Change the Silly Season into the Soul Season
by Jacquie Wise
Even just writing this makes me feel frazzled!
The ‘silly season’ can end up being a season without soul.
The whole spirit of December and January is supposed to be a time for reflection, for giving gifts to show our appreciation of people, and to give to the poor.
Major festivals such as Christmas, Hanukka, Milad un Nabi and Pongal, all celebrated during late December to mid January, are reminders of this spirit, as we feast with family and friends and reflect on the year.
Here are eight Wise Ways to connect with that spirit of giving, gratitude and going within
1 Book a series of random days in your calendar when you switch off all your electronic devices with a screen: phone, laptop, tablet, tv, digital games… all of that robotic stuff which prevents conversation and reflection.
If you can persuade your children and partner to do the same, you’ll connect with one another at a deeper level. Life will slow down and allow you to breathe.
2 Lead conversations with your family to focus on the best or worst thing that happened each day and the reasons for their reactions to those events. Talk about what you succeeded at, what you’re proud about, even it you made just a tiny step. If someone feels they’ve failed, encourage them to be proud for trying. Are you able to congratulate yourself for making an attempt, and for learning from your mistakes?
3 As we end a calendar year and begin a new one, spend some time alone to recall the hopes and goals you had at the beginning of the year. Did you achieve them? Did you plan well enough for them? What are your tendencies—trying to do too much, perfectionism, avoidance? In what way have you or your priorities changed? What have you learnt this year? What do you really want?
4 What can you declutter and donate to charity? Teach your children to select toys or clothing they don’t need and get them to select a charity to which they would like to donate.
5 Most of us are drowning in too much stuff. Limit your gifts to a very meaningful one to each person, or give an ‘unwrapped’ gift from Oxfam. You can make a real difference in someone’s life by buying a water jug, a goat, a school book or a sewing lesson for someone in a third world country, or for the poor in this country. Giving this kind of gift is a growing trend which most people value.
6 Reflect on the people in your life. Are they dragging you down, or inspiring you? Have you grown out of some of your friends? Is it time to gently move on? Or learn to detach emotionally, so they no longer hurt or influence you.
7 Make all your celebrations relaxed and fun, to which everyone contributes, instead of you being the one ‘slaving over a hot stove’. Ask for help without guilt—delegate, outsource, do whatever it takes to prevent you having to go through this season with your teeth clenched.
8 Give yourself permission to enjoy doing nothing. If you’re not used to that, book appointments with yourself in your calendar. You need to have moments of mindfulness, of being in the moment, in order to keep in touch with the guidance your soul provides, and to be connected with the spirit of the moment, whatever that moment is.
I send you my best wishes for happy times and rewarding connections with yourself and others.
If you’d like to talk more about your ability to connect with your inner spirit, contact me directly to arrange a convenient appointment time.
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