by Dr. Connie Hernandez, ND
In this strange holiday season, many of us are bound to be feeling alone, isolated from our friends and families, and more than a little unsure about the future.
Family celebrations and worship services on ZOOM, FaceTime, or Vimeo just aren’t the same. Add: no office parties, no restaurant meals, no binge shopping in crowded malls, or Santa consultations for the little ones.
Holidays in general tend to bring up the contrast between the way things are and the way we’d like them to be.
This year I’ve heard lots of people wishing the situation were different. But reality is what it is, and the more we resist, the unhappier we’ll be.
When our son attended Living Wisdom School he was blessed to learn a set of life principles that can serve us all as precious guidelines for this moment.
A cardinal rule was “Choose Happiness.”
The idea, of course, is that happiness is a choice. Also, that Happiness doesn’t depend on our outward circumstances. Happiness comes by accepting the reality of our lives and learning to be happy within that reality.
It takes more than passive acceptance – simply lying back and letting reality roll over us doesn’t work. It takes dynamic energy to change our inner state.
How can we choose to be happy this Holiday Season?
The Living Wisdom School guidelines give us the answer: Practice Kindness.
Why? Because Giving kindness creates happiness within us.
What can you offer to help someone in small or large ways? How can you create a positive environment for others? Being isolated doesn’t preclude celebrating with festive decorations, special foods, gift giving, and uplifting holiday music.
Practice the peace and harmony prayer:
“Lord, fill me with peace and harmony, peace and harmony.”
“Lord, fill (name of person) with peace and harmony, peace and harmony.”
You’ll find yourself feeling happier as you set your situation temporarily aside and send others your blessings, placing their needs before your own.
Connecting with loved ones remotely will never be the same, but ZOOM and FaceTime do offer face-to-face contact and can be creative, meaningful and fun.
Dr. Marcel and I officiated at a ZOOM wedding where the guests connected with each other, shed a tear over the ritual, danced to wedding music, and felt thoroughly included.
You might hold a celebration that lets people express their gratitude and share their stories, songs, or poems.
While you’re seeking the joy within, you might want to consider putting the “holy” back in the holidays.
You can go online and tap into the many inspirational offerings that allow housebound people to enjoy the sounds and services of the season. (See my recommendation for a Christmas Eve service below.)
Spend time in contemplation and meditation. Bring the quality of joy into your meditations. Incorporate readings and visualizations, affirmations, and chanting.
By expanding your reality you may actually find yourself feeling grateful for the inspiration that this very unusual season has presented us, including the opportunity to create more meaningful holiday traditions.
A final note: Long-time readers of Pacific Naturopathic Newsletter know that Dr. Connie and Dr. Marcel follow the spiritual path of Self-Realization as brought into consciousness by Paramhansa Yogananda and offered through Ananda. Christmas Eve service this year will be offered via Zoom on Thursday, December 24, from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Click here for more information.