It’s Not What You Do…

…it’s how you do it.

This is a really simple phrase that may help you not only survive, but perhaps actually enjoy, the upcoming holidays.

We emphasize this in yoga practice.  It’s not just the fact that you are doing yoga postures and practicing yoga, but HOW are you doing it?  Are you huffing and puffing, pulling your hamstrings, and blacking out while practicing yoga?  Are you breathing normally, taking your time, and taking the postures step-by-step?  Do you feel exhausted, beat-up, and defeated after class?  Do you feel energized, relaxed, and empowered?

It is a CHOICE that you make when you get onto your mat HOW you are going to approach the postures.  Very often it takes some re-training of some very ingrained habits.  But the outcome of HOW you practice should be feeling GOOD.

Enter the holidays.

I know many people that dread the holidays for whatever reason.  Maybe they dread dealing with relatives, dealing with the inevitable awkward conversations, dealing with the stress of “fitting it all in” and “getting it all done,” dealing with financial strain, dealing with traveling.  It is very often the stress comes from not being in control of whatever situation the season brings.

The good news is, you don’t have to control the situation, you need only control HOW you deal with it.

Just like we make a CHOICE how to deal with our yoga practice, we also have a CHOICE on HOW we deal with the holidays.

First of all, step-by-step.  You don’t need to take in all of November and December in one big gulp, break it down one day at a time.  One HOUR at a time even.  Keep up your self-care when things get crazy, whether it’s a yoga practice, going for a run, or spending some time by yourself.

Realize that your family knows how to push your buttons because they helped to install those buttons.  But just like a button has no effect if there is no battery installed, if you give no energy to a button being pushed, eventually the pusher will get bored and move on.  This takes practice.  But you are a patient individual.

Watch the family drama like a movie.  When we watch movies we are amused by the drunk aunt, the creepy uncle, the bratty cousins, and the overbearing spouse.  When we are sitting in the middle of it, it is tough to find anything funny about it.  But step back for a moment and realize you don’t need to become part of the insanity, you can just let it flow around you like you were a rock in a river.  Be steady, breathe normally.

Just like your yoga practice, HOW you choose to deal with the holidays should make you feel GOOD.  Sometimes it means creating new habits, sometimes you may even start some new traditions.  Just remember, you always have CHOICE.

May the hardest choice you make this Thanksgiving be whether to have one or two slices of pumpkin pie.

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4 thoughts on “It’s Not What You Do…

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