Sunday, December 23, 2007

The 10th day of Christmas... QT

Hopefully you've arrived at your destination (if you're traveling this season), having offset your footprint with my favorite organization: (key - the dot org, and you've come bearing some thoughtful gifts either baked, homemade or bought locally, wrapped in the Sunday comics. You're so green you feel like Kermit!

Now it's time for some Buddha mind and Buddha body. The idea: sharing quality time with yourself and others around the holidays. The reality: reliving old patterns from a shared history of dysfunction.

Ok. That was really cynical. But let's face it, one of the biggest challenges to staying present in the moment is when we are sharing four walls with people who have known us our whole lives (family). It was Ram Dass who said, "If you think you are enlightened, go spend a week with your family."

So my best advice: if you can, hang with the younger crowd. My kids have been my best teachers in living in the NOW. They live every second for exactly what it is. They won't let you leap to the future (me: "Ok. I need to go start the dinner now" Kids: "no you don't. Keep playing with us!") I'm famous for telling my son what we've planned for the day when I still have my pajamas on. By the time I'm finished with my sentence, he's halfway out the door. Ready to go.

Second piece: give yourself and others space. When your sister-in-law makes that backdoor comment about your cooking that you knew was coming try something totally new: non-reaction. See what happens. More often than not, it works like a mirror for the person, and will likely cause a realization of the negatively-charged nature of the comment. You may even hear your sister-in-law apologize! Seriously, try it.

Also, if you can, take a few moments (in a spare bedroom, outside, in the car) to find stillness. Check in with your body. Cleanse it with some deep breaths. Return to yourself.

On the 10th day of Christmas, the best gift is conscious breathing.


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