Dear Beloved Human Being with a Heart of Gold who is feeling the stress of the holiday season:
Your expectations are too high.
You expect too much of yourself all the time – but at this time of year, your expectations about what ‘the holidays should be like’ are massaged to a frenzy by merchants and the media.
Which plays into your sense of lack and emptiness.
It triggers you.
It makes you blind to what is really here.
Come and sit with me. Yes, just for a moment – set that tinsel garland down. Here’s some tea. I have some truth to tell you.
1) You cannot do it all.
You cannot have it all. I’m sorry. You just can’t. And the idea that you’re supposed to – well, that’s a lie. Even though it seems like the whole culture is telling it. It’s still a lie.
No one can do it all. That is why the people who seem to have it all also have a staff. Elves, assistants, a ‘team’. Do what you can. Do what you care about. For that, see item 2.
2) You will never be able to make every person you love happy
– not on Christmas morning (or any other morning.) The good news is: you’re not supposed to. Your job is to make YOU happy. Even if you’re a parent – in which case your job is to teach your kids to make themselves happy. Everyone on your list is responsible for their own happiness.
So, drop every thread that isn’t yours and focus only on what brings you joy. When you do, you’re giving everyone around you the same gift: self happi-fication.
3) You will never have a Christmas living room (or tree) like the one in that magazine. Just like every other magazine model, that spread took 20 people two weeks to dress and trim and light and photoshop.
4) If you attempt to:
a) do it all
b) make everyone happy
c) make everything perfect
you will work yourself into a Christmas Eve crisis which can only result in:
i) a scene – fueled by your complete meltdown into tears and overwhelm as you attempt to live up to a standard that no human being could ever hope to achieve.
ii) the flu – as your squashed needs come out as symptoms
iii) disappointment – yours (and theirs)
Let yourself off the hook of perfection.
Challenge (gently but firmly) the voice that tells you what you’ve got (or who you are) isn’t good enough…
… Look again.
Look as if you were looking through the eyes of LOVE itself. Or as if LOVE were looking through yours.
What would LOVE make of this – of you, doing your best?
What would LOVE make of your partner, your child, your living room?
Can you let go of the story that your life is not as good as the lives you see on TV – the lives that other imaginary people in living rooms that don’t exist are having without you?
Can you turn to look – through the eyes of love – at the life you already have.
Here are some of the things I’ve loved this week.
Take a trip with the gypsies on Julie Petulengro’s charming autobiographical blog
I’m Fine, Thanks.
Stuck? Watch this film. It is brilliant. It is moving. It made me want to get up and do all the things that I put off – all the things where I say, “I’ll get to that someday…” This film made me want to do those things NOW.
Living with Fire and Desire
Jonathan Fields puts Danielle LaPorte on his ‘The Good Life Project’ sofa
What to do if your writing feels fake
Priceless writing advice from Sarah Selecky that applies to all things – life, love, work, health.
What is “real” about Christmas?
A “blessed yes” from Ronna Detrick
Here’s How Elizabeth Gilbert (Bestselling Author of Eat, Pray, Love) Writes
A peek inside the best-selling author’s life – and her home office. It’s nice.
A powerful article challenging us to rise above the stories we are fed by the media
Got a son? Watch this and help save the world:
They Asked If She Had Anything Else She Wanted to Say to the Audience. That’s When She Took It Home.
Unlocking Your Future Creative Potential!
Brilliant and fun newsletter from Intuitive Astrologer Robert Ohotto:
Unraveling the Year Ahead, 2014 calendar and workbook
I always look forward to this =generous gift from Susannah Conway
Incredu-licious background noise and color generator – perfect for working and relaxing at the same time
What Would I Say?
A weirdly satisfying and amusing Facebook app that my daughter and I played with
More from our beautiful Soul Callers!
Soul Caller Lauren Bacon and the soulful Tanya Geisler came together to help you consider what it is that you want to be – and what you want to worship
I am deeply moved by this beautiful story of heartbreak and redemption
Claire Lopez was down to the wire in a training program that required her to make 100 contacts or be booted from the group. What she did inspired the heck out of herself – and me too! BOLD Choices.
Let’s help Bo Mackison get launched: and be sure to sign up for her free e-course, the Gifts of the Desert.
And from me…
My book. Free, until 12/31. Enter this code: ALICE.
Join me for…
Twitter #SoulCall – an open conversation about living a spiritual life in a material world. Sunday mornings at 10 am/ET. All are welcome – simply log into Twitter, search the hashtag and jump in!
The Soul Caller Sanctuary: Meditation, contemplation, discussion.
I wish you light.