by Jeff Gero, Ph.D.
The holiday season is upon us with its joys, celebrations and hopes for a better future. But the holidays can also be hectic and stressful with painful memories and regrets as the year draws to a close. Here are some suggestions to help you navigate these choppy waters naturally.
Do not judge, blame or criticize
We should not judge people, because that separates us from them. When the ego is running the show, it wants to be right and we lose our loving connection to others. We are much more than our ego, yet it takes over without us realizing it. We cannot utilize our open heart power when the ego rules. Maintain a space within yourself where you are peaceful and centered. It’s not what happens to us in life, but how we react to a situation. As Mother Teresa says, “ If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
Release unproductive beliefs
Beliefs create thoughts, thoughts create feelings and feelings create actions. So it seems reasonable to think that if we change our beliefs, then we will change our life. With our thoughts we create our world. We become what we think about, so we need to first change the way we think. The first step to becoming aware of what we are thinking is to observe our mind. Begin by following your breath with your mind. As thoughts pop up into awareness, your challenge is to observe, release and then go back to following your breath. Try it.
Meditate: learn to live in the moment
Meditation relaxes and frees the meditator’s mind from their past automatic programming, while allowing a fresh new perspective to appear. We eventually become comfortable not thinking. We enter the realm of all possibilities with no limitations. Here we connect with our spiritual self. Free of all thoughts. It takes consistent work and persistence, yet it is worth it. No drugs or stimulants are needed. Repeat the mantra I AM, which brings us into the present moment.
The term detachment means we are self-contained, have well-defined boundaries and we are able to think and act objectively, clearly and responsibly. This does not mean we are cold and uncaring. Rather we do not get hooked into the thoughts, feelings and actions of others. We are able to view our experiences from an objective perspective. We are not manipulated and do not allow others to pull us into a negative space, yet feel compassion for others while holding back from the need to rescue, save, or fix another person.
Trust in the process of life
Trust is believing and having faith in what we want to happen. Be positive and confident that life will give us what we expect. Release all fears based on past history. The past only exists in our mind. Trust is the most important factor to create the reality we desire. Many people have fear of the future, which causes a wide variety of difficulties. We bring about what we think about.
Be good to yourself
Upon awakening, focus on the feeling of love. Think about an animal, person or experience. Breathe in love, breathe out love. Love yourself by giving to yourself and doing those things that make you feel complete. Within you are the feelings of peace, joy and happiness. That’s where the truth exists. Have fun by honoring your childlike nature. Enjoy nature, spend time with good friends, be kind and positive to yourself and others, acknowledge your efforts, forgive yourself, express gratitude, and look for the beauty and growth in all situations.
Flow with change
Change is the act of making or becoming different, to alter, refine or revise, to transform. The skills necessary to turn change into personal opportunity begin with the ability to break free of the old way of seeing things and look at them in a new way. Change is a constant in our lives. There is no such thing as change for the worse. When change occurs, you can be sure things are happening for the better. It may not look that way at first, but if you wait a while and have faith in the process, you will see that this is true. Lighten up, laugh and have fun. Life is like a wave having its up and downs; so become an expert surfer.
Have an attitude of gratitude
Having an attitude of gratitude means we focus our consciousness on our heart and look for the good aspects of all situations. Recognizing the blessings in our life increases our awareness and appreciation. Learning to appreciate what we have also makes life more valuable and meaningful. A woman once went to her guru and asked him to take away her pain from losing a child. He said, “Your pain is not for me to take away, but for you to release.” Pain is inevitable. Suffering is a choice.
Don’t believe everything you think
Our minds are wonderful for solving problems, putting things in order, getting the job done, while also making sense of our daily reality. The mind is a reasoning machine that likes to keep us busy ruminating on the past and figuring out the future. It’s our job to train our mind to focus on those thoughts that serve us and not attach to the negative thoughts of perpetual desires, worry and fear. Don’t take your thoughts seriously. Being able to see your mind means you’re more than your thoughts.
Wishing you peace, laughter, beauty, love and growth.
Dr. Jeff Gero is a meditation teacher, psychotherapist and stress management specialist. He is also a personal and corporate coach helping people achieve more success with less stress, and coaches athletes to enhance their performance. In his book, Secrets to Success at Work, Dr. Gero uses his unique ability to weave vital success principles into a delightful story. He can be reached in Westlake Village, California at 818 879-1373, or www.jeffgero.com