Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Season of Gratitude

Well, with Thanksgiving being tomorrow, 'the holidays' are officially here! And there's talk everywhere about how to 'de-stress' your holidays, and the big question:  "What stresses you out the most during the holidays?"  You know what?  The thing that stresses me the most is everybody stressin' out!  For the season nicknamed, "the most wonderful time of the year" - when we're supposed to be thankful and loving and peace-seeking -  people sure can "Scrooge-out"!  Why do we do it?!  It seems so unnecessary!  Here's why:

I heard some good advice about de-stressing this season from Martha Beck, an author, O Magazine contributor, and LifeCoach.  I'm paraphrasing a bit, but these were her basic points:
  • Check your motivation.  Motivation is typically fueled by one of two things:  Love and Fear.  Doing things you love to do, or for someone/people you love and care about, vs. fear that if you don't do/make/get something, someone/people will be upset, disappointed, or you will fail, etc.  
  • Let 'good' be good enough.  You don't have to be perfect!  We tend to hold ourselves to a higher standard than others do, and often 'good' is more than plenty and perfectly acceptable for most! 
  • Find the humor in the holiday(s).  Don't take things (and yourself) too seriously.  Learn to let those 'mishaps' color your holiday & make it memorable rather than ruin it.
Love that!  Great 'checks' for our motivation and easing the stress of perfection.  Also, keeping an attitude of gratitude and a giving spirit will help you keep perspective and be more mindful of your actions.  It's hard to be grateful when your eyes are on yourself!  Joel Osteen says, "Constant gratitude shows humility because when we are thankful, we magnify God instead of magnifying our problems. It gives us proper perspective and opens the door for God’s grace, favor and supernatural empowerment."
 “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!” 1 Chronicles 16:34, AMP
So, maybe instead of asking, "What stresses you out during the holidays?", we should be asking, "What are you grateful for?"  Here's to our holidays being fueled by love and gratitude rather than fear of perfection and perception!

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!   ;-)

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