As we hurry during this season of holidays, gatherings, and family commitments, it is easy to get caught up in an endless bustle of expectations to fill – people to please; gifts, meals, and visits to make. We stop living in the moment and truly experiencing what we are doing or feeling. I’ve been making it a practice to spend some part of each day this season to relish what is right in front of me and fully immerse myself in that moment. It might be a short blip or a longer period of time but I want to savor that moment and embed its meaning into my heart.
I am sharing a few of these experiences with you in the hopes of encouraging you to also find daily ways to bring meaning into your heart during the holiday season.
Yesterday I spent 30 minutes looking at the ladybugs that appear on my windows when the sun is just right. In the winter, there are only a few. Yesterday my 2 ½ year old grandson was with me. This was the first time he had examined these harbingers of good luck. We watched them crawl along; move towards and away from each other; and then hide in the sides of the window frame. They love finding warm cozy spaces to hibernate over the winter. My grandson and I had a joyous half an hour focusing on these spotted red bugs. We coaxed a few to come crawl on our bare feet and rejoiced when they spread their wings and flew onto our legs or arms. We admired their unique spots, each different but still entrancing. By the end of this shared interlude, “lady bug” had become a favorite word for my grandson.
I love walking outside in the colder weather. Over the years I have collected the perfect combination of pants, sweaters, jackets, headbands, and gloves so I can stay warm enough. I love seeing the bare branches of the trees as much as I love the seasonal changes of the leaves. What gives me a sense of wonder during winter forest walks is being able to clearly observe the structure of the trunks and branches of the trees.
My particular favorite is a stand of birches. They are so sturdy looking, but also flexible and able to flow with the shifting winds. Their bark shimmers in the sunlight in places, yet holds sections of darker shadows so that the trunk surfaces appear deeply textured. I notice how they group together and I imagine their intermingled roots communicating underground. Then I envision all that is surrounding the roots – the mycelium that spreads out even farther than the birch roots, connecting up disparate parts of the forest to each other. It makes me reflect on the networks that abound throughout nature. I remember that I am part of that networking of nature and also in my human relationships.
Gazing into the eyes of a new born, I am prone to becoming hypnotized. I remember that my own newly born children seemed to be emanating such wisdom when they stared at my own eyes or just beyond the edge of my face. What were they thinking? They seemed unshielded, allowing me to truly see who they were. They had yet to learn to hide part of themselves and I was given an honest and deep glimpse into their souls.
Nowadays we are wearing masks and can’t see half of our faces when we meet out in public. The eyes must take the place of our facial expressions in order to communicate basic emotional responses. Because of this, are we learning to disarm the barriers we have erected? So that we can communicate more clearly with our eyes? Are we being forced to really look into the eyes of others in a way that we have habitually not as we became socialized? I’m enjoying observing the eyes of others more deeply these days. They have so much to say.
As I put on my claret-colored fleece and zip it up, I instantly feel warm and comforted. I appreciate this article of clothing for its beauty, durability, and symbolism. I have no other clothing quite the color of it, so it feels unique. I bought it many years ago when it felt like an extremely extravagant purchase. I was in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho on a hiking trip with my best friend. I saw it in a small coffee shop with a sideline of hiking apparel and instantly wanted it. But I didn’t think I could spare the money nor did I think I deserved it. I was a single mom with little extra cash and the hiking trip was already a stretch for my budget.
How dare I buy this beautiful fleece for myself? My friend, who understand my predicament and knew how hard it was for me to do so, urged me, in the most loving way, to consider making this a gift for myself. Thankfully I was convinced and this fleece has accompanied me on many other adventures through the years. There is still a moment when I remember the loving kindness from my friend, each time I slip it on.
Wishing you the very best holiday season!
Sheila Peters helps clients and students regain their natural flow of energy and increase wellness through techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine, shamanic practices, reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, intuition/channeling and movement. For more information, email Sheila at: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.
© 2021 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.