically reviewing it over the course of a period of time (like 6 months, a year, or a decade) will give you an appreciation of your growth.
6. Be With What Is
Be with what is. Meditate. Pray in it. Let it simmer in your consciousness over a period of time so until you have clarity of which direction you are to take. Sometimes, we may know what next steps to take as a courageous action, but it might take our energetic and emotional bodies extra time to catch up to the larger plan in store for us. We may be mentally ready, but not emotionally ready, or vice versus. Holding the idea in mind gives ourselves much needed time to harmonize and be with what we want and what we truly need.
7. Embody Your Truth
Integrated & embody. When body, mind, spirit, and heart are in agreement, we will know. There is great harmony when we are aligned with our souls call. It is not a matter of setting up resolutions for the new year. It is not about starting new habits. When we are integrated in every aspect of ourselves and are ready to move forward, we embody the being-ness of who we are and who we’ve come to be. We then take mindful and prayerful action to move forward into the newness of the new year. This forward motion, accompanied by our readiness and willing present souls is then simply a matter of stepping forward - literally.
* * * * *
These seven priceless gifts that you give to yourself during the holiday season (and throughout the year): slowing down, working with your hands, making time for the most important Ones, listening deeply, writing from your heart, being with what is, and embodying your Truth is an inside job.
These are sacred gifts to yourself because no one can make you work on developing yourself without your permission or cooperation. You are the only one to provide this kind of spiritual nurturing. It is a practice of self-love and Self-sustaining vitality
This practice of giving yourself these 7 sacred gifts is the lifeline to your best health: body mind and spirit. It is also a beautiful way to embrace the new you in the new year, creating positive shifts and possibilities for 2018 and beyond.