Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Over the River and Through the Snow "

The traditions of many during the upcoming holidays are in full swing with anticipation of family and friends arriving to be together. My preparations have started with decorating, baking cookies and preparing for family and friends to join in the celebration of the season! Amazing how much energy rises when after working all day there is more energy available to get many traditions in order and baking done.

Tonight was the decorating of the Christmas tree. This is always done with traditional Christmas songs in the background. Yes, I tend to get a little excited and sing at the top of my lungs when Jingle Bells starts playing!
For me, the tree trimming is special and the awakening of the holiday season for me. It's fun to sing, dance around the tree, realize the plug for the lights is not where it should be along with all the special ornaments gathered from travels over the years. There is no age when it comes to the holiday season, it's a magical time of all that is good, loving with beautiful decor. The Season to remind us that all things are possible!

Placing the last glass ornament on the tree, inside a tiny village set back in an era of long ago. Admiring this work of art my thoughts immediately without hesitation went directly to Christmas in a small town of Parker, Pa. A small town where each Christmas morning we would pack up and drive two hours, regardless of the weather, to our grandparents. There we were greeted by family congregated in the kitchen and the aroma of a turkey in the oven.  Running to greet them and then off to the living room where, at that time, seemed like the biggest decorated Christmas Tree ever seen! The evening brought the light glistening off the snow and the wind blowing the snow around the street lights adorned with red bows. The memory warmed my heart, made me smile as I positioned the glass ornament just perfect on the branch and came back into the moment.

Yes, I have been told that our recollections of past are typically selective. Perhaps that is true, but why not recall the most endearing and happy memories? 

The images that even today make us feel safe, comfort and full of life.

My belief is that there is no need to feed into anything other than making each day "The Best Day Ever" and allowing what does not work for me to be released and not stick around. So regardless of what transpires remember nothing is perfect. But it is with what intention and what response that allows for the memory to be crystallized. 

Time for me now to enjoy the memory making of this blessed holiday. New memories that one day may be remembered by a younger generation. Memories of family, laughter, traditions, stories of relatives long gone but never forgotten. Appreciating all that has allowed us to be in this moment.

May the memories open our hearts to be reminded of a child like wonder, when everything seemed magical, carefree with all things possible. Tis the season for miracles, magic and love! 

May the love begin within and expand out to touch and reach all that are in need of receiving. cl

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season!  
My gratitude and appreciation for each of you!
Thank you for your encouragement, words of support and friendship over the years!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Packages of Love

Beautiful colors, shimmering lights, festive activities with the sounds and smells of the holiday season!
There is the hustle and bustle of creating our space to reflect our traditions and our inner most memories and feelings of the season. Add in creation of our own traditions blended and intertwined with our past memories and experiences.

While each of us creates our own holiday space it is impossible not to think of our memories as children. Oh the laughter, fun and memories of holidays gone by along with the recent memories each of us has created as adults or perhaps with our own families.

The marketing aspect of the holidays seems to lengthen the time of year which shines a light on this season.
A light that for some is painful and not appreciated as their spirit is still and quiet. There can be many reasons for the lack of enthusiasm for celebrating the Holiday Season. Life's changes are typically a common theme.

When there is a life change, newlyweds to parents, college bound children, loss of a parent or loved one as a few examples. Our new chapter may not be comfortable may even be a little frightening or cause us sadness. The separation or sense of loss is great and may find ourselves trying to recapture or recreate to lessen the sadness or pain. Everything seems to be as tight as a ball of yarn, feeling safe with the encompassing perceived shield. But is it really? Is there really a need to be wound so tight?

Though life changes are a  natural evolution it still is hard and we need to be reminded to be gentle with ourselves. Allow the emotions to rise and take action where it makes sense and is appropriate.

My mom loved Christmas, she had so many of those bright sparkling sweaters, decorated everything around her along with singing every holiday song written. She wrapped each gift with love from the time all of her children were toddlers all the way through adulthood. Each year mom would watch "It's a Wonderful Life". My mom lived her life each day as being wonderful, but during the season she was more glowing than any other time of the year. For many years I was blessed to have family in my home celebrating and creating new adult memories of family and Christmas. When my mom was killed in 2003 the magic seemed to dim. For a few years the holidays were just "going through the motions", enjoying family but there was an inner sadness.
I felt, or thought, that I needed to create just the same experience my mom and dad had created for me, for all of us. Oh what an inner struggle and disappointment when things just didn't work out the same!

Tired of disappointment and wanting to celebrate rather than recreate, I ignited my inner self and took control of this change. "Our Self is the foundation and core to all the surrounding elements that are integral to our lives- including the holidays".

Celebrating life and yes, the holidays, the focus is on the people around me, where I am and those I love. Celebrating and Creating new traditions, new experiences, cooking different foods. Oh most definitely celebrating the memories and all those who helped create such memories that are strong and withstand time.
Is everything perfect or as I planned? Absolutely not, but it is perfect in how it is allowed to unfold! Just the perfect memory with sometimes a lot of laughter, rolling eyes and a whole lot of fun!

Time to me now to remind you to love yourself, release all fears, loosen up the twine that is tightly wrapped.
and begin to live in the "day", appreciating what is within and around you and to begin to create loving and precious memories each living day!

"An Action executed Today, Creates Memories for a Life-time"  Cindy lake

During the remainder of the preparation for the upcoming holiday, may each day expand the joy of appreciating self, those around us and sharing the expression of love and gentle spirit.

excerpts taken from Double Stixs ™ : The Nourishment and Gift of Change  pages 25-31
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