I’m packing my suitcases to go participate in two large conferences. I have considerable tension in my mind and several cold sores on my body. All of the negative feelings, of course, are the result of “dirty pain.” My fears about the uncertainties of travel, my memories of traveling while physically ill in the past, and my stories about the whole issue have been troubling my sleep and lowering my immunities.
Fortunately, I know how to deal with this, and my newly certified coaches (who coach me as part of their certification process) have been pushing me to admit it. No matter what is happening to me or around me, I need to, and always can, access a state of physical, emotional, and spiritual calm.
Speaking of staying calm, the holiday season offers us many wonderful opportunities to practice staying peaceful in a variety of challenging situations. Logistical energy is spread very thin during this season, time is at a premium, and emotions run very high as families gather (or not) to celebrate.
During the next few weeks, observe yourself compassionately, like a professional chess player watching a three-year-old learn the moves. Notice when you become stressed, manic, demanding, anxious, or seized by any of the other emotions that fly around with such vigor during the holiday season. The moment you take the observer’s stance, you will already feel the beginning of peace. Remain in compassionate witness mode for as long as five minutes, and you will feel more peace than not-peace. Stay there for half an hour, and you can generate enough calm to carry you through the whole day. If you happen to fall off the wagon, simply observing that you’ve fallen will immediately return you to the compassionate witness’s unflappable calm.
This year let’s honor the true spirit of the holidays by staying relaxed and peaceful as Uncle Jim throws the cranberry sauce at Mom.