Ah, the most wonderful time of the year. That time where that last herculean push to tie up all loose ends for the year collides with a crazed calendar of holiday parties—burning your energy up from both ends of the proverbial candle. Then, you wrap it up with a tension-triggered family visit and you end up feeling like a Christmas ribbon–tightly wound!
Though you enjoy the holiday hustle and bustle, your holiday spirit can be riddled with ambivalence! Ambivalence causes physical tension and emotional stress, headaches, backaches, fatigue and an overwhelming feeling of disinterest. You want to want to–but you don’t! The stretch between professional concerns, friendship and family responsibilities exceeds your “enjoy yourself” bandwidth. You may suddenly find yourself raising a glass to good Old Mr. Scrooge (he may have been onto something)!
How do you relax and enjoy the stretch between your work, family and play?
When you feel these symptoms, rather than pushing them down, muscling through, or saying no…pause. Allow yourself to quietly and fully feel your maxed out symptoms. It’s like luxuriating in the permission to feel bad. If you need to, lie down for a moment. The exercise is to allow your feelings–drain their force–without letting them escalate into a verbal tirade. It sounds strange, but letting yourself feel bad feels good! You are taking ownership of your feelings rather than blaming your feelings on someone else.
Once you have released the desire to hide from it all, you can respond to your desire to connect to it all. Only try it differently! This time, when you stretch yourself, use relaxed energy rather than demanding energy, and you’ll enjoy your holiday stride. Here’s how you establish, what I call, relaxed stretch:
- BREATHE into your low belly to connect to your center of gravity.
- Surrender energy up through your head’s crown and down through your feet or seat. Allow your spinal column to ELONGATE by relaxing your muscles’ hold. As tension melts away from the central line of the body, it decompresses your body’s distorted alignment–it’s as if your nervous system yawns. Deliberately let your body relinquish its chase for tomorrow. Stay in the experience of stretching your energy beyond the mundane
- Let yourself FEEL infused with your enthusiasm for living your life. Do not focus on what you do or what people want you to do, simply feel your Spirit’s connection to living your life. Stay present with the moment’s experience of surrender.
Why does this work? When you BREATHE and ELONGATE the central line of your body, that relaxed stretch aligns each of your body’s energy centers. To stretch relaxation is to allow energy to flow, to guide your life force in a specific direction without controlling its nature. It’s like drawing by number, only the numbers are energy centers that make up your central plumb line. Only when they are
all connected, energized and stretched do you see and FEEL your full potential.
Between job tasks, before arriving at a holiday gathering, and especially when preparing to head home for your holiday visit… pause. BREATH into your Center. ELONGATE your alignment. FEEL your Spirit. Step into every exchange feeling the fluid force of your strength rather than the rigid compression of your tension.
Now you’re prepared to enjoy the holidays and everyday!