What I don’t like about Christmas or Valentine’s, is it’s crammed into one day then abandoned for the rest of the year.
It defeats the purpose behind the day. Christmas and Valentine’s need to be practiced daily. Especially with the shit show, we continue to go through with the pandemic. We don’t need the decorations, but the spirit of Love, generosity and gratitude should be consistent in our daily diet. It’s nothing more than a choice, but for some insane reason, we select one day to experience its sweetness instead of 365. It’s like we’re terrified of Love and all that it can bring to us.
The pandemic had everyone believing we were in this together but that only lasted a few weeks. Today there are cavernous wedges between so many that it hardly reflects the season’s essence.
I recently got engaged by the HBO show Succession, an entertaining series based on illusion. There is not one character in that series that has any virtue. They are all despicable, morally bankrupt, and fantastic characters demonstrating what it’s like to be their ego’s bitch on their quest for power and money. They’re bankrupt concerning Love, integrity, family, and loyalty. Each character is hauling a trailer truck of hell behind them. If Hamlet knew them, he’d put them all out of their misery. They move through their situations void of conviction, hating themselves and each other. To focus on all the wrong stuff is to deplete oneself of pure life force.
What is lacking in that series is gratitude. That’s what ties Christmas and Valentine’s into every day of the year for me. But gratitude can be hard to find when you’re in the middle of a shit show. Therein lays its secret. If you can find gratitude while the world around you appears to be in upheaval, then grab those brown guru robes and the accompanying sandals because, baby, you found the key to happiness. Your reality and what shows up for you will differ from others because you’re plugging into a distinct frequency. There are only two bubbles outside prosecco bubbles, fear or Love. The fear bubble will swallow you as you immerse yourself in your pity party, leaving you feeling like crap. The love bubble is where you take a colossal exhalation followed by a deep trusting all embodying inhalation leaving you feeling like you’re floating. And no, you can’t buy that sensation at your local cannabis store. You’ve got to earn it by working at it daily so it can become a permanent, sustainable high.
For many, this festive season will mean gifts, family and food. To feel fulfilled goes beyond all of that. An intoxicating peace brings with it unimaginable blessings and gratitude. Unlike impenetrable things, gratitude, much like forgiveness, transcends everything. It seeps in like the sun through cracks on an early morning, bringing with it the light of day, like a warm Christmas kiss.
I have experienced days of gratitude so powerful that you’d think speed is running through my veins. A profoundly intense and euphoric feeling of Oneness with the Universe. On the other hand, my ego, a premium asshole, takes an accounting of such threatening events committed to building a mote around itself because its very survival depends on separation. Exactly what we don’t need. The infamous family called the ‘Jones’s’ brought great traction to the ego. Keeping up with them being ego’s favourite pastime.
Gratitude could care less. Isn’t Christmas and Valentine’s supposed to be about surrendering to light, Love and that beautiful spirit we all have within ourselves? Whatever kindness we put out comes back tenfold, an investment they don’t teach you about in school but should. Those twinkle lights we typically associate with the tree, decorations and bling appear exponentially more powerful in our eyes, kind words that fall off our lips and listening lovingly to others. The fact remains, we are one human family, so we best accept that truth.
The season isn’t about gifts, but that remains its anchor. It’s about the practice of giving. It’s about Love, family and all things that speak to the heart. What do you give someone who is a gift in your life? You give them your Love not just one day but all 365 days of the year. Be patient when they’re frustrated. Provide a shoulder when they need one, and pick your battles. Being happy over being right is the secret. Besides, when you’re on a journey of expansion, there is no right or wrong anyway. Both have their opposite sides making them the same. Satisfying the heart instead of the mind is the only way to go. Living from this perspective makes you desire Christmas daily.
This year I had moments where I wanted to write a fuck off and die letter to the Universe. Reluctantly sparring with life and declaring, “come on!” And that wasn’t only my year but that of many others. I now call that surrender, and it’s sweeter than any Christmas candy cane. It breaks us free from frustrations and creates a space for thankfulness to occupy. We have to stop looking at struggles as unfavourable and see them instead as a sign to relinquish our perceived power and let the Universe carry it the rest of the way.
Gratitude is a double edge sword. If you can find it despite all the distractions blocking it, you’ll be rewarded with peace and a delirious sense of calmness for all that life has to offer. If you can’t, then you’re stuck in a dark abyss that has no way out except to find gratitude. So your choices are limited, but your outcomes are bright.
There is nothing that gratitude can’t bring peace to and penetrate through. If there’s a mountain, gratitude will let you walk through it. The thing that blocks it is the ever nemesising ego. It wants to stick it to everyone who it perceives has stuck it to them. The problem is when you stick it to anyone; you’re sticking it to yourself first.
Having a mindfulness practice and being okay not knowing all the answers is being present, and isn’t that the gift? Surrounded by those you love who love you back. Setting aside distractions and consciously observing one’s thoughts is a beautiful practice to have, as is listening to our body, feeling our feelings and not judging them. Acknowledging the daily wins, no matter the size and engaging in daily gentle rituals that bring us peace like a cup of tea or a stroll.
I’ve refused to make the pandemic my focus. I am grateful for the masks as it has saved a ton on lipstick, and let’s be candid, ladies, for those who have given birth having your bowels shoved somewhere they don’t reside can make you fart a silent and deadly toot without knowing it. But with a mask blocking any scent, who’s the wiser?
Christmas used to be midnight mass, but midnight and I don’t cross paths like we used to. And mass and I have bid adieu to each other opting instead for mediations and a daily practice of reflections which is gratitude at its purest form.
In the sixties, special seasonal foods were a gift growing up in our eastern European home. I found gratitude in practical gifts like underwear with all the days of the week printed on them. A poor substitution for go-go boots or some groovy version of Barbie but mocha desserts and I have built quite the camaraderie over the years.
Christmas will find me surrounded by family enveloped in a warm blanket of Love. No pomp and circumstance but lots of the important invisible stuff that even when we’re not paying attention is standing right there. We only have to open our eyes.
As you get your final fixings to mark the season, have gratitude for all you have—the Love around you, your health, the roof over your head, the whole shebang. Saying thank you to the Universe is a prayer all unto itself. I bet Santa is in gratitude for a good ole’ foot rub from Mrs. Claus upon his return, and Mrs. Claus is in appreciation for Santa’s accumulated air miles.
I’m personally grateful to you mavens and mavericks for your gift of time reading my blog posts this past year, and sprinkling your light in the different corners of your life while weeding out the crap and illusions.
I want to wish you all a sensational Christmas and holiday season. May it be filled with blessings and abundance, and may fear slip into that same abyss that a thong might at our age never to be seen again as the Love of the Universe embraces and guides you.
I wish you all the happiest of holidays and a truly divine New Year. One that doesn’t bring us back to where we’ve been but takes us to a place where we realize our magnificence.