5 steps to choose peace during the holidays

“We all need love, so we can fill the world with hope. We all need hope, so we build a lasting peace. We all need peace so we can keep our dreams alive. We all need peace so we can make our planet thrive….” – Hitzewmann I hope this holiday season you are “Choosing Peace”. A week ago today, I was moved as my fifth-grader took the stage for her final elementary holiday program. The stage filled with kids from 1st to 5th grade as their finale closed with two songs about peace. “We All Need Peace” (Hitzemann) and “I Choose Peace” (Wilson). The message has been living with me all week; our need for peace and our ability to choose peace. Peace is my hope and wish for you this holiday season. To achieve peace, we must find a way to be in the present moment and connect with those around us. The greatest gift that you can give your loved ones is the gift of your presence. When you are fully present you create a space of peace to show love and to express hope.

What does it mean to be fully present?

It means to live in the moment. To let go of the thoughts of the future (anxiety) and to let go of thoughts of the past (worry). To fully appreciate and except the moment for what it is right now. When we do this, we clear our minds of the thoughts that block us from seeing, hearing and feeling the connection of the person that is with us at that moment. Being present says, “You are the most important person to me right here and right now.” That means not checking out on the people that you love. We have all been the giver and receiver of this and it feels yucky on both sides.

So what does this have to do with Peace?

Anxiety and Worry are the killer’s of Peace. The holidays can be a tough time for many. High energy moments from joyfulness to sadness. It can be a lonely time and crazy time with lots of people. The beauty of it is, we have the choice to choose how we want to celebrate our holiday season.

What are the things that are keeping you from being present today?

Is it preparing for house guest or getting packed up to go be someone’s guest, or being alone? Is it the craziness of the stores, the distraction of people on the highways and in the parking lots? The to do list that continues to grow every day instead of getting shorter. Whew…Breathe…
So here is my gift to you, an invitation to Choose Peace. Here are five-steps to help yourself get into the holiday spirit so that you have the holiday you want to choose this year.

  1. Meditation – Find a quiet space and sit down, close your eyes and take 5 slow deep breathes. Gently open your eyes and slow bring you gaze up not allowing the world to rush to you.
  2. Visualization – Continue sitting quietly. What do you want your holiday to look like? Where will you be? Who will you connect with? What do you want to feel? What do you want others to experience when they connect with you? Do you believe that you are the creator of your holiday experience? What are you most grateful for this season?
  3. Reflection– What would stop you from achieving this holiday experience? What control do you have over those things? How will you know that you are achieving your holiday peace?
  4. Release – What distractions can you let go of right now? What if you walked away from the things on the to do list and they just didn’t happen? Would Christmas be destroyed?
  5. Commit – Complete your own mantra… “This holiday season I choose…. I believe this is possible because… When I catch myself…. I will…I believe this possible because I choose…
  6. Choose Peace and have a wonderful holiday!!

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