JOY to You and Me
Welcome to the best time of the year! In the past, I have fallen into the December habit of taking stock of the year, and making plans for the "clean slate" of the January to come. While goal-setting and future planning are certainly commendable, looking back, I see that they caused me to fall into an old diet-mentality pitfall of using December to "go all out" and "live it up" mindlessly before the deprivation of January 1 began.
My old self would overindulge on every treat in sight, as if it were the last time I'd ever enjoy anything ever again. The sad part is that I never really enjoyed what was supposed to be something special. There was always the feeling of guilt or shame or embarrassment behind it. Worse still, I would be so consumed with those negative emotions, that I would miss opportunities to appreciate other, much more joyful aspects of the season.
The point of the holidays, and of living in general, I believe is to feel real, true, honest JOY around whatever it is that we are doing. We can start to really get in touch with where our emotions are around our choices to seehow close we are to JOY - if it isn't bringing your mood up, it just might be bringing you down. I realize now that I didn't value myself enough to go out of my way to choose happiness over the lower emotions that weren't serving me at all.
Of course, when we start to eat cleaner, our thoughts become more pure and it is easier to feel good and to stay in the JOY. Keep it simple: eat real food (that grows in the ground or walked around) and save the holiday indulgences for a moment that you can truly enJOY them :)
This holiday season, let's all commit to putting some real JOY into the shopping, cooking, decorating, eating, celebrating, etc. by focusing on how we are feeling in the moment. If a negative feeling arises, get your head out of there and onto something that feels better. (Finding something to be grateful for usually helps here).
It's not difficult to make JOY a priority for you when you add in little upgrades one at a time. The best part is the ripple effect - everything in your life is better when you focus on JOY - including things that might otherwise be stressful. It is almost too simple: take care of your emotional self first and watch everything else in your life fall into a more joyful place. Isn't that really what the holidays are all about?