Christmas parties, seasonal drinks, shopping frenzies, serving 20 people your 20 pound turkey, stuffing, peas, potatoes and pie – it’s almost impossible to not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of December. Never mind the immense pressure to do Christmas “perfectly” – this month is one of the busiest…highly demanding and often very challenging for many people.
And yet, when I turn the calendar on December 1st, I feel a sense and almost desperate need to slow down to push away the hustle and bustle. Hence, an internal struggle that ensues to want to sucker punch the chaos of this month, while being head bonked by Christmas music (just picture the awkward wrestling match between Westley vs Fessik in the Princess Bride).
In Ayurveda practices, this time of year in aligning to the rhythms of nature (particularly where I live in the Northern Hemisphere), it is the natural time of year for resting, for nourishment, for quiet. Which makes sense to me – bears are slowing down, seeking their winter den. Trees have dropped their leaves and are preparing for the winter ahead. The days are shorter and darkness is upon us for longer periods of time. My natural inclination is to curl up on the couch, read a good book, sip a cup of tea, pause.
Turning the calendar to December is my cue to take a deep breath, to close my eyes and as I come to the end of the calendar year, to reflect.
Reflect back on the year. What went really well? What am I most proud of? Where did things go sideways or unexpected? What was challenging? Where did I make a positive shift? Look back on the year, reflect on the journey and then thank the year that was and let it go.
By letting it go, as much as I am able to, I start to create space for what’s to come.
So to balance the artificially imposed hustle and bustle of December, I am going to focus on connecting not elbows-up jostling for the cabbage patch doll; on sitting in joy and in sadness; on opening up to real stories and shutting out the relentless news/gossip/fear-mongering; on more time in nature – less time on technology; on more time reflecting and saying thanks to the year that was.