….To Be Conscious
….To Make Changes
….To Be Authentic
Happy Whatever, my friends!
This year I’ve been invited to share a holiday meal on Christmas day at the next door neighbors’ house with about eight others. My neighbors attend church regularly (not sure of the name), my other neighbors are Mormons, my friends are Jehovah Witnesses, others are Catholic, and some have other beliefs like me. While I choose not to be affiliated with any one religion, I am a believer that we all come from the same Source and that all roads lead to the same place. I also believe that the foundation of all these religions, including Islam, is quite simply, Love.
So, while we are a mixed bag around here, just in this neighborhood alone, it doesn’t matter to me how or if anyone celebrates what. Religion is not discussed or debated at the neighbors’ table, thankfully, and I truly look forward to the camaraderie and the laughter when we get together during these holiday meals.
But, first thing Christmas morning I will be Skyping with my kids and grandkids while the present opening goes on at my daughter’s house. That way I get to be “there” while it happens and am able to talk to everyone and share in the joy. Ever since the grandkids were born, it has been the tradition for us to travel to my daughter’s house to share that sweet time with them. There is always lots of giggling, teasing, and noisy chatter going on. That is one thing I do miss from my old life, the special times with my kids and grandkids, and I am extremely grateful for computers and Skype so I can still be a part of the fun!
The holiday season is a bit different here in Panama because it feels like the holiday goes by without much commercialized fanfare (yet!). Christmas here is not like in the States – not many homes decorate nor have lights or trees up, nor is the focus on Christmas gift buying and “grand” gestures. People are almost always kind around here so I don’t notice a difference in attitudes. There doesn’t seem to be a long build up to December 25th, unlike in the US where the push starts heavily in what, September now? There’s no pressure to go overboard on any part of the holiday that I can tell. But, of course, I don’t have cable tv so I am insulated in that way, and perhaps I am missing something. That’s not a bad thing, in my book! Suddenly, to my wondering eyes, it’s the week before Christmas and it’s getting quite busy in the stores when I go in for groceries, and I am gently reminded of the holidays. Still, folks are not angry, stressed, or rushing around myopically.
I really enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere. There is a much more peaceful, grounded type of holiday season in this country. My current Christmas list is now down to four people, my two kids and two grandkids. What a difference from several years ago! I feel very relaxed and grateful and full of appreciation for what is now in my life and for what I’ve chosen to invite into it, instead of having to simply endure what is expected of me or what I expected of myself. I have finally made conscious, loving decisions for myself, and though not everything I could want is available at this point (more time with my kids and grandkids), I am happy and at peace.
And I absolutely wish the same blessings for you all. For your own well-being, it might be time for you to slow down during this year’s holiday season, to come back into your center and evaluate what you want in your life, to figure out what you want to let go of and how you want to live from here on out. Value yourself enough to make changes if you feel that tug in your heart. Be brave, you can do it. If I can do it, you can, too! And only you can do this for yourself.
As Eloheim has said over and over, “You can’t have change without change.” In other words, if you don’t change something, nothing will change, and only you have the power to do that for yourself. Yes, it’s scary, but the alternatives are to live a life you may not be loving. You are here to live an empowered life, not to simply “make a living” or to get through life until it’s over. Nor are you meant to go through your life with the least amount of pain. Pain is still a part of being human and we are to experience and find the wisdom in it, not wallow in it. So go ahead and change what you feel needs changing, even if it’s only a small thing to start.
I invite you to be more conscious during this last celebratory season of 2015. Are you BEing who you truly are, DOing what you find joy in, and LOVING yourself, as well as others? Hiding and reining in who you are, if that’s what you are doing, is not helpful to your own personal growth. Be consciously you, without apology. It’s time to be authentic, even if it means disrupting the status quo.
That’s not selfish, that’s self-care. And that’s where your personal peace begins. That’s where the world’s peace originates, with the peace residing in your own heart and your own life.