By Cindy Yantis
I don't know about you but I went through another holiday season completely overbooked.
And, if history repeats itself, by the time the day of celebration actually arrives, I'm exhausted and have thoughts that I'm sure echo those of many others: too many shoppers, too many commitments, too much commercialization, not enough time. And, then the holidays whiz by and you're in the middle of January before you realize it. Maybe you can relate.
Well, it hit me yesterday that this didn't happen this year. Sure, I was still overbooked with all of the above and then some, but somehow time felt slower this year, more joyful. It got me thinking about why that might be. To my summation, here's the difference...
I took control of my time this year, rather than the other way around.
And, what really slowed things down for me were what I call the "in-between" moments. The stolen seconds in between all of the busy-ness. I think one of the reasons that the season flies by so quickly for so many is that we're in a constant state of anticipation for what's to come next; we're living slightly in the future. So what happens? We miss the present.
That's what the in-between moments are all about. Zooming instantly into the present slows everything down, even if it's just for a bit.
So, what are the in-between moments, the stolen seconds, of the season? They're whatever you create them to be. There are many, but here are four to get you thinking:
- Stop yourself in a crowd - whether at a party, shopping or just going about your day, physically stop and take in the faces around you, really take them in. Count the number of new people you see in a day (I actually did this yesterday); it makes you stop and notice people rather than merely being amidst an endless sea of humanity.
- Pause for the environment - relish in whatever is around you. If it's nature, that's easy; breathe, see, smell. If it's the vast commercialization surrounding you, appreciate the creativity or genius in that too.
- Use joyful words - I found myself using the term "Joy Rising" a lot this season, a phrase I borrowed from Oprah. It made a huge impact on my daily environment. Find words that make you joyful and use them regularly.
- Remember it's about Love - no matter your religious belief, the season is about wonder and love. That omniscient feeling lives in all of us. Remembering it is all it takes sometimes when stress threatens to fill us up.
"To believe in the wonder of the season is to see through the eyes of the heart." Flavia Weedn
After working diligently on staying present, this will eventually occur organically. But, until that happens make a point to notice and relish the in-between.
I wish you the happiest of holidays! Thank you for taking some of your in-between moments to read Thought Changer this past year!
You may publish or re-post this article with the following credit:
Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog owner & curator. Cindy is a writer living in Los Angeles.