I have a confession to make: we’re heading into the 2014 holiday season and so I want this post to be a special gift – yet I’m not sure what to write. The year is swiftly drawing to a close and by the time you read this you’ll likely be up to your ears in the mad rush of the season. More than anything I’d love for this post to serve as a respite for you, a time-out that calms your nerves and soothes your soul. If you love to read, perhaps the very act of giving yourself this time will do just that. (And if you don’t love to read…please, do something else! Nourish yourself, for God’s sake!)

Every year around this time we are bombarded with suggestions about how to get through the frenzy of the holiday season with our wits and our waistlines intact. I have my own perspective on that, but in all honesty I don’t want to be part of the bombardment. I suspect you already know, given your life experience, your heartfelt intentions and the wisdom of your soul, how you want to move through this time. So…listen to yourself. Honor the inklings and impulses that guide you to celebrate the season in a way that is uplifting and meaningful to you. Traditions are wonderful, yet over time they can become confining. Be willing to let one or two of them go and create space for something new to flow in.

Pause now to take a full, deep breath. And another. And another. I love doing that, especially when I have writer’s block. The simple act of pausing and suspending all need to “do” or to “figure something out” is subtly refreshing.

And in this fresh moment I find that what I most want to share with you is this:

As you package up 2014, be sure to put a beautiful bow on it. No doubt you experienced a bounty of highs and lows and ebbs and flows this year. You may consider it one of your best years…or one of your worst. It may have surprised you with unexpected challenges – or unexpected miracles. It may have moved so quickly that you could barely keep up, or so slowly you felt you might atrophy from boredom.

Or all of the above, at varying times.

Regardless of how you might initially perceive or label this year, give yourself the gift of stepping back and seeing it from the perspective of how beautifully it has served you, and how perfectly it has extended the arc of your life in ways that really matter to you. Ask yourself a few heart-centered questions – preferably with a warm mug of something yummy in your hands – such as:

  • What did I open myself to this year?
  • In what ways have I grown?
  • What have I let go of that needed to be let go?
  • What did I learn about myself?
  • Where have I gained clarity about what matters to me?
  • How did I uplift, inspire or comfort others?
  • What do I feel really good about?
  • What can I now forgive in myself?
  • What can I now forgive in others?
  • What qualities, talents or accomplishments do I want to expand in 2015?

And just to keep things from getting too serious:

  • Did I fully celebrate my good hair days?

Feel free to make up your own questions. The idea is to consciously see yourself, and the year you’ve just lived, through the eyes of love. What if you could trust that every moment of your life is either an expression of the love that you are, or an opportunity to awaken further to it? What if you could see your life as an ongoing process of growing and evolving, rather than a race-to-the-finish marathon of solving problems, improving yourself and correcting mistakes? What if you are exactly where you need to be, and you can go anywhere from here?

You are, and you can.

Take another sip and another deep breath. This is the perfect time to acknowledge and appreciate all that you are and all that you are becoming. Open your heart to yourself and feel your innate goodness. Your inner light. Your courage and willingness and persistence and humor. Your quirky “you-ness.” Your absolute worthiness.

You are a gift to this world. And if that’s not something to celebrate, I don’t know what is.

So here’s a toast to you and all that you are. May this season be a glorious reflection of your spirit and your sparkle.

Enjoy!

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