2020’s Hidden Magic & the endearing holiday nuts we call family and friends...
Every holiday season, I’m reminded of the quote from Ram Dass,
“If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.”
Since you’re reading this second sentence, I see you too have a few holiday nuts that make up your inner circle. You’re in good company.
(I do call them ‘holiday nuts’ with the most endearing of sentiments.)
Now FULL DISCLAIMER, I have no idea how to handle the holiday nuts we call family and friends, as I’ve pretty much failed every previous holiday season at keeping my cool with those people in my own life. But I kindly request you chalk up my dismal track record to the fact that it wasn’t 2020, and we hadn’t had the chance to practice ‘too much time with family and friends’ in years prior.
This year, I think we may just have a shot though!
For all that 2020 has done (or not), it has at least introduced the practice of “patience” that we never had time for previously. It has asked us to hunker down with certain family members and friends and find new ways to connect.
It has asked us to slow down with each other’s flaws, fears, and eccentricities, most exasperatingly – our own.
It has asked us to get uncomfortably present with wishing we were SOMEWHERE – anywhere – else, and in spite of our resistance, allowed enough time and space for us to ask ourselves “Who am I now?”
Now that the flurry of activity has paused.
Now that there are fewer distractions for my ego to hide within.
Now that I’ve faced isolation and the loudest most patience-testing voice of all
- the one within my own mind.
It has pretty much been the ultimate test run for flowing patiently into the holiday season.
Sound like hopeful news? I’m hesitantly optimistic too.
1. Because we have been practicing self-compassion on the hardest nut of all – ourselves.
2. Because we have spent 9 months cultivating the building blocks of surrender.
3. Because many of us have had to get really good with simply being present.
We’ve watched the shit show of thoughts that have consumed us at times this past year. We’ve learned to observe the chaos of our minds gently tugging and persuading and dragging our emotions along for the ride. And we’ve already subconsciously (or consciously) been practicing as silent observers of what simply is.
Now, I’m not saying we CHOSE this test run graciously. Oh, hell no. I’m saying, (if you’re anything like me) we tried valiantly to control it all and probably shed more than a few tears as our plans for 2020 drift off into the mystic.
We fought and plotted. We tried everything we could. We became exhausted, overwhelmed, and finally did what any right-minded mammal in the animal kingdom would do, we stopped wasting energy and simply let go.
We are perfectly primed for flowing into the ridiculous wild ride we call ‘the holiday season’ and the holiday nuts that go with it (I still say this endearingly). We have been practicing presence, acceptance, and staying calm amidst a lack of control. And for many of us, we have been practicing compassion. If that doesn’t sound like a recipe for success this holiday season, I’m all out of ideas.
But I’m still optimistic. I’m optimistic, that maybe, just maybe, we are all a bit more “awake” than we’ve been in years prior. That this year, when Cousin Eddie or Aunt Bethany says something jaw-dropping at the holiday table, we smile, see ourselves as just as nutty, and giggle generously and lovingly at the entertainment. That may be the bubbling stream of compassion flows a little bit freer than it has in years prior.
That the hidden magic of 2020 and the self-reflection it has demanded of us, allows us to recognize that the holiday nuts around us are just a reflection of the holiday nut within us.
From one nut to another.