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Tag Archives: holiday

At this time of the year, our desire to beautify is atmospheric and much of what we seek to create is the “perfect” holiday environment. We reach out for comforting traditions with food, clothing, music, and decor.

I have everything that I want and nothing that I need.jpg

It sounds profound, yet came from something so simple that my husband said.

Circumstances, and the daily efforts that add up to our lives, can bring forth unique discoveries. Words uttered innocently become a message that ricochets around the brain in its startling clarity.

With so many choices each moment, how do we narrow down the most meaningful?  What kind of satisfaction are we seeking?  Inspiration comes in many forms.

have nothing in your house_william morris

There are no rules for what makes one person happy or brings joyful delight to another. Cleaning house, as it were, in any form can be revitalizing if it is what you genuinely want to do. However, it can also bring fear and anxiety as one tries to make sense of the situation that he finds himself in.

I am not one of the elite trying to clear all of the clutter out of my house. I certainly have not succeeded in doing so among my many thoughts. But, in whatever way you choose to create and embrace your surroundings, enhance your environment in the way that makes sense for you in its most individual form.  Indeed, enlightenment may be found in truly wanting what you choose.

However, finding what you need among all of it, with joy, beauty, and gratitude, makes it all the more satisfying.

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autumn dusk_empathy queen
blue moon
driftwood-on-lake

There is no such thing as perfection. Even in nature, it is not only the greenest of trees, or sunniest of days, that appeal to us. Our spirits find comfort in darkened skies, barren landscapes, frosty moons, and cloudy sunsets. It becomes perfection, in a fleeting moment, as it satisfies our individual moods and reflects our changing perspectives.

Perfection is a changeable factor. We want everything to be so pretty, colorful, bright, and perhaps well matched. To others, it is the crazy quilt combination and rough-hewn irregularity that expresses perfection. We can never create perfection for someone else because as hard as we try, it is our bias that we are using. As long as someone else has the right to approve or disapprove, to hold dear or discard, to treasure or to turn away, we will never feel perfected or completely embraced in it.

There is no such thing as perfection, unless we will it to be so, in how we view it within ourselves and consider it among the gifts of our heart or mind.

Every effort to do the right thing is a blessing. But the recipient does not always know that it is a gift, they may not even know who the giver is. We attempt to please someone else with what they can see and receive from us. But, sometimes, just giving what the other person needs is the most “perfect” thing, even that which does not seem so to us.

We can love in the best possible way we know how and others will discard it. We can try to say the most perfect words and someone else will choose not to hear it. The illusion of perfection is that the effort to attain it wears you down. Perfection should feel good, peaceful, and a spark of bliss. It is elusive; perfection is confined to a moment in time that you believe to be so. However, it is constantly changing, tipping forward or backward in our personal view of good and bad.

To those who can share such a moment with someone else, you have been gifted a tremendous blessing. However, not all of us who cannot, are “less than.” We are each seeking our moments of joy, insight, understanding, value, appreciation, empathy, compassion, and enduring good. We make the best decisions that we can at the time. In trying to bring about positive change, we seek to create perfection in a place or manner that apathy never can.

Perfection is a desire; striving to improve is a positive thing. Regret, and pain, because we have not achieved such a state, tears down and weakens. If it saps your strength, if the energy is felt and seen around you, as it is in empathetic people, and it hurts you, then it is not perfection.

Perfection is Divine; it is G-d given and not man made. We do not know what is perfect, or right, when things occur in our lives. We pray that it is for our best, but we question that as well. There is beauty in darkness, and sadness in clarity. Highly sensitive people are aware of their feelings and those of others. The noise, the temperature, the smells, and the sensory overload can be too much. Perfection may be the quiet moment in the morning, with the first sip of a wonderful cup of coffee, enjoyed alone. Quiet may be your version of perfection rather than a star-studded gala affair.

Do not regret not being a part of all that the media shows us to be the “perfect” holiday season or necessary start to the New Year. Greet new beginnings at your own pace. There is not only one day out of the year that carries the magic of the spirit. That day, that time, that minute, can be whenever it seems perfectly appropriate to you and it is not subject to anyone else’s approval but yours.

Releasing the need for someone else’s company or approval may be the kindest thing we can do for ourselves. So, even in pain, there is good if we consider it to be so. Even if it only lasts a minute, if our focus on our difficulties and disappointments only lasts as long as a sigh… We have glimpsed peace and the next moment is ours to determine how to move forward, or stand, until we are ready to move again.

linus cartoon_humanityPeople put so much stress on themselves all year long, but between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the internal perfectionist kvetches very loudly. “Everything has to be just perfect” is a tough taskmaster; parties, menus, gifts, clothes, music — so many choices, and the pressure to recreate mystical unicorns of holidays past, can add to already mounting anxiety. With long term unemployment, fear in the economy and crushing debt, not to mention dysfunctional families and jobs, there is more than enough stress to go around. Here are some ideas to help you navigate through some of it now and the whole year through. Wishing You All the Best!!

The Chart

Editor’s note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of seeking serenity: the quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times.

I have been examining stress from every which angle for the past six months.

And since, by now, I have sufficiently stressed out my editor and probably some readers with essays that often run well over  my assigned length, this week I’m offering up a lightning round of some of the most compelling stress-busting strategies I’ve come across.

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