When I think of Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kawnzza, I think of connection.
Connection to family and friends near and far.
Connection to ourselves and our inner wisdom.
Connection to our country and our world, to something greater than ourselves, the Universe, God, Goddess, The Thing Itself…
Unfortunately, we can’t get to connection if we don’t set our intention to go there.
Over the years, the holidays have been both beautiful and difficult at varying times for me…
I remember the year after my mother passed away we were having Christmas as a family. My brother Arthur and I had arranged create the Christmas meal for the family.
Since I live quite a drive away from my father’s house, I was staying overnight. In the morning, I was in the kitchen preparing a fabulous cranberry/tangerine sauce. My father walked in and said, “You’d better finish up so that Arthur get in here to fix dinner.”
This might not have been a huge deal except that my father and I have had a rocky relationship for many years.
His simple words made me immediately feel like bursting into tears, and that I shouldn’t have even come. I turned the burner down and left the room.
The only thing I could think to do was to lock myself in the bathroom. I doubt anybody even noticed, but I knew I had to get out of the room or we would go down the path of anger and hurt feelings that we’ve gone down over and over again.
I sat there in the bathroom and knew I was at a fork in the road. I knew I didn’t want another horrific fight with my dad. Christmas was hard enough without my mother, and I just couldn’t stand the idea of fighting with my father again.
So there in the bathroom I paused. I took some deep breaths. And then I thought about the kind of experience that I wanted to have.
What I truly wanted was a Christmas with my family that was filled with love and connection. I wanted to fill the hole that the loss of my mother had left on all of us. I wanted a balm on my broken heart.
I decided that I needed to, and that I could, let go of what my father had said.
That I could reinterpret his words differently than I’d ever done.
I could think that my father’s words were not aimed at me or meant as a barb. They were just words said with enthusiasm about the coming dinner. This was just as true as thinking he didn’t love me. I knew I had a choice. I also knew that I had to make a better choice than I’d made before.
I sat there in the bathroom and intentionally thought about love. And the more I thought about love, the more I began to feel it. The more I felt love, the easier it was to begin to imagine this Christmas being different.
I set my intention to focus on love with my husband, brothers, sister-in-law, nephew, and father.
I spent about 10 minutes envisioning the experience I wanted with my family and most especially my father. Breathing and connecting myself to the love that I wanted to be experiencing.
Breathing and feeling love in every cell of my body. Breathing and sending love to my family. Breathing and sending love to my father.
And then I went to the kitchen and finished making my delicious cranberry/tangerine sauce. Arthur and I cooked together. We had a sweet gathering.
That night when I laid my head on the pillow, smiling as I drifted off to sleep, I thought, “That was exactly the experience I wanted.”
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO CREATE THE EXPERIENCES YOU WANT…
Know that you have a choice about every experience that comes your way.
It may take a few minutes to orient yourself so you can make the best of the situation, and you can do it. You do have a choice.
However you’ve been spending the holidays, I invite you to set your intention on what you want to experience instead of what you don’t want.
Even if it’s been a bit rocky, you can give yourself a time out, breathe and focus on what you want to experience instead.
When you get the image, imagine being inside of that desired image feeling, seeing, and hearing what it’s like to be fully experiencing it the way you want it to be.
Things will start to turn around and move in the direction of what you desire. Especially when you’re feeling the good feelings that you desire. They become like a magnet drawing the experience you want into your life. You are a powerful creator.
And love the ones you’re with… even if it’s just yourself. In every moment you can set a new intention and make the best of whatever is coming your way.
Try this, and you just might find that it feels good, and that it’s nice to know you have a choice. It will also help you to know that you can create more of what you truly desire in your life.
May your holiday season be filled with sweet connections, much love, and delicious laughter!