Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The emotional power of the seasonal holidays

This time of year is full of sentiment and reflection because it is a time of both beginnings and endings. Reflection and welcoming are both part of the season.

At Halloween/Day of the Dead, we remembered those who we knew and loved who died this past year, and of course there are others who also crossed over between then and now. Then at Thanksgiving, we spent time with family and friends in gratitude for what we have received this year.

Now, as we prepare for Christmas/Winter Solstice/Yule/Hannukah and New Year's celebrations, we also reflect on those we value and those we lost. Among those we lost, there is another wave of changes to consider, and that is part of what I refer to as our evolution. There are friends who are no longer part of our lives for a variety of reasons, including career and job changes, divorce, changes in our health habits, changes in activities, hobbies, studies or sports. And there are people who are operating on a different level of consciousness than we are now.

Why does this happen? All kinds of reasons. For example, maybe at one point in our lives we loved to go out to lots of bars and restaurants, but now we spend more time at the gym. Maybe we joined a study group where we are embracing new practices and ideas and some of our old friends think that we are just into weird stuff now. Maybe there were people we used to work with and then hung out with them after work, but now we have different careers and jobs and we are spending time with these new coworkers instead. Sometimes there are jealousies when one person is achieving more success and another has less. Sometimes our tastes simply change and we no longer go to the same concerts or watch the same TV shows. Maybe there were trade shows or business events, discussion groups or meetup groups we always used to go to, but now participate in other things instead. Some people become more pessimistic while others become more optimistic.

As I say, there are all kinds of reasons and most important of all is that we use all these social occasions that are coming up to privately acknowledge our losses and reflect on their effect on us, perhaps journaling to make sense of our losses and changes while publicly celebrating our new friends, new associates, new activities, new opportunities, new outlook and our new plans and new designs for our life in the immediate future.

So it is natural that this time of year, there are tons of emotions tied to the festivities. There are things to be sad about and things to be happy about, and as we progress and grow, we find more to be weighing in on the positive side of our perspective.

So as we light all these holiday lights, notice how much light we are adding to the world with our presence, our joy, our love, our connections to good people and good developments. In doing so, we light the way for others, and in that light new feelings, thoughts, relationships, friendships and new paths and horizons are illuminated.

This time of year is both cathartic and joyous, and that is why it is always so powerful. Remember, this light makes possible our visions, and our visions energize our actions. So enjoy all of your holiday celebrations and know that everything we have done has created fertile ground for new beginnings.

I love all of you and am always happy to hear from you.

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