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“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Melody Beattie

Holiday season is upon us once again. Whether you are going through treatment presently or remembering the holidays from years past when you were going through treatment, this can be a challenging time. After all it, “Tis the Season to be Jolly”. Holidays can be hard at the best of times: the gift giving, the family expectations and dynamics, the social engagements. Depending on where you are in your process, it can bring up a gamut of emotions: guilt at not feeling sociable or in the spirit of things, anger and frustration that others don’t get it, the physical pain and suffering, the fatigue. And for those of us that have the all clear signal there is the expectation that we should have our happy back. It all adds up and can be a dreaded time of year.

It doesn’t have to be.

There are ways of creating a meaningful and joyous experience through the holidays.

One of the most effective ways is by cultivating a gratitude practice, by noticing the simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. Whether it is your children, your grandchildren, your lover, your spouse, or your friends, celebrate how much you love them and appreciate them. Make a list of all the things that you do have that you are thankful for.

Another important tool at this time is self-care.

Find the things that inspire you; a book, a poem, music, a good movie or television show. Take time out for yourself and remember to include yourself in the gift giving. Tell others around you what you need. If you need to rest, if you need to excuse yourself from the festivities do so without explanations. It is essential to nurture yourself and not force yourself to be in a place just to make others comfortable at your expense.

It is the end of the year and an excellent time to let go of things that no longer serve you.

What are the things, the thought patterns, the behaviors, the things in your life you would like to shift going into the New Year? And PLEASE no judgments here.

Be kind and gentle with yourself.

Do not use this as an opportunity to criticize and berate yourself.  Set intentions, not resolutions, that are possible to achieve.

There can be magic at this time of the year. You deserve the very best of everything. It can be a time to deeply and sincerely cultivate a spirit of love, goodwill, and wellbeing.

I wish you the very best throughout this holiday season and envision a magnificent year ahead for you all.

Much love to you and yours during this holiday season,