Holidays can bring with them a special kind of stress and anxiety and potentially sadness.
(Well, that's heavy! It gets better, I promise!)
We all have triggers that play our learned emotional stories back in our minds. It's not always conscious. Often our bodies remember the feelings, and our minds play right along. We're human, it's a survival thing. But, I am in the process of unlearning my holiday stressors and triggers and re-writing the joy back in because you know what? We get to choose! It's been a process of years but every year gets better.
Here's where this is all coming from...
This morning I gave myself space to just feel what I was feeling. I slept in a bit, didn't push myself as I will often do. (Hi, My name is Erin, and I'm a perfectionist). I worked on a creative project, and I gave myself permission to just feel. Then after I had processed a bit, I wrote this. And put on some empowering podcasts and just keep forgiving myself every minute for my feelings.
Some of my favorite podcasts to help keep my afloat and positive are: Under The Skin with Russell Brand (good one out recently, loved loved loved his book too! HIGHLY recommend), Sean Croxton’s Quote of the Day, and Gala Darling’s Wonderland Sessions which are live video chats and amazingly motivating and powerful.
A big part of my "Holiday Habits Reform" is to stop putting so much damn pressure on myself! Holy expectations bat man, chillllllll!!
Stop with the things I put onto my own plate - such as - making every single gift, pleasing everyone, procrastinating, pushing in the wrong moments, etc. Shopping together instead of making it only my job not only relieved me of that stress, but it was fun and an empowering experience to do as a couple. One big game changer has been asking for support. Calling my mom or friends immediately and being honest, feeling and moving on. Not letting things fester or spiral or play on repeat. Working through tough/uncomfortable things as they arise rather than letting the emotions save up for later and creating a cold, oppressive emotional cloud. This is one of the biggest parts...
I can teeter on the line of falling into depression or let anxiety rule my day, and end up getting "nothing" done, flitting from one urgent thing to the other urgent things. Or worse, I will get valuable things done and just won't allow myself to see the value in what I did actually accomplish! Oi! Do you do this too? I'm sure I'm not alone!
With awareness comes the power of choice. Being aware that my past attempts to change habits have failed, gives me the power to change it.
Here is my manifesto for change for me to revisit when I feel lost, or unmotivated, or without hope:
I want to make fundamental changes to my inner landscape, to take my emotions back into my own power, and not allow external things, others, old stories I tell myself, rattle my inner resolve of standing in my own power, creatively, financially, spiritually, emotionally, and most importantly, I no longer allow those negative feelings to remove the essential element of JOY from my life! I refuse to let anything other than my own self define my days in the way that I want - specifically I refuse to let me EGO mind rule the roost and I reframe my focus onto my true desires. I trust that the Universe has my back, and that the Universe/God/Higher Power/Consciousness is good, supports my highest self, and my deepest truest desires, and has more than enough space for us all to live our best lives. I see those desires already manifested in my life, I see myself in that light, and I commit to the discipline it will take to get there. I commit FULLY AND WHOLE HEARTEDLY to myself. I do not want to grow old and look back and wish that I had just admitted that my ego mind doesn’t know best, its just based in fear and scarcity. I choose to move forward and live a life that I am in love with.
This is where things like Oula come in. My community of strong, amazing women, who help support me, and I them, in a space of safety for one another. Things like getting outside, exercising, and staying in touch with family and friends regularly helps immensely. Engaging in life - my relationship, my art, simple pleasures, and self love rituals. It can be tempting to play the victim and allow things outside ourselves to dictate & instigate reactions and choices, but we must stay true to our most deepest desires, our true self, and face the fear.
Sounds like I need to finish reading Brené Brown’s, Braving the Wilderness, because that is exactly what I feel I need to do... Walk through the heavy wooden door, cold air whipping past, chilling my bones, snow, ice making vision impossible, and still trudging through, still deciding to walk through the chilling facade, to climb the mountain, walk the road, share deep stuff with others, showing my fears, and allowing more ease & joy into my life. Choosing to reach what ever warmth is on the other side. (Painting inspo right here...)
I am sharing here because it’s empowering to do so, and helps me not feel alone - when we’re maybe teetering on our edge. When we see ourselves begin to slip, when we notice those patterns, amp up the support modes, call in the troops, and dig your heels in. Get tough on yourself. Listen to empowering things. I refuse to let my ego mind rule me. I choose to live from my inner radiance. That warm sense of inner knowing, that uncomplicated place of love that we all have within us - no matter what.
May your holidays and every day be joyful, peaceful, restful, and filled with loving snuggles.
NAMASTE. You are radiant.