Monday, November 30, 2009

The Key to Enjoying the Holidays

Whole Hearted Parenting’s blogs and podcasts during the last month have been about creating peace during the holiday chaos, shifting the focus to giving and gratitude, and choosing stress-reducing gifts for parents. Today, after mailing a dozen boxes to family and friends for the holidays, I was thinking that the key to enjoying the season was organization – planning ahead, checking items off the agenda and then relaxing with a big sigh when I was done. Yes, there is a certain satisfaction to being complete with tasks. Even thought I did feel lightness in my being when walking out of the post office, my epiphany was realizing that completion and planning were not the keys at all.

For the holidays – and for life, really – waiting until the agenda items are all complete to allow yourself to experience the joy of the season – and of life, really – means postponing the wonder of the moment. I realized that I do this postponing a lot, constantly running through that mental check list, especially when it involves an event or a special occasion. That kind of thinking restricts enjoyment. I also realized that even when I feel the relief of having completed the tasks, the actual event feels less potent because I had stopped enjoying the moment in preparation for enjoying the moment!

The key to enjoying the holidays is not planning, organization, or having the most detailed checklist. It is deciding to enjoy the holidays. Once you make that decision, the experience begins. When you find yourself scanning your mental agenda or feeling stressed, decide again to enjoy every moment. With that decision, you are in the driver's seat. It is you driving your enjoyment rather than your agenda driving you.

Decide right now to enjoy every moment and see what a difference it makes! Let me know how it happens for you.

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