The Holidays 2018: Survival Guide

Every year about this time, we slip into the Season of the Holidays! In the Northern Hemisphere these holidays often fall on of near the Winter Solstice and were probably originated to assist early civilizations to cope with short days and then the rebirth of sunlight. We tend to mark the “dark times” of the year with lights/fires, social gatherings, and ceremonies. Too much food and too many gifts have become a tradition for people who can afford this kind of celebration and a challenging reminder for those of us who are not capable of participating at the level of overdone gluttony. My favorite holidays have always been more simple and with the people who really choose to be available, as opposed to whom I am “supposed” to celebrate with. As an example, last Thanksgiving (in 2017), 11 friends gathered at my house. They all had other places they could have been but chose to hang out with our community of friends and share stories of what gratitude really means for them. It was one of the very best, possibly the best, Thanksgiving for me because we really wanted to sit at that table together, in love.

Wow, I used the “L” word. AND, the holidays are better when sincere Love, with NO strings attached, are shared in respect, acceptance, and gratitude. How I wish the “Holidaze” had more of these true sentiments. Every human being, and most plants and animals (yes even rocks and rats) appreciate a good dose of LOVE given unconditionally. So consider the greatest gift you can give by being fully “present” and finding a way to celebrate the beauty and perfection of the soul who stands in front of you. Reduce or eliminate your judgement and find the Divine Spirit reflected back at you!!! Warm yourself in the Brilliant Light and Warmth which burns in the fellow pilgrim which you share this road to Enlightenment with. If nothing else, acknowledge the soul and spirit as the fellow traveler they are.

No matter what your religious belief or the “rules of conformity” you are asked to follow, find some genuine Love and Respect. Dance in the light until the Joy wells up inside and you remember where your soul has come from and where it will return when your days in this life, transition into the freedom of the Divine.

No matter what else is said or you experience, KNOW that you are a Perfect manifestation of the Divine Spirit. You are important and your role is of major value. You serve by being the actor in this play and you do YOU better than anyone else!!! Overcome your own self-judgement and accept the beauty and the light you radiate! AND, remember to laugh when you plunge back into the weird Drama of your life… The drama and challenges are there to be the lessons so we (YOU) can learn to respond in the most positive sacred way to the hellish relationships and circumstances we might find ourselves within. We did NOT come to this life to avoid change or challenges. We came because these tougher times become the very best crucibles for our learning and development.

If you find yourselves away from family and friends, try to ind a way to connect and to serve. You will feel better and learn from each interaction. If you find yourself with family and friends, attempt today deep to find the best expression of your love and appreciation. You that the souls you meet during these holidays are on the path, whether the fully understand or not, and every interaction offers you an opportunity to be the beacon of love and light to guide all who are present one step closer to enlightenment. Step up and be the force for good you want to see in this world… Bless you for trying!

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Holiday Survival

Happy Holidays… They are headed our way, ready or not!

I know that for many people this is easier said than done… It is the season for high expectations of happiness, joyful family gatherings, and limitless supplies of good food and cheerful gifts. Most of the time, expectations seem to mess things up! This time of year can make people irritable if not crazy because we expect so much of ourselves and the people around us. Sadness, depression, and anxiety begin to peak at this time of year for many people. Many people are struggling with financial challenges, even homelessness and these people can feel left out of Happiness in the Holidays. Illness and losses of family or friends, even from the past, can make this season difficult traumatic to celebrate. The short days and Winter weather for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere also can take an emotional toll on the Holidaze. There may be changes of schedule, travel, or dietary changes that can make positive, joy filled celebrations a bit difficult at this season of the year.

Consider the Holiday Survival Tips from the article below. This can be found in a more printable form at the Stress Education Center’s website, www.dstress.com, on the “Articles” page.

Please take good care of yourself and have some sympathetic understanding of people you may meet who may be struggling during the Holiday Season.

Holiday Survival tips
10 basic strategies to more gracefully survive holiday stress. Written by L. John Mason, Ph.D., Author of the Bestseller; Guide to Stress Reduction.
Are expectations of happiness in the holidays making you sad? Do you want to be happier and healthier this holiday season? Would you like to enhance your holiday stress management skills?

This holiday season will be stress filled. World economic swings and terrorism have created conditions that have changed our holiday celebrations. Attitudes towards travel, being with family, celebration in the face of fear and sadness, will make this year’s holiday season different than in years past. Adjustments will help to create new ways of participating in the holiday events. These can be both positive and negative. Consider new traditions in self-care. Search for community support that will open your heart to the joys that are possible in this season. Remember the things that are the most stressful are the things that you care the most about, but have the least control over. World events, the economy, the way people respond, and our families (and children) are major stressors that we wish we could control, but often cannot.

1. Schedule Time for Self-Care! Regular exercise and time for stress management are a must. Find what techniques work best for you, and use these tools. This is non-negotiable time devoted for your health and well being.

2. Eat Well Moderation is the key. Do not use alcohol or drugs for stress management. Do not “over” celebrate. Avoid fast foods.

3. Avoid Caffeine Minimize the impact of caffeine on your life.

4. Plan the Holiday… Set some limits. Do not over spend your financial and emotional resources.

5. Control Your Expectations of: Happiness, Joy, Sadness, and Loneliness

6. Be Nice to Others Give compliments and smile. Around negative, anxious, or rude people, take a breath and remember that you do not need to get pulled into other people’s holiday misery or their craziness.

7. Reach Out for Support Talk with “stable” friends or family, or clergy, or mental health counselors.

8. Humor Helps… Have Fun Laugh daily, if possible.

9. Stay in the Present! Mentally and emotionally, do not be consumed by things that happened in the past or fear events in the future. Enjoy the people you are with and make the very best of the situation that you are in.

10. Find the True Spirit of the Holidays Share “the Spirit” of this holiday with those people who you love or care about. Give love and support to the people of the world. Volunteer or go out of your way to be thoughtful and kind. A smile or a hug can go a long way. Sometimes it is just listening… Show others that they have value and that you are aware of their special qualities.
Even learn to let others give to you!