To quote the immoral Tom Lehrer [Ed. did you mean “immortal”? Me: yes, that too, but “amoral” could work equally well here] –
“Christmas Time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly.
Deck the halls with hunks of Holly,
Fill the cup and don’t say when.”
Have you noticed that Christmas and the Holiday Season are almost universally marked by exhortations to “do” stuff?
“Buy presents.” “Save money.” “Visit.” “Travel.” “Volunteer” and, “wait – there’s more! … act now and we’ll let you do another one FREE (just pay shipping and handling).”
It’s as though we’ve all been storing up enormous amounts of energy during the past 12 months so that we can expend it all in an athletic/consuming/flamboyant display of what we really capable of doing.
And then there’s “eat, drink and be merry,” – oh look, a rare invitation to actually “be” something. Except that when you pursue this particular exhortation just one line further, the colloquial version ends with “for tomorrow we die.” Now there’s a sobering thought (pun intended)!
Seriously though, what happens for you if I invite you to think about how you want to “be” this Holiday Season?
Do you want to be thoughtful and considerate of others? Do you want to be considerate of yourself? And/or maybe you want to take some time to be grateful: grateful for who you truly are; grateful for those you share your life with; grateful for your comforts and your safety? Maybe you want to be at least somewhat in awe of how little old you fits into this beautiful and complex world of ours.
How about just being Present, rather than doing the Presents thing?
No matter where that takes you right now, I want to invite you to take some time to consider how you want to “be” exactly 12 months from today. I invite you to separate this question from other questions that are easily conflated with it, such as “Where do you want to be 12 months from today”, and “What will you want to have accomplished in the previous 12 months.” Not that these are in any way shameful or irrelevant – there’s nothing wrong with having reasonable (and ethical!) goals for the coming year – it’s just that I’m wanting you to separate the “doing” goals from the “being” intentions.
However you choose to “be” a year from now, I also invite you (and this is my last invitation for today, promise!) to consider how paying some additional attention to your daily habits, practices and thoughts during the coming year could contribute to your state of being in December 2016.
For my part, my intention for 2016 to be at peace with myself and everyone I meet. I intend to see everyone who is already in my life, and those who will come into my life during the coming year, as bringing their own special opportunity for us to co-create something meaningful and magical in our world. What will this look like? I don’t really know at this point, but I’m certainly looking forward to finding out!
Happy New Year of being, everyone!