There are three essential ingredients for cultivating a holiday season full of inner ease:
Ingredient #1: Practice “futurizing” with me right now – Imagine an unpleasant or difficult circumstance that you anticipate could happen during your holiday experience. Perhaps an unpleasant experience with another person, like a relative. Or the difficult sadness of not being with people you love during the holidays. Or the experience of unpleasant emotions, like anxiety, overwhelm, anger, loneliness, hurt, etc. Or the unpleasant challenges of traveling, shopping, entertaining, etc. Just choose one unpleasant experience that you anticipate and imagine it is happening right now.
Ingredient #2: As you imagine this unpleasant experience, ask yourself –
How could I experience this moment and access inner ease at the same time?
This potent question invites you to make the U-turn back inside yourself, especially when holiday circumstances are unpleasant or difficult, and access curiosity about what IS possible inside you in THIS moment.
This question can remind you what inner ease really means –
Inner Ease: an experience within you of being curious, calm, relaxed and peaceful . . . independent of circumstances.
This question can remind you that in any given moment, you have a choice.
Do you let the unpleasant difficulties of the holiday season trigger you to become more tense, hardened, judgmental, aversive or avoidant?
When the unpleasant difficulties of the holiday season arise can you practice making the U-turn back inside yourself and access inner ease, curiosity, calm, openness, kindness, wisdom and compassion?
Ingredient #3: Remember to Remember. Practicing with ingredients #1 and #2 before an anticipated unpleasant experience is the training ground for remembering to ask yourself the question in the moment when you need it most.
Of course, we can’t anticipate and practice before all the unpleasant holiday moments, so what reminders can you create to help you remember this most potent on-the-spot inquiry so you can ask yourself frequently throughout the upcoming days:
How can I experience this moment and access inner ease at the same time?
Can you write this question on a sticky note and strategically post it where you will see it often? Can you set up a reminder on your mobile phone with this question? Can you share this practice with a supportive person in your life so you can be gentle reminders for each other of your intentions to practice this question?
May you use this recipe generously during the holidays to access your innate capacity for ease, wisdom, kindness and love.
Let’s get ready for the holidays together! Join me on Sunday, November 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to experience how the holiday season can be an opportunity to practice emotional balance, calm strength, inner ease and joyful love. Pre-registration is required. Tuition is $125. Pre-register now by clicking on my email address: Karen@KarenSothers.com