"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" Or so the song goes.
How often do we hear people say, "My life is crazy busy right now?!" To me, it's a badge of honor that comes with a price. What if we focus upon giving ourselves permission to let some things go, and instead, nurture harmony within our hearts and within our lives? Could this shift in thinking pave the way to a more peaceful sense of calm amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays? I say, "Yes!"
This season, I've decided to lessen my grip on balance and redirect my energies toward harmony.
What do I mean by this?! Do you remember the movie, "One Fine Day?" It is a story of a single mom (Michelle Pfeffier) in New York City who has trouble letting anyone help her. There is a scene where the protagonist (George Clooney) offers assistance which she flatly refuses saying, "I've got all these little balls up in the air and if someone catches one of them for me I will probably drop them all."
I can certainly relate to her statement. The thought of a milion balls crashing around me is overwhelming. Yet, if I don't delegate, prioritize, and share the load, they will fall despite my best efforts. There are not enough hours in the day, as Michelle's character also learned.
By definition, balance is a point between two opposing forces. Balls up, must come down, and this juggling takes constant effort. Harmony, on the other hand, takes a slight detour on a gentler path. Finding a pleasing arrangement of parts, or harmony, requires attention to the details, a vision for the bigger picture, and a willingness to edit. Ask anyone who has been a part of a vocal group.
Moving past balance to the place of harmony allows us to be completely present and immersed in whatever we are doing whether it is a work project, a meeting, watching a movie, or ice skating by the sea. All deserve our full and undivided attention.
Just as you declutter and purge stuff you no longer use or need, your schedules and task lists require the same refresh. This is a good time of year to make space in your days to savor and slow down, to be selective when saying yes to social gatherings and festivities, and to leave time for the unexpected.
Here's what I will keep on my list: time for self-care and daily activities that provide stress reduction and health benefits, for connection to the people I cherish, for conversations with stake holders before making decisions, for current work commitments, and, for a few weekend days for merriment for its own sake. I already feel better with this plan.
This weekend began a little rough. I was fighting a virus. Yet, it turned out to be the perfect time to put my "holiday harmony" plan into action. I worked from home, rested and took a few breaks; and, when I felt a little burst of energy, I made space for a few of my favorite holiday traditions, lights and decorating the Christmas trees.
I expect to find that my quest for harmony will lead to more joy and less stress this year. It is my wish for you as well.