Relax into your True Nature this holiday season!
This topic is especially alive for us at Sarvaa as most of us here will be going to holiday events quite a bit over the next couple of months. Lately we've been chatting about how we've all had years of holiday seasons that weren't the healthiest from a mental-emotional standpoint. Not to mention what we might have been drinking and eating!
Some of us here are setting personal intentions about how we might take a better approach to this holiday season. I know that I want to balance out the collective-consciousness that tries to tell me that I always have to be doing something and accomplishing things. Staying healthy is often less about making sure everything is perfect, and more about relaxing and being really good to our nervous system. Being our best can be as simple as "falling off the log of expectations" and landing into a "lovely pool of who you really are."
There's a little-known ancient teaching known as Smritti that means "to remember who and what we really are." So as the world twists itself up into to-do lists, remember what comforts you, lights you up, grounds you, and makes your heart sing! Allow this "divine remembrance" to spark your inspiration for the things you will accomplish in your own time.
And as the holidays bring us together with relatives, friends, coworkers, and those in need, remember that your health is not one more thing that you have to struggle and strive for. Your ideal health is likely to be greatly enhanced by simply "letting go and letting flow". We really do co-create our best health moment by moment, breath by breath!
And so I thought, "We can't be the only ones thinking about this subject" and wanted to offer you some tips that may be helpful for all of us to stay healthy and happy during this time of connection and celebration.
6 Reminders on How to Holistically Stay Healthy This Holiday Season
1. Take time to be alone with yourself.
Different personality types crave different ways to rejuvenate. In general, more extroverted people get energized by being around others, while more introverted people desire time away from the crowds. Whether you fit more on the extroverted scale, the introverted scale, or somewhere in between (known as an ambivert), there is value in being able to spend some time alone with yourself. Why is this? Because there is excitement in the air! At gatherings we're all catching up with each other, reminiscing about the old days, and planning for the future. Sometimes it's just pure celebration... and it's easy (sometimes fun) to get caught up in the moment of it all. And sometimes it's a bit stressful. Either way, it can be so helpful to pace ourselves appropriately.
Be your own judge as to when its time to reconnect with yourself. Listen to your gut, and take the time you need when you need it. When making your decisions, honor your whole being, and make sure your body is aligned with your mind. Decisions like "Do I really want to promise to visit my Aunt next summer?" or "How much alcohol will I drink tonight?" will come up, and you can take some time to yourself before making your commitments. Depending on what's going on for you, this solo time could be anywhere from five minutes to a whole day. Take opportunities to come back to your breath, feel what's going on in your physical body, calm your mind, and reset.
Calmness amidst activity is also very helpful. For example, there will be times when it's not possible to be alone. But maybe you're sitting in the living room with your partner or a relative, and you're both calm and having few to no words between each other. This can be a helpful time to get to know what's coming up inside of you if you're reliving the last few hours of interactions. You already know the importance of getting good sleep. But sometimes we forget how great it can be to have time to do a non-stimulating activity, like knitting, playing solitaire, or taking time to color. Anything that is less stimulating to your nervous system can do wonders for checking in with how you can best interact with others.
2. Create a "Love Field" around the foods you eat, especially when the food is not the most healthy.
There's no point in beating yourself up over food and drink, especially during times of celebration. And especially if your loved ones are serving the meals that they're used to consuming that typically don't fall into your usual diet. Instead, energetically embrace the foods that others are lovingly providing for you.
For example, I'm sensitive to nightshades. If I eat a lot of them, I break out in a rash that takes some time to clear up. But when I go back to see my parents this holiday season, they are both really looking forward to sharing my mom's homemade tomato soup. My dad grew the tomatoes in their garden and harvested them, and she turned them into soup using my grandmother's recipe. Am I about to say no to a bowl (or three) of that? Heck no! I'm going to appreciate their labor and love with every single bite. And I'm looking forward to having less of a rash than in times past because of the joy with which I'll receive their gift to me.
If you're one of us who enjoys Sarvaa Superfood, it might be worth consciously including some of our nutrient-dense supplements and meal replacements in your diet, especially during days that you know you'll be eating dishes that could be aggravating to your body and mental outlook. But if not, no problem. Keep up the Love Field!
So what is the Love Field? Love Field refers to the small seed of joyful acceptance that sits in your heart, and begins to grow via your own kind thoughts, gratitude, and thoughtful encouragement. After a while, this small seed turns into a crop and then into a field of abundant possibilities. Here, I'm talking about creating a Love Field around food, but it really reaches into so many things!
Holiday Conundrum Maybe you can relate to this example: Let's say I go to an intimate party with friends and our host brings out a low quality, store-bought apple pie for all of us to have a slice. Part of me knows that it's full of white sugar, refined flour, lousy oils, and non-organic apples, and plenty of residual herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals and preservatives. Everything about this pie is on my "do not eat" list.
