Finding Ease this Holiday Season ~
Rarely does life go according to "our plan".
2020 has proven that to us over and over again.
As we approach the holiday season, filled with traditions that we're unlikely to do this year, we must surrender to what is. What? Surrender to what is? Yes. Surrender to what is. What does that mean? Well, first let's explore what it means to resist.
Resistance is an interesting thing. It's something that most of us do unconsciously without even realizing we're doing it. Resistance can look and feel like many things ~ It can be anger, frustration, feeling sad or depressed. It can angst or disappointment. When resisting, you may feel as though the world is against you, that you're unlucky, or you could be stuck in the "poor me" loop.
When we resist what is, what we're really doing is fighting for control. We want things to go our way. We want it go according to our plan. Why? Because when it does, we feel safe and secure.
The truth is that resistance brings with it enormous (unnecessary) stress. Unnecessary because we don't have to live with that stress. We can choose not to resist. We can choose to release control and surrender to what is.
Most people confuse surrender with giving up; throwing your hands up in the air and not caring about what's happening.
True surrender isn't giving up on everything; it's giving up the fight to control.
Surrender means knowing there's something greater, something bigger than you. Whatever that looks like for you; it might be God, or The Universe, whatever you believe in. You surrender to that. When you do, you live with trust. Trust in the process. Trust that you really will be OK, that you will know what to do, that all is well. Surrender allows you to be in flow of what is. It allows you to move with the currents, experiencing the challenges as they come, knowing that you will get through it. It doesn't mean life will always be easy, it does however, mean that you will live with more ease. For more on living with ease, click here.
Flow = Ease
Ease = Less stress
Less Stress = Less anxiety, depression, frustration, anger, and upset
Less Stress = Improved health and well-being
So the question is, what can you do to live with less resistance? Especially right now, as we approach the holiday season during a pandemic?
Here's 5 Ways to Help You Live in Ease:
Accept and Surrender - As just discussed, accepting and surrendering to what is currently happening will keep you in flow. It will keep you living in the moment rather than resisting it and wishing it were different. I even suggest taking this one step further and embracing what is as well as accepting and surrendering to it.
Be Positive - Find what's positive about the situation. No matter how bad things seem, there is always something positive you can find. A silver lining. Be sure to find that and focus your energy and attention there. What you focus on expands. What you talk about and think about is what you'll experience more of. If you're focused on all the things you don't like about the situation, you'll experience further resistance. If you're focused on what's positive about the situation, you're more likely to surrender to it and experience flow in your life.
Be Grateful - In fact, be immensely grateful. Studies have proven that the more we practice gratitude, the more we appreciate what we have. Practicing gratitude is also a proven way to help reduce stress. Further, this practice is a very effective way to move you out of resistance. Practice gratitude the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. You can easily find a minimum of 50 things to be grateful for throughout your day! Do you have clean running water? Be grateful. Do you have heat? Be grateful. Are you able to connect with loved ones via technology? Be grateful. You get the idea. Don't just live with gratitude once or twice a day, live with it all day. For more on living with gratitude, click here.
Breathe Deeply Often - Allowing deep, intentional breaths multiple times throughout the day is one of the easiest ways to help bring ease to your mind and body. Allowing deep inhales from the belly helps to bring in the most oxygen and this helps contribute to feelings of calm and clarity. To help you focus on breathing deep from your belly, try gently placing your hand on or near your belly button, noticing the rise and fall with each breath. For maximum benefits, allow yourself a few minutes each hour to breathe deeply. Don't forget that you want the exhale to be long, slow, and intentional.
Give Where You Can - Give to others whenever and wherever you can. When you give to others, you not only help out someone else, you also help yourself. Giving benefits us in so many ways! To learn more, click here. Remember, there's always somebody out there who has less than you. And giving doesn't have to be monetary. Know someone who lives alone? Give them a call and chat with them for 30 or 40 min to help brighten their day. Or perhaps you could shovel your neighbors walk after you shovel yours. Simple gestures and acts of kindness can go a long way - for everyone involved.
* Important Note - Give to others without compromising yourself. Be sure to give to yourself first so that when you give to others you're able to give from your fullest self. *
Life is not always easy and I know that 2020 has certainly brought on MANY new challenges. I also know that so many people will struggle during this holiday season with not being able to do what they normally do. Use these practices of surrender, being positive, grateful, breathing deeply often, and giving when you can, to help you live in flow while releasing resistance and the need to control.
Have a great tip for enjoying the holidays with ease? Leave a comment and let me know, I'd love to hear from you!
If you've enjoyed this blog, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing it so that others can benefit from reading it as well. Thank you.
Looking for more tips to help you live well? Check out Your Live Well Journey - The Podcast, every episode offers ways to help you improve your self-care.