As the old adage goes, if you think you're enlightened, go home to mom and dad and the rest of the family and see what happens. If you haven't completely released the grip of the past, it will surely come back to haunt you now.
So when it all gets real crazy in December, find those moments in the season that bring you joy. It helps you slow down, even momentarily, to remember what this time of year is about and how to enjoy the wild ride of December.
This holiday season, amidst all the hustle and bustle, the lists, the things to buy and wrap, the people to contact and visit... before you get lost in the overwhelm... take that moment to be in your shoes. Here are five easy ways to make your holiday season a more memorable and joyous occasion:
Imagine how much more we'd get out of our time here if we shifted our perspective now and then -- if we could turn our days into memories that cause our tired eyes to well with happy tears at the end, instead of sad.
A few years ago I learnt a valuable lesson about capturing memories. Perhaps I was following the lead of other parents. But as I videoed my daughter, I knew I was viewing a B-grade version of what was really happening.
All we really have is the present moment -- where you are right now and with whom you are with. Give yourself time to think and reflect. Live purposefully. Be in the now and take it all in. Be brave. Have gratitude for what you have. Accept reality. It is all we have.
In executive coaching, I have clients hurtling themselves toward a goal. They want to get "there" no matter what. Then there are the adrenaline junkies who enjoy the risk of chaos, taking pride in not needing methods and plans.
It's easy not to notice the groundhogs or blooming flowers or even the smiling faces in a crowd if I am caught up in my own drama. It is easy to get swept up in meaningless negative mental chatter. Noticing the groundhogs takes practice.
By looking at these four central tenets of Buddhism we can better understand how micromanaging our circumstances can cause us to become agitated and restricted. Instead, when we learn to let go of our attachments we can transform our lives in an innovative way.
As the months passed, I thought about serendipity. I paid attention to moments that were surprising and delightful -- finding the perfect T-shirt on sale, getting a tip on a story, making a new friend at a meeting -- and I tried to notice what state I was in when serendipitous things happened.
In some cultures, wearing local dress and participating in local ceremonies is not appreciated. And even in Bali, there are some ceremonies that are off-limits to outsiders. But in many Balinese communities, as in many communities elsewhere, the opposite is true.
We don't need to be in transit to be able to approach our days this way. It is possible for me to be living my normal life and be excited for the unknowns of the day. I meet new people and do new things every day.
Every action, whether it be writing an article, applying for a job or snacking on an apple, is worthy of being embraced, enjoyed and savored for what it is. When we choose to live life this way, each moment becomes saturated with meaning.
I know it is better to give than receive, but why do we feel guilt on the occasions we receive? This is particularly common among women. In today's two parent households, usually both parents work. Yet the role of caretaker and homemaker still tends to fall on the mother.
We look forward toward possibility and freedom and then backwards towards opportunities mishandled. Only in those rare blissful instances where we are totally present and grateful, when everything comes perfectly together, do we acknowledge that now is the best time of our lives.
Travel-proofing your meditation is easier that you think. The motto is, "Do something at least every couple of days." This is enough to keep you going through travel time and to pick up your daily routine once back home.
I am definitely not a perfect parent. Sometimes things slip my mind, but I can assure you I never forget my kids in the car. So, my solution and challenge for all parents: Be more present. Be better. Thrive. Hold yourself accountable to be more aware so things like this do not happen.
Children have the extraordinary capacity to disappear into the moment.As parents, we are the gatekeepers of time. And we are preoccupied with it. We are constantly clock watching to see when we need to race out the door to the next activity.