It is all too easy to feel stressed by the holidays. Luckily it is most often a stress that we put on ourselves…so we can take it off of ourselves too.
Years ago, was reading online about gardening (trying to green up my black thumb, so to speak). One blog post talked about mindfulness, and how she envisioned connecting the plants in her garden to some particular fairy or goddess for nurturing and protection.
Sounds all airy-fairy woo-woo at first glance, but I think of it this way: “Fairy” or “Goddess” is just an ancient way of naming an energy or process that we may not yet today understand scientifically. Still, just remanding your garden to supernatural protection doesn’t do much unless you water, weed, and care for the plants too. I forget the exact post (or even where I read it or who wrote it) but whatever the details, the light bulb that went on over my head was this: Nurturing is not about DOing every last little thing for someone or something…but it is just as much about CONNECTing the people and things we love with what they need. More often than not, beyond basic physical wellness needs, what our loved ones need is US…our love, attention and presance….not X, Y or Z stuff.
Holiday stress comes from expectations, not nurturing. Which is the more important connection to make for those you love…hooking them up with a fancy gift or connecting them to a happy, relaxed atmosphere with a happy and relaxed mother/father/spouse/significant other/friend/whathaveyou? What do they really need? If you can’t provide that thing, how can you connect them with it? Are you the one to directly provide the thing, or are the connection to the thing? How can you connect with the important things that you need rather than run after other’s expectations of you or your too-great expectations of yourself?
Nurturing others and nurturing yourself FOR others is a matter of connections…connections with a non-stressed, nurtrured YOU.