Slow Down and Breathe, the Holidays are Here

Holiday Message from Sivananda Ashram, Grass Valley

How I am doing?

The end of the year brings many thoughts, feelings, and confusion as we inevitably look back on our accomplishments, failures and successes, anticipate family reunions, expecting love and appreciation, and giving love and appreciation to all through gifts and comforts. It is a stressful time at best. (editor’s interjection: Wow! stressful at best?) What will be the criteria to appreciate our journey? Here are some helpful hints:

  • Instead of asking ourselves if we have accomplished this and that external goal, ask if we have come closer to our contented and self-sufficient Self.
  • Instead of counting our list of desires and ticking off the list if we have fulfilled them or not, appreciate our growth when the inner voice becomes louder and said: I have everything I need.
  • Instead of feeling bad, looking back at our relationships with resentments, expectations, ask yourself: how much have I forgiven, how much has my heart open this year compared to last?
  • Instead of running around purchasing gifts at all costs, pause a moment and think of how to really give of yourself to the other, the gift of real care and unconditional support.
  • Instead of worrying about financial security and scarcity, take time to appreciate the abundance of the grace of God in your life, how Mother Nature graces you with all things to support life, and how marvelous and secure it is to be alive in spirit.
  • Instead of thinking of how to entertain ourselves and having a fun time during the holidays, think of having a genuine good time recharging yourself in a Yoga vacations, give back to the body and mind.
  • Instead of socializing just for the sake of it, rejoice in calm, meaningful, quality company with yourself and with heartful friends.
  • Instead of worrying about oneself and what we do not have, get out of yourself and do a charitable act.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

-Swami Sitaramananda