This one word – GIANT – contains all of the tools that I need to experience what I am really wanting this holiday season (or actually any time of the year!).
GIANT – Gratitude, Intention, Attention and No Tension.
Take some time to complete this statement:
I love it when…
Complete this with as many things that you can think of to help you create awareness of what you love and what you are wanting during this time.
My “I love it when” responses: -I am the first one up, snuggled by the fireplace, sipping coffee, knowing everyone is sleeping soundly. -I do what I know works best for me and things are easy and fun. -I am able to enjoy the present moment with the people I love. Other gratitude prompts that come in handy when life happens: -What is perfect about this? -What is this helping me to practice? Even in challenging times, finding something to be grateful for in the learning process takes the emotional charge out of it.
Simply asking myself, “What is my intention?” is a game changer because I have to pause and really think, what is it that I want? This could be for the next five minutes, for the day, for the holiday season or for my life. It is helpful for almost everything!!
So…stop right now and ask yourself…
What is my intention? What is my desired feeling state? My intentions: -to really be in the moment with my family -to plan and prep so I am able to be in the moment -to create a warm and cozy feeling in our home -to nurture my family with home-cooked meals -to remember to give myself what I need so I can give to others I have a very clear image of what this looks like and know the feeling it creates just thinking about it. My Desired Feeling State (DSF)- I want to feel peace and joy. I want to be in the present moment even if that involves planning and prepping for a future experience. I want to feel prepared and not rushed or caught off guard. I want less physical and mental clutter and more time and space to just be.
Once I have my intention, I consider what attention I need to give to that intention in order to make it happen.
Your turn! Get a sheet of paper or notebook and jot down some of the things that you could give attention to in order to create this.
Thinking in sensory categories might be helpful. Allow yourself to really get clear on this. Invoke all of your senses and feelings.
In your mind’s eye, what does it look like, smell like, sound like, taste like, feel like?
What needs to be gathered?
Any “appointments” (i.e. – designated time scheduled on your calendar) that need to be made for special things like movies or ice skating or holiday shopping?
What can you do to make things easier for yourself?
What strategies do you know work for you in getting stuff done?
Timer? To do list? Mapping things out on a white board? Can you delegate anything? Outsource something? Not do something that you know you don’t want to do and only do out of obligation?
Personal Example: -Map out holiday meals from start to finish so I can delegate and get tasks done that can be done in advance. -Actually allow myself to sit and enjoy the present moment. (This one is usually a challenge for me as I tend to give myself tasks to do once “everything” is done.) -Email myself grocery lists so that I don’t forget anything. -Purchase gifts when I get my list from people so I don’t have to scramble at last minute or pay extra shipping charges.
Here comes a REALLY important piece to this puzzle – No Tension. This is a tough one, at least it was at first for me, particularly because I was a control freak.
Tension comes from having specific expectations about how something should be, how it should go and how people should act or behave.
The key word in all of these is “SHOULD.”
We cannot control anything or anyone. Yes, we can have an intention and give it all of the attention we think it needs AND life happens. My recommendation for when this happens?
Get curious! Be open and notice.
It is from this place of curiosity that you can best determine what you might be able to do to realign with your intention. If people cause you tension, get curious. Why are they causing this? Are you expecting them to be different from who they are? This is SO common and is a common source of unnecessary stress and frustration!!
We can want and hope for others to change and be the way that we want them to be or to be more like us and we cannot control this…one bit! Stay in your own business. I wouldn’t want someone trying to change me to be more like them so I try to be aware of my wanting to change others and work my thoughts around this. (Do you know that someone consistently triggers this in you? Let me know and I’ll get you on my calendar before the holidays to help you!)
I hope this helps you to create GIANT changes in your holiday season even if they are only minor tweaks to what you’ve done in the past.
Grateful for YOU!! xoxo Margaret
Note: I learned the phrase “Intention, Attention, No Tension” from Koelle Simpson during an Equus Workshop five years ago and I’ve been applying it to all areas of my life ever since. I decided to add “Gratitude” to this phrase because it has become a powerful tool for me in my life. Obviously I’ve known about being thankful, particularly at this time of year, however until I became a nature-based coach and learned from my mentor Michael Trotta that in native cultures, everything begins with gratitude, I never really placed a good deal of conscious attention on it in my daily life. Offering gratitude before beginning something shifts perspective immediately towards abundance and curiosity.