“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
— Pema Chödrön
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Winter is a time of year where our bodies and nature are in their most restorative states. With the lack of daylight and colder weather (in most places), we naturally want to retreat and be still. This is also the time of year where the holiday season kicks off at the end of November and carries through to the start of the new year. How will our bodies relax and restore while also showing up for the celebrations and gatherings that accompany the holiday season?
In Chinese medical theory, there is a saying, bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong, which means “where there is pain, there is no free flow, and where there is free flow, there is no pain.” In other words, emotional and physical health rely on whether or not there is free flow in the channels of the body.
We tend to project an idealistic picture of how we would love a holiday or celebration to turn out, but realistically there are many bumps along the way that can pop up and derail our plans. Flights get delayed or canceled, inclement weather happens, people get sick, food gets burned, gifts may not be received with joy.
The best thing to do in this situation? Make a conscious effort to go with the flow. Focusing less on the details and more on the overall meaning of this time of year can help release those expectations and keep you in the present moment. Going with the flow can also help lower the stress that tends to creep up on us this time of year.
Take periodic pauses throughout each day to check in with yourself. Notice if you are holding onto anything that is not serving a healthy purpose for your emotional health. Pausing gives deeper meaning to your actions, greatly enhances meaningful and respectful communication with others, and helps you to re-center when faced with stressful situations.
‘Tis the season to be together, give, receive, and most important, “show up” for our families, friends, and communities no matter the physical distance that separates us.
So, my goal this holiday season (and why not everyday?): Go.With.The.Flow.
Wishing you joy, peace, and love throughout this holiday season and end of the year!