I'm sitting here in our living room looking out over the falling snow, feeling grateful for the silence that occurs when we have a storm and everything is forced to stop for a while. It's as though Mother Nature has gently placed a blanket over my part of the world and whispered, "Rest little one. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and let yourself nap for a while." Love that idea...
And I love this time of year - although it wasn't always that way. Ten years ago, after running through a mall on the day before Christmas trying to buy two last minute gifts, I stopped in the middle of a store and said, "ENOUGH!" Yup, right there in the shoe department, I made a promise to myself that I would change the way I did the holidays from that day forward. No more rushing. No more squeezing crowded, noisy, parties into an already full schedule. And no more angst over finding the perfect gifts. Instead I would focus on two things: being present as much as possible and doing what made me feel connected to people. Period.
That became my new holiday rule and for the most part I've followed it ever since. If I can't find a gift for someone special, I don't panic. I relax and allow the right gift to find me. Sometimes I've written love letters to family members or a "Top Ten Reasons Why I Adore You" list for Michael (who's always been tough to buy for). I also stopped attending events that left me feeling exhausted, over stimulated, or empty because I couldn't have a conversation deeper than the latest Hollywood scandal.
Today I want depth. I want soulful connection. I want to be able to communicate more from my heart than my head. And I want laughter. Lots of joyful, gut-busting laughter.
That's what I want for you, too. I want you to truly enjoy your holidays. Not because you finally got everything done or received the perfect gift, but because you actually showed up for the days that make up the next two weeks.
Happy Holidays to you from me, Michael, and our sweet little, Poupon ?.
Take Action Challenge
If you were to make your own new holiday rule, what rule would you set? Now's the time, my friends...
(If you intend to participate in our new Movers & Shakers program next year in San Francisco or Boston, you might want to take advantage of the early bird special where you can save $100 off of the admission price if you register by 12/31/09)