Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Prep Advice from a Yogi and a Mom

With our busy household I am torn every year between practicing my carefully honed yogic skills during the holiday and my family's culture of celebrating the season. I admit that practicing the yamas (self-restraint in yoga) is the furthest thing from my mind when I drink a lovely hot mocha, listening to Christmas music, or there is even a bit of balsam smell in the air. I love it.
I try not to love it; really I do. I don't want to be sucked into all of the holiday consumerism as well as trying to manage the food consumption of my family when there are scrumptious treats everywhere. And its confusing! Am I buying into the commercial interests of the holiday season or as I tell myself sharing special moments and creating memories with my family. Geez.

Whether or not it is a trap I fall into, I can honestly say I have gotten better in one area of my life. I incorporate a mindful "in the moment" concept into my favorite parts of the holiday. Instead of always looking at the clock and worrying about completing the next task I try to appreciate the present moment knowing that it is special and unique. Yesterday I had 100 things to do. No less. And yet sitting at lunch with one of my dearest friends I refused to look at the clock knowing that great conversation with her was far more important then getting mouse traps at Menards.

So, I hesitate to offer advice as a yoga teacher because I am as guilty as the next in rushing through life. However, I do believe I have a unique perspective that goes deeper than my yoga and that is my status as a survivor. When I consciously remind myself of the beauty of the here and now and the gift that it provides to us in even the worst of times, I can breathe better, realign my focus, and be present.
Enjoy the holiday moments with all whom you love. That is my only advice.

(pictured, Kiki and Grace - Thanksgiving at Mom and Dads)

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