With the holiday season officially in "pressing" mode, I have started to practice mindfullness as a remedy for becoming more conscious and peaceful throughout the holiday season. Being mindful with our emotions is a regular practice for those on the warrior's path. And I have plenty to work with myself! I see this holiday period also as an opportunity, and in that ironic way, I am actually looking forward to my pratice this year. Yes I have already begun.

The holidays definitely bring up up my family (core) issues in a big way, and I feel blessed this year to have a greater awareness of my issues than I had even a few short years ago. This year in particular I am also feeling the readiness to face them and to be with them, not against them, in my meditation.

Here is a great little practice I am using to bring myself to greater friendliness with my self as I work with my emotions at this triggering time of year. It also works well to continue to bring healing to those places that have been long awaiting some. I hope these helpful 4 steps may be of some help to you too.

A mindful healing and meditation practice
4 simple steps:

(1) body scan and breath - as always, keep it simple. find time to sit quietly and focus on your breath. nothing more, nothing less. don't try to change anything. just breathe and notice "I am inhaling, I am exhaling, I am inhaling, I am exhaling." You can add a body-scan during this practice if you feel ready.

(2) for more awareness of your thoughts, add journaling - as my thoughts go sideways during my breathwork focus, as inevitably they will, I keep a journal nearby and write down anything caught in my spin-cycle. This helps me to see it clearly and get it clearly out on paper where I can review it later and bring it further into the light. It also gives me time to honor where my inner child is, so she feels heard, held and loved.

(3) name your feelings out loud - as feelings arise during your meditation, name your feelings out loud. Don't editorialize on them, simply name them as you bring them into your conscious awareness. (I am angy. I am sad. etc.) Additionally, if I am getting too overwhelmed by or stuck in the feelings, I do a flow-of-feelings excercise in my journal as well. My flow of feelings journalling goes like this:
I feel angry that.... (list anything you are feeling, you may have 1 or 2, none or many entries)
I feel sad that...
I feel afraid that...
I feel guilty/ashamed that...
I feel happy that...
I feel secure that...
I feel grateful that...

That's it. Just write it out.

(4) (this is my favorite part) loving yourself - give yourself and your inner child some hug time. wrap your arms around yourself, your shoulders, your heart, or anywhere that is hurting, and gently rock, softly speak to, or simply hold and send love to yourself.

You can also end your practice by returning again to a simple focus on your breath.

I feel wonderful after I practice. And I'm going to be practicing this again myself today. With or without the journal.


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Comment by Marcy Rubin on November 27, 2009 at 11:51pm
Thanks for sharing, sometimes it help to be reminded how simple awareness can bring such peace.
~Be Well~
Comment by Alexa on November 27, 2009 at 5:15pm
Awareness along with feeling brings the healing. Awareness along with feeling brings the releasing of the old. Awareness and repetition bring the creation of the new channels. Only awareness brings Awareness. (hey, I just made that one up, but you get the point)

hi, marianne. I know it well also. the holidays are the times that personal recovery is made of. as eckhart tolle says "the pain body loves the holidays." all of our "stuff", and "theirs" too, gets triggered, and I am honored to be walking with you and sarah and whomever else consciously through this holiday season. It really is a great time to move through or even ahead with our practice, though no guarantees are ever made, and although I know from my own experience that the work is real, it doesn't always feel good, and it does take effort. But that's the work of the warrior, eh?

but also from my experience, even the effort can become an ironic joy when we know that this is the stuff that the road to our true selves (and self love) is made. Perhaps there is no better time when we get to see what is standing in our way. and I may join you after all for some discussion in the Safe Haven group as well. It's a wonderful topic, and a great time to be in "support" with others. I'd love to share some support with you. thanks for the note.

In the meantime, here is a little reminder for today...

a poem by Rumi:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~
Comment by Marianne on November 27, 2009 at 4:47pm
Hi Alexa: I completely understand. In fact, the other day I started a thread in Our Safe Haven about the 'holiday blues'. Unlike Sarah, the season always hits me hard as soon as the American Thanksgiving arrives. Oh dear!

Marianne (trying so hard)
Comment by Sarah Sunny on November 27, 2009 at 2:34pm
Many thanks to you, the holidays have a way of bringing up the past for me as well. The season hasn't hit us hard here yet, but is coming...I will start now on embracing and loving my inner child. I want to 'focus' in the joy of the season!

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