And yet, here I am, sitting with three other women who are all having a slice. I could say no. But another part of me values of the sweet camaraderie and wants to honor the host for the loving gift she's offering. Instead of making this a problem, I consciously bring the pie into my Love Field: With each bite, I silently bless the food on my fork as I put it in my mouth. I thank everyone who was involved in this pie: the farmers, the truckers, the store clerks, the food itself, the soils that produced it, and even the microorganisms in the soil and air that fed the wheat, apples, and sugar cane. I thank the sunlight and the rain. And then, out loud, I thank my host for bringing the pie. Once I'm done eating it, I do not think any negative thoughts around the contents of the pie or the consequences of eating it. If something negative and unhelpful wants to come up in my mind, I calmly and quietly chant a little mantra in my head, "I am healthy, I am light. I am healthy, I am light!" Because it's true. And then I let it go.
My life-partner Derek and I talk about how magnetic our combined Love Fields are. Because we're both dedicated to keeping our hearts open, and to being grateful and present at all times, we seem to attract perfectly timed situations and helpful people into our lives much more often than not. Both of us are quite magnetic and fortunate on our own, but we notice our "luck" escalates even more when we're together.
So spin love for your body and the foods you're eating around yourself like a whirling rainbow! All is well. All is divine. You are beautiful. You are healthy. Spread this love within yourself and then to your kin. Wrap them in your Love Field and be present with them!
3. Find gratitude for everything.
For everything? Absolutely. Even for the things that seem wrong. Even for the small things that nobody notices. Even for the big things that everyone takes for granted. When we are grateful for the weather, for the land we step on, for the small act of someone bringing us a glass of water, and so on, we start to see the world in an altered state of bliss. I write "altered" not because this state is misleading or untrue, but quite the opposite. Start being grateful for as many circumstances as possible, and your perspective will begin to shift into a more authentic reality. Is your flight delayed? Be thankful. Have the flu bug? Find the blessing.
"Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don't have to like it... it's just easier if you do." --- Byron Katie Link to her website.
4. Remember your Oneness with everyone.
Sometimes just staying sane is the priority. If you're visiting relatives or friends with whom you have history, it can be absolutely grating at times to be around them. They know things about you that you've never shared with the rest of the world...and for good reason! Perhaps they say things that trigger your "not good enough" response, or they're unconsciously expressing their "I'm not worthy" aspects, and the atmosphere gets prickly. This can get really frustrating.
In these moments, I recommend thinking of the phrase, "Just like parts of me" when you contemplate the other person. They may be different from you in every way, shape, and form, but there are parts of us that we all share: anger, sadness, unworthiness, jealousy, and so on. This phrase is a quick ticket to feeling compassion instead of judgements. You can quietly say this to yourself or actually verbalize it.
When you think or say, "Just like parts of me," you can connect and sympathize with the less desirable parts of them that are showing up. We all make mistakes, we all have perceptions of reality that vary. You don't have to fully identify with someone, but you can recognize where others may be trying to connect with you ...even if it's in a not so healthy way. Bridge the disconnect in a positive way. Connect and uplift with solutions. Learn about the aspects of you that are just like the other person...and use the opportunity to transform yourself for the better!
And laugh! Please remember to laugh. Laughter, when appropriate, can soften the mood. It can prevent and reduce walls that divide us. When we can laugh together, we can connect.
Holidays seem to be all about giving. Society says, "Give till you drop!" and "Give till it hurts". But what is your most authentic way of giving? Giving can be a very personal and sometimes highly vulnerable expression. Other times it can be easy and fun. Either way it could be powerful for you to explore some new and more nuanced ways to approach the art of generosity this holiday season.
We all know that it feels good express and share! What comes naturally for you? Perhaps you like to "wow" everyone in the kitchen with an excellent main dish or dessert. Maybe you're great at finding the perfect presents for your loved ones. Or perhaps you're the one who keeps everyone in the room bent over with laughter. Or maybe your a good listener. Even the simplest act can be a gift. Whatever your specialty or spontaneous gift is, bring that to others. And bring it genuinely.
If you have nothing to give, let the idea go for a little while. It's okay. We don't have to give all the time. Sometimes, when you receive from someone else, your gracious receptivity is the best gift you could give that person. Give when the timing is right for you. There's no need to force a gift just because everyone else is doing it. As you authentically receive, an abundance of generosity will come through you naturally.
6. Bless others.
This is a continuation of giving, but I felt it deserves its own section! Whether you express blessings verbally or energetically, they can be felt across a room...across miles. When you bring others into your own experience of contentment and well-being, they get the perk of your ability to upgrade their lives. Genuinely wishing others well will reverberate back into your own body and heart. By mirroring joy between one another, we lift each other up, and increase the connection and health of each other. Lead by example. Bless those around you by remembering the light and freedom of your true nature.
May you be healthy this holiday season!
May you rest back into your True Nature!
May you be a source of encouragement in your interactions with your family and friends.
May you fall in love with yourself more than ever, and as a result, effortlessly spread kindness and peace within yourself and to others this holiday season!