I’m letting go of the expectation that this holiday season will be stress-free, seamless, or magical.
Don’t get me wrong; I’d like it to be stress-free! But right now, the landscape ahead looks a bit bumpy. Recently I had some significant bombs dropped within my yoga studio structure, and right now, I’m just breathing through it. So that’s what I encourage you to do, breathe through it.
When a person is pushing a baby out of their body, and I consider that the hardest physical thing I have ever done, we tell them to breathe. When a person is dealing with a profound loss and sobbing, you often see someone rubbing their back and telling them to take a deep breath. So many of us are experiencing the exact same emotions right now but just with different packaging, so to speak. Mine is a small business owner’s stress. Others might be family get-together anxiety or end-of-the-year depression.
We often have these expectations that the lights hung up around us create this magical feeling, but instead, I think it’s a nice reminder for all of us that we create our own magic. It’s not the month of the year or the decorations that adorn the rooms in your house. Instead, we have choices in how daily stresses affect us. And rather than trying to control the stress or the outcome, when we take notice of our breathing, we then automatically slow down and surrender.
Within the nine years of my sobriety, I often refer back to the steps when I face a hard time in life. The step that consistently feels hard for me is Step Three of Alcoholics Anonymous. It focuses on surrendering your will to a higher power. It isn’t until I’ve exhausted my need to control and organize and plan that I can finally surrender. And when I finally do surrender, I’m exhausted from the fight, and it’s then that I’m reminded, oh yeah, Step Three. I should have started there! Everyone’s version of a higher power is different, but we often get there the same way. Again the outside packaging might look different. You may be on your knees with your hands clasped, or taking a walk in nature, or sitting in the pews at church. But all versions of reaching a higher power begin with getting quiet and breathing.
Whether mentally complex or physically demanding, or both, we don’t have to have the answers right now. We must first breathe. We sit in the uncertainty and listen to our internal rhythm to tap into a deeper, higher power.
Today, this week, and into the new year, I am setting the intention to breathe. I know that my breath carries me on my yoga mat, and I can confidently assume it will carry me through this bumpy terrain ahead. So I’m going to focus on breathing and surrendering my expectations, allowing room for true magic to appear.