I love this time of the year.
It brings me such warm, fuzzy feelings.
I love the lights and the decorations and the general feel in the air. It’s always felt so special to me.
Over the last week or so, though, I’ve also felt some grief and sadness arise. In particular, I’ve noticed myself missing and thinking about my grandparents.
As I sat last week and reflected on this, I realized it is such a normal, natural thing to happen this time of year. It seems so natural to miss and long for family during a time of year that has always felt so special to me, a time that feels particularly tied to family and traditions.
My intention every day is to be as present as I can be, and my intention during this time of year is to be present and engaged and to soak in as much as I can of the beauty and the quiet and the time I have with my family and myself.
I know that not everyone has wonderful feelings or experiences this time of year. Even I have had years where I built it up so much that I felt let down in an anticlimactic sort of way.
And that’s why it’s important to simply be mindful and aware, to allow our experiences to be what they are, and to observe it all, be as present as we can be—with ourselves and with our moments.
Mindfulness is just awareness; it’s just presence. With mindfulness, we can allow all of our experiences to be what they are and watch and observe and breathe through it all.
Here are three mindful ways to move through the holidays:
1. Be present.
Come back to this moment and this place and this space where you are. Breathe. Notice your breath. Notice your body. How do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel? You can do this over and over again. Notice your surroundings; notice the place where you are. Notice how you feel and what you can feel.
Allow thoughts and feelings to move through you and be present with it all—with whatever is happening. If you’re having a difficult time, be present with yourself and tune into what you need. Be present with the feelings that are arising within you.
And if you find yourself deeply grateful or filled with love and appreciation for where you are or those your with, feel into that, soak it in.
Allow yourself to be present with yourself and the moment.
2. Allow what is to be.
Allow what is to be. Allow yourself to be where you are, experiencing what you’re experiencing. Allow the moments to unfold.
I feel like one thing that can cause us discontentment this time of year is the expectation that things should go a certain way or feel a certain way. We can put so much pressure on ourselves or others or the moment to have something be what we want it to be or what we think it should be. Instead, we can simply be present and allow whatever is happening to happen.
We can move into the things that feel good and right and take care of ourselves in the ways that we need.
See if you can allow what is happening to happen. And if you’re in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, you can make the choice to walk away or create space—to do what it is you need.
3. Feel into what’s important to you.
Feel into what feels most important to you each day. We often have goals and plans and routines and things that we’re working toward, but maybe some of these things shift over the holidays. Or maybe, we have certain things we really want to make time for because they’re important for us and they make us feel inspired or connected or alive.
Tune into yourself to see what feels right and good to you.
As with anything, it’s important to be present with yourself and to be true to yourself.
Take time for yourself, tune into yourself, take care of yourself. What do you need? What do you want? What feels good and right to you? What could center you, ground you, keep you feeling connected? What would feel nice and fulfilling for your heart? How do you want to spend your days and your time?
What’s important for you?
How can you practice presence?
How can you be present with yourself and the moment?