I recently emerged from a silent meditation retreat. There is a practice of dedicating the merit — offering whatever goodness gained during one’s time of practice to be extended out into the world for all. I love this aspiration — for whatever goodness I have experienced to be given away and offered up for others to experience. :)
As we head into the holiday season, I am reflecting on what the holidays can mean for people. And what it used to mean for me. For many, it can be a busy time — extra things to do on top of an already full life. As a small business owner / maker of gifts, it used to be a pressure-filled time — packed with holiday shows, production, and non-stop fulfillment. For me, I so easily slipped into the stress of the business’ holiday needs that I often lost my connection to a broader perspective and to my inner well-being. It was as if I hopped onto a train of doing full-speed ahead. It could be hours or days before I looked up and realized how far I’d traveled not even realizing for what purpose. My focus on accomplishing tasks had completely blinded me to the tension and stress building in my body and mind. When I came to, I realized my deep need for relief.
I am both deeply affected by and prone to stress. Over the years, disconcerted by essentially feeling so out of wack, I’ve rearranged my life to better attune to myself or as I like to say, “come home to myself.” Life no longer looks or feels as it used to.
Retreat is one of those things that help me come home to myself. It offers me a sense of clarity and perspective. It gives me the courage and confidence to experiment in my life and make changes to ways of being that no longer serve me (e.g., running around like a chicken with my head cut off…and all the unfortunate far-reaching side effects of doing so). Each progressive holiday, each month / week / day, my hope is to be able to accommodate a more complete and whole version of myself and my experiences. To be more at peace regardless of external circumstances. To be able to hold myself and this world in increasing doses of kind, nonjudgmental awareness.
So as you head into this holiday season, I wonder if I might ask:
I’d like to offer a few more things:
Me joyfully cuddling my dear baby Lily!
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