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A Holiday Season Challenge

imgres-1I have a friend who doesn’t give Christmas gifts. The first time I gave her a gift it was met with gratitude. Then an uncomfortable feeling followed when she explained to me that she didn’t give Christmas gifts. For her, gift-giving had become a source of stress and she just gave it up. Can you imagine? It took me just a few awkward moments to discern how powerful her position was. What if we all took control of the holiday season by doing only what feeds our souls and letting go of what doesn’t?  What if we didn’t worry about what people thought about us, and whether we were meeting their expectations? What if we didn’t buy into the frenzy?

As a start, listen carefully for how many times you say to yourself, “I have to get this” or “I have to do this.” It’s pretty revealing.

We don’t stop to question cultural norms. We don’t want to upset the people in our lives or bear the brunt of their disapproval.  So we go along with what’s expected, and it often brings discontent. But what do we really have to do? Are we not powerful, creative beings? Are we not the masters and commanders of our own lives? And if we’re not, then who is? Think on this.

We can have a different experience.

Consider gifting yourself this year with feeding your soul. To that end, here’s a Christmas season challenge:

1. Live each day from now until the New Year without saying, “I have to.” Period. “I have to” energy is draining. And it’s not honest. When you hear yourself say it, stop and reflect: do you really have to, or do you choose to? Everything is a choice. You don’t have to participate in the gift exchange. You don’t have to go to the office party. You don’t have to wrap gifts. You don’t even have to go to Grandma’s house. These are all choices. Consider this: whatever you do, you have chosen to do. There is no outside person, power or tradition making you do anything. Feel the expansiveness in that. You are the master and commander of your life. So as master and commander, do what you do with joy. Do what feeds your soul and let go of what doesn’t!

Release: I release the thought that I have to do anything.

Affirm: I am the chooser in my life. What I choose to do, I do in joy.

2.  Drop any thoughts about how Christmas should be. Let go of your attachment to the outcome. Let it arise. Let go of guilt, envy or longing. Guilt, envy and longing drain you and everyone around you too. You have everything that you need within you! God doesn’t create partially. We are all One, so the blessings of others bless us all. Focus on the good you have now. Your gratitude will magnify it. Awaken to the fact that the image of the perfect family is just that, an image. If yours is dysfunctional, you have a lot of company. But if they don't empower and support you, why not spend your days with people you enjoy being with? Jesus himself reinvented the notion of family for us when he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers,” while pointing to his disciples as his family waited outside! (Luke 12:49) We should listen to him. He is the birthday boy, after all.

Release: I let go of "should be" thoughts. I release my attachment to how I think things should turn out.

Affirm: I am enough. I have everything that I need within me now. I love myself by choosing to be in places that empower and support me.

3.  Stop and be mindful of the reason for the season at least once every day. Set an alarm on your smart phone as a reminder. Christmas is about the birth of Christ consciousness within humanity. The baby Jesus ushered it in. The grown-up Jesus taught us and showed us that we hold power as the “light of the world” (Matthew 4:15). When we live truly awake to the Presence of God, we are able to let go of the past that otherwise holds us and live into what is possible. We are able to make empowering choices and stand in our Truth. We live freely and fearlessly. At least once every day, remember who you are. Make that your Christmas gift to yourself. You are the living Presence of God!

Release: The past does not hold me. I release thoughts of lack and limitation.

Affirm: I am awake to the infinite possibilities before me!  I am awake to the Christ consciousness arising in me! I am the living Presence of God!

I offer this challenge sincerely and with love. Live as Joy this holiday season, without have to's and should be's.  You are free. You are powerful. You are creative. And you deserve a happy Christmas. If you take the challenge, let me know what happens in your life. I guarantee there will be a shift - a delightful one.

“Rejoice always.” Thessalonians 5:16

If you are interested in reading other Minister blogs from Christmases past click here or here or here.

Silent Unity

UnityFM

Abundant Life Spiritual Center, affiliated with Unity Worldwide Ministries, is a non-profit corporation. All donations are tax-deductible.