The holiday season is officially upon us and here in the states we’re getting ready for Thanksgiving which is a time to share a meal, give thanks, and enjoy time with loved ones. Even if you don’t do a big Thanksgiving meal, or you’re away from loved ones this year, or you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving where you live, this is a great time to do some reflecting on your year as we get ready to wind down 2017.
While this time of year brings a lot of activities to everyone’s plates in addition to everything else they have going on; one thing that tends to be placed onto the back burner is a teeny bit of time for yourself. Not just time to get things checked off your list, or to run errands, but actual time to go over or catalog your year.
I find that by this time of the year, it feels like the autumn has breezed by and the focus may already be leaning toward the end of the year which can create a little bit of extra stress or tension. If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone, breathe. You’re also not the one person who doesn’t have it all together either; and it’s okay to let that pressure or belief go. Just breathe.
This is a great time to be honest with yourself about what’s really important to you and the way you want to celebrate the holiday season. You can choose to do the things that feel uplifting and fun while releasing some of the things that aren’t really you’re cup of tea. It’s healthy and more than okay to say no to some activities that come your way this season; and choose to do things that support, honor, and uplift you and your loved ones. This includes saying no to invitations that create any stress, tension, or even trauma for you. You aren’t obligated to attend an activity that isn’t a fit for you and feeling guided to say no is the only “reason” that’s required.
Taking some time to choose how you would like to celebrate and mark this time can be helpful as you’ll have a clear focus moving into the month and the holiday season. It will be easier to feel and know which activities honor your vision or goal for you and which ones don’t.
This is also a great time to look back over your year to get some perspective on all that you’ve accomplished and the things that have changed since the beginning of the year.
- When we focus on gratitude, we usually focus on an outward component such as I’m so grateful for _____________.
This is a powerful and important way of experiencing gratitude.
Another important and powerful way includes looking at the things, people, and projects that you’ve had a hand in supporting this year.
It may not seem like your daily contributions have a big impact on others or the world around you, but they do.
- You make a difference in your world.
To Particpate in this Gratitude + Grace Technique:
- Create a quick list of things that come to mind from this year where you’ve been a support person for someone.
- Find a quiet place in your home or office and turn off notifications on your devices
- Have a notebook and something to write with
- (Maybe a glass of water and some Kleenex)
- Then, close your eyes and visualize/remember the situation.
Allow yourself to focus on your heart; then ask to feel the gratitude within that situation and feel it as it moves into your heart.
Sometimes this exercise creates an emotional response when you tap into the love and gratitude that was present for you in any particular situation.
You may want to write down any thoughts, feelings, words, or memories that come through for you during this experience.
- Sometimes, the other person will give you a message or tell you how they were impacted by your help.
- Sometimes, situations or people that you’ve forgotten will show up as you begin this process and they will add themselves to your list so to speak.
I recommend writing down everything that comes through so you can review it later. This exercise creates a lot of emotion and heart healing and sometimes it seems like you’ll remember everything perfectly even days after the experience but I find that it becomes less prescient similar to a dream state; so having it down on paper can be really supportive.
As we get older, we tend to have less and less people who tell us that we’re doing a good job or that they’re proud of us. This is especially true if you’re an entrepreneur. So taking a little time this month to go over the experiences, interactions, and shifts that you’ve been part of this year can be very heart opening for you. Give yourself permission to feel the grace and gratitude for yourself that others felt when interacting with you this year. This is in no way an indulgent or self centered exercise but rather one that focuses on self love.
This activity of cataloging your year doesn’t have to take a long time to do; 10 minutes can open a huge wave of gratitude, grace, and love. You may even think of some situations, or people that you had previously forgotten.
- This is a powerful way to honor yourself and the people that you’ve connected with this year.
True gratitude is a heart emotion; you can feel it inside of your heart.
When we focus on our heart whether it’s to give or receive love in any of its forms, we can feel it.
Love is healing, always.
This season, take some time to practice self love and try this Gratitude + Grace Technique. Allow this to help you navigate the way you’d like to celebrate your holiday season. You’ll know right away when you focus on your heart the way you’re being led to spend your holidays. Give yourself permission to use your natural Gumption to guide your way and place your boundaries around the things, people, and opportunities that bring you joy, happiness, love, and peace.
I'd love to hear how this technique worked for you.
I'm wishing you a wonderful month and a very happy Thanksgiving to you if you're celebrating this year!
With Gratitude, Grace, and Love,
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