Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's the Rush?

There's only four days until Christmas and the rush is on. Many people are still scurrying around town looking for the perfect gifts, picking up the special foods for their holiday meals, decorating their homes and trying to fit in all of the parties. The feel can certainly be stressed as everyone rushes from one place to another. The alternative can be to slow down and tap into peace and joy.

What makes the difference between operating from stress and anxiety or peace and joy? I've operated in both arenas and I know what causes stress is when my tasks are done with the objective of doing "it" a certain way, and with the hope that when the gift, the meal or the party is perfect, then I will be rewarded with joy. In other words, my joy would be dependent on the reactions of others. The harder I worked at making things perfect, the less peace I felt. Year by year, I seemed to be getting this lesson learned, but still I would get caught in the trap of handing over my joy to others. I realize I took it upon myself to create the perfect Christmas for everyone...not sure might have been in something in the egg nog served at Thanksgiving, since the rush always started a day later.

The alternative of the stress and anxiety is peace and joy and is clearly an inside job. I may still shop for gifts, prepare special meals and host parties, but now I manage to do it from a calmer place within me. It's lovely when those with whom I celebrate the holidays enjoy what it is I have done, but my joy is not dependent on their reaction. I have taught myself to enjoy the process or don't do it.

There is so much to enjoy around this time of year. By simply slowing down the pace and becoming more deliberate and present with all that is happening, peace and joy will show up. Actually, they never left. They're always inside you waiting to be discovered.

1 comment:

lauralee said...

A friend of mine and I were discussing last evening the lack of fulfillment we feel at this time of year. I attributed some of it to a lack of spiritualness, the "reason for the season" if you will. But your ideas given some new ideas to our discussion and I will be anxious to share them with her.