It seems that some of the most powerful lessons come when you realize that something you used to believe with absolute certainty is dead wrong. I offe...
Having a season of comfort and joy starts with taking care of ourselves. If we make self-care -- inside and out -- part of our daily practice, we will have much more to give to those we love.
It started with music. For those of us who came of age in the 1960s, music was a transformational force, and so it was with my journey into a career in humanitarian aid. I was first attracted to this work by the famine response in Ethiopia in 1983-85. Unlike other disasters before it, television brought images of what was happening straight into our living rooms, while the global fundraising concert event, Live Aid, got the message out to the world that what was happening was unacceptable.
My reward (and what makes my work enjoyable) is in feeling that what I do is valued, and that it positively affects the world, one way or another.
I've never been fond of artificial Christmas trees. Actually, in my younger days, I thought they were hideous. I wondered if the folks who put up fake trees in their homes had sad childhoods. Didn't they understand that the house was supposed to smell of pine?
I'm not suggesting that to be wiser, you should stop listening to your brain's wisdom. Instead, I suggest you broaden your attention beyond your brain to the rest of your body.
The usual holiday reality is sparkling moments shining through quite a lot of disappointment, which is usually caused by the fact that we and those around us often fail in our duty to behave like Santa's perfect little elves.
Our credit card number has been stolen at least three times in the past six months. I blame it on my husband who regularly leaves the card at various scuzzy food joints. He blames it on me for shopping online. It's probably both or neither or just the fact that credit card theft is on the rise.
It doesn't matter if your schedule is jam-packed with parties, your holiday cards pack pictures, or you're expecting a visit from a family member. This season, every woman has a reason to look her best.
Sometimes the best thing to do when those around you are displaying frantic or negative energy is to get razor focused on something else. Anything else.
Cats need their daily routine to be very predictable and consistent. Some kitties, when they feel stressed by a change in their environment, will start performing a behavior like grooming themselves. This is an example of a displacement behavior.
Here are a few quick things you can be doing to effectively reduce your negative stress response -- now, as reindeer hooves fast approach.
When you make gratitude a practice and express it to others, you shore up your own sense emotional well-being. Gift-giving can then be what it really is: a small sweet moment in a long rich life.
Although December is a joyous time of the year filled with holiday celebrations and good tidings to all, for many women it adds more stress into a cup that already runneth over.
The results may be subtle at first. You might find, for instance, you're no longer waking up at 3 a.m. obsessing about that obnoxious person, or that you aren't yelling at the kids when they dawdle getting ready in the morning.
"Does anybody want to pet the turkey?" Only the fierce, southern woman that is my mother can look at an unpardoned, skinned bird, and turn him into a cartoon. "Catherine?" she says, "you want to name him?" Along with turkey and casseroles, vegetarian jokes are a Castellanos family tradition.