Seen as a season to celebrate a religion, time with family, or whatever you have been raised to believe, for a lot of people, the opposite is true.
The Holiday Season is not always a celebration. Society has encouraged us to be jovial and giving during this specific time of year. But what about the pressures and stress that accompany this annual holiday?
We are always surprised that the Holiday Season is ‘already here’ when it arrives at the same time every year. Many of us create unrealistic expectations on ourselves and those around us during this festive time. An amazing healer once told me, “As humans are also animals, we too should be hibernating during these Autumn/Winter months. Physiologically our bodies slow down, we need more sleep. Instead, we put the busiest Holiday event of the year smack in the middle!”
As women, this seems to be more prevalent. We are the ones channelling Martha Stewart and trying to be everything to everyone…. the perfectly decorated homes, sinfully tasting baked goods, finding the perfect gift and wrapping it like a professional…. and adding children and the school events will send some of us over the deep end of responsibility followed by the self imposed guilt of perfectionism.
Every year I vow to be ‘in the moment’, present and every year I succumb to the pressures of buying the ‘perfect’ gift, say yes to all of the invitations and then questioning why I end up exhausted, stressed and frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, the Holidays are a wonderful time but are we realistic with our expectations on ourselves and those that we put on others? Too many of us get drawn into the commercialism and societies expectations.
This is the time to squeeze in some ‘me’ time. As hard as it may seem, it is imperative that you find the time for yourself during this hectic pace. Making time for me and my yoga is a must. I know that once I am on my mat, it is my time that I am giving to myself. I know that being present on my mat, breathing and being in tune with my rhythm will help me to handle my world off my mat. I will be more proactive rather than reactive and a better person to be around.
My commitment to myself this year is to be ‘in the now’ as much as I can. Enjoy the simple activities like baking shortbread, making a gift, watching the wonder and joy of the spirit of the holidays in the eyes of the children around me and treating those less fortunate. The things that create lasting memories, that is what the holidays are truly about.
How are you going to celebrate this Holiday Season? How are you going to be your authentic self and create lasting memories?
SWASTHI – PRAJA BHYAH – PARI PALA YANTAM
NYA – YENA MARGENA MAHI – MAHISHAHA
GO – BRAHMANEBHYAHA – SHUBHAMASTU – NITYAM
LOKAA – SAMASTHA SUKHINO – BHAVANTHU
Let Prosperity be Glorified -
Let rulers, (Administrators) Rule the world with law and Justice
Let Divinity and Erudition be protected
Let people of the whole world Be happy and prosperous
Nicola Shaw’s career includes being a brand manager at Nature’s Path Foods for just over 5 years after 11 years with Starbucks Coffee Company. While at Nature’s Path Nicola had the invaluable experiences of working with EarthWatch in Costa Rica in their mission to save the leatherback sea turtles and to venture to the Amazon to work with the Amazon Conservation Team and their Shamen Apprentice Program. Nicola is passionate about social responsibility which stems from her commitment to yoga. After 8 years of Ashtanga and Anusara practice, she received her yoga teacher training from YogaWorks. Nicola teaches and encourages students to maintain a safe yet energetic flow during practice. Her philosophy is – “How you are on your mat is an analogy for how you are in your life”. She is a yogi, a runner, loves travelling, being with friends and doting over her niece(s).