The Truth About the Holidays
While the holidays are a joyful, wonderful time, hopefully full of lots of love and laughter, this time of year can also bring many challenges. Energetically there can be a heightened sense of anxiety around all the travel plans and anticipated time with family, physically our bodies are processing more than usual – whether it be stresses or foods – mentally our brains are working 'round the clock to keep up, and certainly the list goes on. All this while our instinct emotionally and environmentally is to "wind down".
In our hemisphere here in the U.S., we are beginning the "death" phase of the year, a.k.a. Winter. The Earth is slowing down, shedding old skin, and internally we are wanting to soften, to hibernate, to go inward. We are reflecting on the year that is coming to a close, ideally connecting with gratitude, though yearning for much-needed rest.
So it puts us is a tough place, these sort of opposing forces of what our instinct and the Earth energy are calling us to do, and what the physical world around us is expecting of us.
For me personally, this time always had an added layer of delightful dissonance as my birthday falls at the beginning of November, right in the thick of this shift. Many years I can clearly recall struggling with choosing to celebrate because I felt like I "should", or that I am at least supposed to want to, and in reality I would be feeling low-energy, no interest in gathering with others, and often times a general lethargy of sorts. While it is true that I experienced a specific family trauma on one of my adolescent birthdays (I know this contributed to the following for a time) I used to feel sad and somewhat guilty around my birthday, concluding that there must be something wrong with me, and confusing my lack of enthusiasm with the energy I was actually absorbing and processing from the Earth. The more I grow in understanding about this, the much lighter this time has become for me, and I am able to navigate any heavy feelings with ease, grace, and detachment should they arise.
Birthdays aside, as I mentioned above this time of year can present us all with many challenges. Especially this year, the season has only just begun and we have already experienced a great deal of emotional and mental stress due to the numerous simultaneous events of this past month, around the world and here in the U.S. – particularly around the intense energies of discord that have been spotlighted over these last few weeks. All this "struggle" we are witnessing and experiencing makes the priority of our self-care and wellness practices even that much more imperative.
We have countless methods and practices available to us to choose from to support maintaining/obtaining balance in our lives. My preference is for everyone to be willing to explore and discover which ones work best for them. We are all different and so what works for me or the next person may not be your jam. It's about finding what best supports YOU. Personally I have a handful I include and/or rotate in my regular diet. For me, one of the simplest, quickest, most direct (not to mention, inexpensive!) methods of healing, of maintaining health & wholeness, and connecting with Spirit is through my very own mouth and lungs. Breathwork meditation works on a total body level – meaning by using this controlled breathing pattern we are not only cleansing our physical body by inviting more oxygen into our system, we are also giving our brain an "activity" to focus on, so that the hamster wheel of thoughts will subside, leaving space for mental clarity and peace. Further, we can quite literally heal ourselves by allowing our bodies to relax and release stuck energy. This can be simply physical, or go much deeper into healing emotional and psychological wounds as well.
While there are limitless great things I could say about the specifics of breathwork, one of the most relevant reasons to utilize this practice during the holiday season is simply for energetic maintenance. Among the aforementioned benefits, breathwork also works as a detox, clearing out all the energies you might've picked up throughout the day that are not yours. So whether it's the manic-panic-anxious-impatience from all the strangers you encountered during your holiday shopping, or a nice dose of pain and anger that your co-dependent family member is still carrying around and oh-so-sweetly (and likely subconsciously) trying to share with you, breathwork can help sift through it ALL and bring you back into alignment with yourself and, more importantly, your Self.
Wishing every one of you Beauty, Peace, Joy, Magic, and a stocking full of no-apologies personal boundaries this Winter and Holy-day season!
With Love & Grace, B.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, and/or if you are needing support. To schedule your individual Breathwork session, go here, and to check the calendar for group circle dates, go here .
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For many years, writing has been one of the most integral practices for Beth in her healing & spiritual journey. Through this expression, she has uprooted some of her deepest pains, and discovered some of her most powerful insights. She shares her very personal experiences here to offer you a look into the rawness of her healing process, and to continue expanding her own capacity to be seen & heard in her vulnerability and Truth. / Beth also writes the Mantra and Recipe columns of the Journal, and shares more stories & teachings on Instagram.