Re-Imagining the Holidays: Six ways to resist the trap of overabundance, and create traditions brimming with gratitude.
By Sara Wiseman
Are you dreading it, already?
You know… the whole shopping-gifting-cooking-cleaning-eating-drinking socializing-relatives-traveling season just ahead?
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, many of us get trapped in a cycle of overabundance—the state of having too much. As in: more than we can use. More than we can process. The cup not just full, but over flowing.
It’s gotten worse in recent years, starting with Christmas decorations that go on display at Halloween to the frenzy of Black Friday. We’ve become a culture of excess and a society of waste, moving from the next new thing to the next…without ever taking the time to enjoy any of it. We have so much, and it’s arriving so fast, that we can’t use or even experience it all.
This overabundance—having more than we really need—creates stress, lowers vibration and zaps energy from mind, body and spirit.
Now, I’m all for abundance! I’m certainly not one to pass up on anything that brings pleasure or beauty or connection to my life. But when we become trapped in the cycle of overabundance—the endless circle of want, get, want, get—our lives fall out of balance.
Six ways overabundance causes holiday stress
During the holidays, overabundance shows up in different forms. It’s not just eating rich foods or excessive gifts, as you’d expect, but less obvious ways as well, including: too much socializing, complex family relationships, rigid tradition and low vibration group thought.
Here, six areas where overabundance can create stress in your life:
1. Overabundance of food
Rich, sweet, fatty holiday food lowers your physical vibration, which affects mind and spirit too. If you work in an office or with a group of people, it’s hard to escape the sweets in the break room! Alcohol from frequent social events adds to this mix. Don’t worry about weight gain—instead, be focused on the energetic signature of the food you eat. Is it processed? Will it make you feel good? Does your body really want it? Pay attention, and don’t let the season of indulgence lower your vibration.
2. Overabundance of gifts
The cycle of shopping, buying, wrapping, giving receiving can be very stressful, even if budget is not a concern. The sheer energetic reality of involving ourselves with objects or “stuff” can be overwhelming, especially when we understand that every object has its own frequency, vibration or energetic signature depending on where it came from, how it was made, who made it and so forth… this is a lot of new energy to add to your reality!
Consider your energy as you decided how or if you will give and receive gifts this year. Consider your energy if you decide to do without, do less or give experiences or to charity instead. Once you break the gift cycle, you will be surprised how free you feel.
3. Overabundance of socializing
Office parties, school events, the annual party you’ve gone to every year for ten years… All of this has a certain clamor of “must attend” attached to it, when in reality, you can change plans, opt out or do something different. Don’t rely on what you’ve always done—you’re a new person now, and you may want to try something different. Reassess every year. Introverts especially may need lots of private time during this season; give yourself the gift of quiet and solitude.
4. Overabundance of family relationships
There’s that saying: you can’t go home again. And yet every holiday season, most of us continue to swim up river to our birthing place. Many times, the wounds, past hurts and misunderstandings are still there. And because we’re so busy during the holidays, we don’t have time to work on our relationships with our family members. Understand that family karma complex, and the stress of the holidays makes it more so. Be gentle with yourself and others. Have an exit strategy if things go awry. If it’s just too much, opt out and try again another time.
5. Overabundance of tradition
Just because you’ve always done it a certain way, doesn’t mean you have to do it that way now. This might include: going to a certain event, party, gathering, church service. Wearing certain clothes, decorating a certain way, eating certain foods, being with certain people, and so on. Break free from the rigid traditions your family has “always done” and see what else the Universe might have up its sleeve for you and yours!
6. Overabundance of group thought
Understand the power of group thought or collective soul to affect your mood. We’ve all seen what fear-based beliefs can do to collective thought: hate, violence, financial ruin and war are all products of low vibration thinking. During the holidays, mindless consumption is the culprit: everyone is stressing out on want, get, want, get. This creates enormous stress, and when this is done in the collective, everyone feels it. During this time, connect to your own higher self, God/One/All/Divine/Source, frequently and deeply. Use Thanksgiving and Solstice as markers for the season—times when you can easily dip into gratitude and joy.
About Sara Wiseman:
Spiritual teacher and intuitive Sara Wiseman is author of six insightful books on spirituality and intuition, including her new book, “Living a Life of Gratitude: Your Journey to Grace, Joy and Healing”. She hosts the popular radio show Ask Sara, and is a top contributor to DailyOM. She has released four healing music CDs with her band Martyrs of Sound. Visit her online at www.sarawiseman.com