Spirituality is accessible even during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, if we make it a practice in our everyday lives.
Spiritual writer Thomas Moore tweets every morning. Maybe even more surprising, he views it as a spiritual practice. On Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, the former Roman Catholic monk said, "I go to my computer, and I sit down and meditate for a while, and I think of something, some thought, that I think people really would like to hear—would like to have me transmit somehow that day. I like little meditations, a little phrase. I tweet it and I send it out there. I love that." What a profound exercise to meditate before tweeting! In our busy, techno-centric world, many of us can’t squeeze in a moment of meditation. But as Moore shows, you don’t have to wait for free time. Spirituality is accessible even during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, if we make it a practice in our everyday lives.
Morning Minute. There’s no ease into the day anymore. As soon as the mind recognizes you’re awake, an invisible scroll unfolds with tasks, lists and to-dos. It’s an abrupt shift from that yummy dream state. But you can cushion the impact by consciously transitioning. Just like your yoga teacher asks you to roll your wrists, stretch your body and curl into a fetal position after corpse pose, you can move into the day seamlessly with this this wake up meditation.
Take a deep breath in and embrace the freshness of a new morning. See it in the sunlight streaming through the windows, quiet sounds welcoming the day, and the blankets enveloping your body. You don’t have to make mental plans, envision a goal or worry about who sent a text. Just be here and feel how good it is to just breathe.
Digital Pause. You’ve been up a few hours and are steeped in emails, phone calls and social media accounts. Now is the time to pause and check in. Step away from the computer. Put your phone to rest. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. What are you feeling? Do you feel tightness in your stomach or pinching in your shoulders? Do you feel tired, anxious or upset? Can you imagine your body as a vessel and pour in kindness, compassion and love? When you open your eyes again reflect on how your feelings motivate your actions. Just like Moore consciously puts out mini meditations in the form of tweets, you’re spreading your intention by every text, update and post you send out in the world.
Holiday Presence. The day is almost done. There are holiday parties to consider, errands you “need” to do, and gifts to buy. These are time-honored traditions so you say, “Yes,” automatically without forethought. Instead, bring conscious awareness to each activity. Hold the invite in your hand, close your eyes and imagine being there. Does the idea of attending make your heart sing? Do these errands make you feel lighter or is it pulling you down? Does buying that gift fill you with joy or resentment? As you take a bite of that pumpkin pie slow way down. Savor each decision you make. Own it and feel its impact on the totality of your being.
Bedtime Reflections. The day is done. Whatever it brought to you, whatever challenges it forced upon you, it is what it is. Let this time when the world goes quiet offer up one more opportunity to reflect. As you close your eyes and settle into a chair, or your bed, take a deep breath in and then release it as you let go of the day’s activities. The holidays often feel like it’s for everyone else. Let this moment be for you. Imagine someone you love offering you a brightly wrapped gift. You untie the ribbon and lift the lid. What’s in the box makes you feel at home, comforted, and so loved. What is it and can you receive it?