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Are you including yourself in your holiday plans?

Did you know that kindness is one of our greatest tools to self-awareness and presence, to rich relationships, and to well being?

Many physical symptoms can be our body’s way of reminding us to be kind to ourselves, to slow down, have the conversation we are putting off, stretch, or even exercise.

Emotional symptoms like anxiety, or feeling stressed out, or mental exhaustion, may be asking us to be kind by spending more time in stillness, or to listen to what our heart or Soul has to say to us.

Feeling a sense of loss, loneliness or disconnection is our Soulful Self calling to us to reconnect with the kindest aspect of ourselves, the Divine within us.

We often think about kindness to others, yet I would offer that kindness to Self is equally, if not more important, and often quite easily overlooked. Kindness to self is treating our self with respect. We are saying:

I matter. My needs are important and I am taking the responsibility to be sure that I can be present with my loved ones and others in a way that will put more love in our world.’

Now the tricky part: Kindness doesn’t happen by driving down the road and arriving at your destination but you don’t remember how you got there.

Being kind to ourselves requires efforting; it’s a conscious choosing and then a decision to act.

With the light fading, these dark days require more kindness from us.

So this holiday season, while we celebrate, cook, shop, and gather, please remember to include yourself in choosing your activities. Whatever kindness you would offer a friend applies to you. In other words, if you would tell a friend to skip the party and stay in to get some rest, you can too. Our relationships, health, and sense of Self changes when we practice including ourselves on the gift list, the wish list, the party list, and the ‘nice’ list.

Here are some ideas to help you play with being your own Secret Santa, or Hanukkah lamp, or Solstice light. Nothing is more important than taking care of you.

1 - Book a date night with yourself

2 - Skip the cocktails and desserts at the party and favor sparkling water and fruit.

3 - Give donations to your loved ones favorite charity instead of running around shopping (unless it truly brings you joy)

4 - Do a cookie swap with friends to reduce time spent baking (unless this is your joy place)

5 - Begin a morning practice - 10 min just for you to connect with you (journaling, reading inspirational work, meditation, stretching…)

6 - Give compliments - write yourself a love letter about how you appreciate you

7 - Take a bath, or foot soak

8 - Read a good book instead of staying up late with a movie

9 - Go to bed an hour early and get some extra sleep

10 - Make a special meal just for you with candles, cloth napkins, nice dishes, etc.

If you would like a little help with self-kindness, consider a personalized ‘Guided Meditation’ to include yourself in the joy of the season. And check out the free meditation under the Resources tab for those ‘in the moment’ needs when you want to feel centered and connected to the Divine being that you are.

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