Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the approaching holiday season? Do you find yourself wishing you could escape all the frenzy?
Here’s my delicious recipe on how to let go of holiday stress, so that you can truly enjoy the spirit of the season.
The way I love to cook is to get inspired by the ingredients I find in the fridge, the garden and in our pantry. That’s why I always like to have a well-stocked kitchen. Once I have chosen the vegetables, legumes and grains, I get into a kind of zone where things seem to happen organically. My favourite part is adding the spices one by one. To me, the flavour is the essence or the soul of the dish. It’s what makes the dinner so delicious and memorable and it is therefore the most magical aspect of cooking. Soon the soup is simmering on the stove and wonderful scents are wafting from the kitchen, filling our home with mouth watering aroma.
As the holiday season is fast approaching, there is a distinct lack of flavour in all the rushing I witness. All the busyness leading up to the holiday celebration is lacking soul. The media does such a good job convincing us that the more we buy, the happier we will feel. It’s so easy to get swept up in the frenzy. We forget that all the trim, colour coordinated napkins and piles of gifts are not what make the celebration joyful and memorable.
Fortunately, just like adding spices to the soup, you can deliberately choose the flavour you want to bring to this season. What kind of atmosphere do you most wish to experience?
The good news is that you already carry the seed for very special human qualities within you to create the atmosphere you long for most. All it takes is to deliberately cultivate these qualities.
Here’s how to let go of holiday stress and deliberately spice up your season:
- Imagine you are standing in front of a spice rack. However, instead of the usual labels such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, this spice rack contains little jars filled with special human qualities. As you marvel at the sight, you notice that one contains love, another collaboration, yet another one is filled with compassion. A little jar filled with playfulness is bouncing up and down on the spice rack, peace is sitting next to it calmly, and joy is glowing brightly with an infectious smile. What other special human qualities do you find in your ‘flavour’ spice rack?
- Now ask yourself: “Which flavours would most serve me in cooking up a season that truly feeds my soul?”
- Take your time, tasting each flavour you feel attracted to. Notice the quality of your breath, your posture, your body sensations and your feelings as you taste the different flavours. Ask yourself: “What might be possible, if I deliberately flavoured my days with ____ (special quality of choice) this season?”
- Choose the flavours that serve you the most and create little reminders for yourself. These could be words or images that help you reconnect with your intentional flavour every day. Sprinkle them around the house as you would with special Christmas decoration. You may also want to put them on your phone, your computer screen and on the dashboard of your car. Truly surround yourself with the aroma of your special holiday spices.
In spite of your best intentions and your lovely reminders, you may still get caught in frenzy from time to time. I know I do. However, as soon as you notice, you can take a step back and take a deep breath. Breathe in a whiff of one of your chosen flavours. As you breathe out, notice this special flavour spreading around you, enveloping you like an aromatic cloud. With each breath you release stress and receive support.
As you come back to the task at hand, ask yourself: “Will this task serve me in creating the experience I truly want this season?” If so, enjoy doing it with heart and soul, supported by your special flavour. If not, let it go. Enjoy the sense of freedom and confidence that comes from learning how to let go of holiday stress this season. Here’s to you cooking up a truly special season that feeds your soul.
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