With the holiday season in full gear, there is much activity going on these days. As we busy ourselves with organizing, shopping, gathering and celebrating, we often lose sight of the sacred in these times. Lost in a haze of crowded streets and parking lots, we shuttle ourselves and our loved ones from one place to another, barely taking the time for a full breath, let alone pausing to enjoy the beauty that is all around us. If this sounds like you, don’t feel so bad as you are definitely not alone. I, myself, have felt bewildered and disoriented in the process of “getting stuff done” during these times. I’m struggling with it at this very moment. If you are beginning to feel like you are floating adrift and are hovering somewhere outside yourself, here are some suggestions on grounding and finding your centre, and returning to what is sacred, which is really what we should be focusing on at this time.
Firstly, find a quiet place where you will be undisturbed for a few moments. You may want to dim the lights, or light a candle. Create a serene and sacred space for yourself. Make this time special. Next, find a comfortable place to sit upright. Sit strong and aligned without slouching, but do not strain or sit stiffly. When you are seated comfortably, begin to focus on your breath. Breathe deeply. Breathe as if you are taking your first and final breath. Focus on deep breaths for a few minutes. Breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 3, breathe out for 3, and hold for another 3 seconds. Allow yourself to be fully filled with your inhalation while taking your in breaths and allow yourself to be fully emptied with each exhalation. Repeat this pattern 5 times. Begin to breathe in a natural rhythm once more.After you feel more centred and calm, begin to focus on what is important to you at this time. What do you hold near and dear? What lights up your face and makes you smile? What warms your heart and spirit? Think about the people who bring joy to your life. Think about random meetings with strangers that made you beam with delight. Hold these people and these times in your thoughts and breathe them all in. Imagine a glowing light filling your entire being and shining out towards all those you have just thought of. Feel yourself being filled with gratitude.
Upon closing your meditation, write a few special notes to people you wish to thank. Don’t forget to include yourself in that list. Write yourself a letter, put it in an envelope and mail it to yourself while sending out holiday cards. Let it be a nice surprise to yourself when you are sifting through all your regular mail in a few days.
Try to find a few moments to practice this meditation daily or at least every few days. Take the time to enjoy the festive scenes around you – the shimmering lights and candles, beautifully adorned trees, holiday decorations, holiday music. Relish all the sights, sounds and smells of the season and rejoice in all the beauty that surrounds you. Reconnect with what is sacred in your life and find time to appreciate it and be grateful.