"It's the most wonderful time of the year", they say.
It's the most tricky time of the year, I say.
Excess can drain you of all your energy. And there's lots of excess in Christmas.
We've created this need to eat too much, drink too much, buy too much, party too much, pretend too much.
And it's fine. It's neither good nor bad.
As long as we are aware of it. As long as we are not taken away by this high, and we allow ourselves to immerse into and enjoy every moment. And not just do things because we have to.
Stay stable, live consciously, and make peace with yourself and the world.
It all comes back to being present.
I have recently learnt the difference between Ceremonies and Rituals.
We embark on all these Ceremonies in our daily lives because we have to.
We wake up at a certain time because we have to, we eat, sleep, shower, and take care of our physical body because we have to, we go to work and do chores because we have to, we pretend to be good and kind people because we have to...
And this becomes our life. A complete and busy timetable that satisfies our ego. And any obstacle that comes in its way is liable to throw us out of balance.
On the other hand, there's Rituals.
There's activities and associations that lift us up, fill us up with passion and energy, make us complete again.
These are the things we do consciously, immersing ourselves into them, being mindful of the whole procedure and giving them 100%. And, thus, we get back much more than we invest in them.
They can be a hobby or a task we undertake with enthusiasm. They can be as simple as really enjoying our food, our people, our time. They can be moments of gratefulness, saying "Thank you" and meaning it from the bottom of our Heart.
Let's turn our Christmas day and our whole life into a Ritual.
Let's promise ourselves to let go of anything that does not serve us, and do whatever we do every day with Love and Awareness. This way, we will distinguish the Rituals from the Ceremonies in our daily routine. Because, after all, a perfect life is nothing more than a series of perfectly-created days.
Christmas is about creation. Life is about creation.
You have the power and tools to become anything you want.
So experiment. Get out of your patterns, out of your comfort zone, out of your way.
Don't give in to F.E.A.R., i.e. False Evidence Appearing Real.
My beautiful teacher Karina Mirsky taught me that it takes only one question to shift your awareness back into a yogic mindset: "Does any other possibility exist in the whole of the universe than what I think is true?"
Work with that, and don't give in to doubts or negative feedback.
In The Art of Joyful Living, Swami Rama advice us not to accept negative feedback. Our reactions show that we are constantly craving for other people’s acceptance and compliments, and then we become dependent on them. Support and praise by others’ approval and appreciation lead to developing weak ways of living, and we lose track with ourselves, becoming a mere reactor. We do not do what we value, think or believe.
It is therefore essential to always go on learning and understanding. To change your habits in order to find your habits.
As the ingenious writer Nikos Kazantzakis put it, "You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint paradise, then in you go."
Live today and every day being true to yourself, true to your Mission. What are you passionate about bringing to the world? One step forward every day will get you there before you realise it. If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit! You didn't get this far only to get this far! You will do it; you have to do it; you have the means to do it!
Summer is a state of mind.
During winters, it's easy to forget how truly powerful we are.
Yet as long as you know your Rituals and you gain inspiration from them, as long as you know who you are and what your Mission is, you are unstoppable.
Here's a motivational oath by the ever-inspiring Robin Sharma:
1. I'll learn the skills to rise to iconic.
2. I'll put in the training to become the best.
3. I'll stay true to the vision past the point of reason.
4. I'll always think like a beginner.
Extend your capacity and become limitless. Open yourself to the universe of infinite possibilities.
Whether it is the golden Sun, or a shining Christmas Star, or any other way you visualise your Light, let it brighten up your path, and help you create paradise. Paradise is in moments, paradise can be your life, paradise can be brought to the people around you.
Even on a White Christmas day, you always carry the Sun with you in your Heart. In Costa Rica, we even take it to the sky.
I know who I am. I can choose what will make me happy. I can choose what will make me healthy. I am whole.