Photo courtesy of Peiroleo
People often ask me what the secret is to having a low-stress Christmas, and a genuinely happy new year. In this article, you’re going to discover my top three tips for enjoying the holidays and the year ahead.
Key Number 1 – Connection
Christmas is supposed to be a time of warmth, togetherness and connection with loved ones. But all too often “imposed togetherness” results in stress and conflict. Old family skeletons fall out of the closet, unrealistic expectations aren’t met and tempers get frayed. This is the result of superstitious thinking; a misunderstanding about where our feelings are coming from. It often looks like our feelings of stress are coming from our circumstances (the endless Christmas songs, the bank balance, the father-in-law) but they’re actually coming from our thinking in the moment. Feelings of warmth and connection are natural for human beings when there’s nothing in the way. And what gets in the way? Superstitious thinking; the mistaken belief that our feelings are coming from something other than our thinking. Seeing through this misunderstanding immediately starts a self-correcting process that returns us to clarity and connection.
Key Number 2 – Clarity
Clarity is a kind of universal resource; when we have a clear head, we automatically feel connected to the people around us, and intuitively know how to deal with even the most difficult situations. It’s well-known that top athletes and business leaders profit from a clear mind, but it’s less widely understood that clarity is equally essential when it comes to everyday life. When our minds are clogged with superstitious thinking, we tend to feel disconnected, stressed and tetchy. When we’re lost in superstitious thinking, it looks like our feelings are coming from somewhere other than thinking. But we’re always feeling our thinking in the moment. Even if everyone in the family would swear that Great Aunt Agatha definitely is really, really annoying… 100% of their experience of Aggie is coming from their thinking. One of the biggest contributors to superstitious thinking is the “I’ll be happy when…” syndrome. Modern marketers inundate us with powerful imagery and messages telling us that the products and services they sell will bring us security, happiness and wellbeing, but it just doesn’t work that way. Our feelings about life are generated from the inside out. If you doubt this, look at little children; clarity and connection are a way of life for them. They get lost in superstitious thinking just like the rest of us, but they let it go quickly and naturally, returning to clarity. Little children intuitively understand the “make-believe” nature of thinking.
Key Number 3 – Understanding
At this point, people often ask “How can I get rid of superstitious thinking and start experiencing the clarity and connection that will give me a great holiday season?” It’s the most natural thing in the world. Feelings of stress and irritation are often a signal that you’re caught up in your thinking. The fact that you’re reading this article means that when you get stressed, it will occur to you at some point that the feeling is coming from your thinking rather than your circumstances. The moment it occurs to you, the process of getting rid of the superstitious thinking has begun. The mind is a self-correcting system, naturally designed to return you to clarity, connection and peace of mind. The only things required for that process to happen are an understanding of how the system works, and an absence of external correction. CLARITY is the natural capacity for experience – thinking, feeling and perceiving – that all human beings are born with. This innate capacity generates 100% of our experience of life, moment-to-moment. Clarity and connection are a naturally emergent property of CLARITY – they aren’t something you do; they’re something you already have.
Thanks for all your support in 2012. Wishing you a warm, peaceful holiday time and a happy, prosperous 2013. To your understanding, clarity and connection!