The Holiday Season . . . what a joyful time of year! Hmm . . . not so sure about that? A bit of stress you say? Well, truth is, real joy is possible this time of year if we persist in making the decision to connect with our true nature, re-discover the present moment, and add in a little practice.
The path to a experiencing happiness this time of year, (quite apart from the busyness of an all too often grasping mind run wild chasing one sale after another as I recently found myself doing!), is a journey into deep silence to discover that which awaits us there. And the gift awaiting us is a deeper experience of presence in which we catch a glimpse of our true nature — love and wholeness — quietly resting and awaiting our embrace.
For many of us, what we give most of our attention to is the belief that what we see are things and bodies “outside” us — the result of our naming them. In the world we see with our eyes, things all appear as separate; and for the most part we have come to agree upon the names we have given them. Yet there is a different world beneath our thoughts, distinct from our habit of labeling, and quite different from what we might think is truth based on our perceptions.
In our daily experience of allowing our minds to run wild as an untamed stallion, (acting and reacting from interpretations and judgments), we continue to create tiny little battles with ourselves, each other, and the outer conditions we experience. These negative moments of reactivity are typically the result of experiencing separation (from our wholeness and our present moment experience), and are born from fear due to that separation. Fear such as loss of status or recognition, feeling unworthy, or not getting what we want. And the result is the turmoil we see in the world around us.
Yet there is a different reality toward which, I believe, we all do aspire. That reality arises from a faint call and desire to return to our ‘home of peaceful abiding’.
However one might refer to it, I like to think that ‘the call’ to regain our experience of wholeness or oneness is a call from the divine, a call from our soul-self. Or as some refer to it, a nudging from Source, God or Spirit for us to ‘come home to ourselves’ and experience the flow of loving-kindness, compassion, and joy in and through us. And this soundless call asks that we deepen our connection to contentment by engaging in a practice of sacred silence — to rest our weary minds-run-wild and experience being bathed in our natural state of Wholeness, Innocence and Goodness.
The purpose of entering into a daily or morning practice of sacred silence (through meditation, contemplative prayer, or sitting quietly without distraction), is to seek an interval of space between thoughts, inviting us to move into radiant sunlight, and to temporarily leave the darkness of separation behind. And each time we return to our conditioned human experience and beliefs that drive us into daily action, we do so with greater lightness, inner peace, and a more compassionate and loving view toward ourselves and our fellow human beings.
The good news is that as we continue to practice mindful awareness and the connection to our sacred inner self there comes a collective commitment, over time, to be of greater help to our fellow travelers on the planet; and to make a difference in the world by doing that which truly matters rather than focusing primarily on ourselves.
This Holiday season surely can be a happy time of year! With just a little daily practice of mindful meditation, along with some quick “adjustments” when we become challenged with upsets (such as re-connecting to our body-breath awareness, feeling grateful, or re-framing a stressful moment), we can go about our holiday activities quite joyfully and stress-free.
What it comes down to is making a decision to deepen a commitment to real Peace on Earth by choosing to take authority over thoughts-run-wild and prayerfully re-connect to our divine-self within. Just by applying a little practical discipline to tame the wild stallion we can rediscover within us the Heart of Basic Goodness we merely forgot to nurture over time.