with the holidays upon us, things usually go either one way or the other.
it is often a time of sweet nostalgia and longing for holidays past. or, it is a time of gazing ahead, visioning how things might be in the new year.
but, what if instead of yearning for the past or dreaming of the future, we simply embraced the here + now? looking back or looking ahead both generate hazy, romantic views, keeping our attention away from what is happening right here, right now. both take us away from living in the present.
which, honestly, many of us are looking to do. aren’t we? we’d rather wrap ourselves up in the warm memories of holidays that were or make plans for how we want life to be. and that’s all well and good, to a degree. but, the thing is, i guarantee that in our remembering and in our dreaming, we are not completely in tune with how it really was. and, of course, we cannot actually imagine how it will be.
still, escaping to the past or the future sometimes feels better than being right here where we are.
but, my friends, the truth (in my world + in my experiences) is that pining and dreaming of the past and the future do not help us to actually create that life that we so desire. we can only do that by being present in our life right now. no matter how cozy and warm those memories and dreams feel, they will not comfort us. they are not our reality.
i, for one, am so tempted to dream away and get completely sucked up into all of those nostalgic feelings that come with the holidays. but, all that does is make me smile, and then make me cry. because i miss how it was. but, was it really like i remember? was it really as peaceful and calm and perfect as i remember? of course not. still, i yearn for those days. for the familiar, for the old ways of celebrating the holidays with my family in the states.
i can also get caught up in dreaming about future holidays. how i want it to be. what i wish for it to look like and feel like, existing through this season because i am hoping for another one. an attempt to basically re-create those nostalgic memories.
but, in getting lost in my memories or stuck in my future plans, i miss out on so much. i miss out all of the beauty that actually exists right here, right now. and, in truth, all we have is right now. and, guess what? it’s all up to me what i do with my right now. it’s all up to me how i choose to celebrate and experience this holiday season.
do i sit and sip on hot chocolate in the corner, listening to traditional christmas carols, crying my eyes out because nothing is like it was last year or thirty years ago? or do i sit in the same corner, sipping on that same hot chocolate telling myself that it will be better, it will be more fun when i have this, or this, or when life looks like this?
or, do i invite someone in my life right now to sit with me and sip hot chocolate, sharing our thoughts and traditions of christmases in different countries, taking note of the cozy twinkling lights and the warmth of my apartment? or perhaps i sit alone, sip that hot chocolate, and just breathe in the moment.
you see, i choose what kind of holiday i want to have. focusing on the present moment does not mean that i do not miss my family or all of our old traditions or my holiday celebration with my love in our amazing apartment last year. i ache deeply for all of those things that i miss. but, those are my beautiful memories. they are not my present moment. and my present moment has no chance of being beautiful if i do not exist in it.
so, what does all of this have to do with tonight’s full moon?
a big bright moon in the night sky illuminates everything. it is the perfect setting to open our eyes and our hearts and really, really see what is going on. it is the perfect opportunity to use the moon to cast a light into the shadows of our soul. to be fully present. to honestly look at the here and now.
i absolutely encourage us all to sit for just a few moments under the light of the moon and to ponder truthfully everything about our lives. where we are. what we want. where we are going. and, as this full moon leads us into the holiday season (the next full moon is on christmas day – how freaking incredible is that?! talk about the Light coming to earth to dwell among us!), it is the perfect time tonight to embrace exactly who we are right now.
oh, it may be painful. or it may be glorious. it may be frightening. or it may be empowering. we may feel proud. or we may feel ashamed. but, no matter what, there is much that we have accomplished this year so far, and there is much, much more to come. so, to embrace all of that right here + right now, as the moon shines her magic down upon us, is the gift of the present moment.
and this is the moment that we can choose how we want to live. and we do have a choice. but, have no fear, it’s not about choosing right or wrong. perhaps it’s about choosing ourselves. the power lies within us. it is up to us. and we cannot choose wrong, because, even if we choose one thing and it turns out not so great, then we can always choose again.
life is like that. flowing. fluid. changing. evolving. and everything is possible.
the truth is, whatever we want in this life, whatever we desire and whatever makes our heart skip a beat—it is possible. we just have to make the choice to pursue it. – kate rose
so, as the holiday season approaches. we can choose not only how we want to live our life, but how we want to experience this holiday season.
will we be remembering the past, dreaming of the future, or living in the here and now? will we be hurried and rushed and stressed? or will we slow down, sit in our truth, speak out for ourselves and for others, and embrace the cozy moments that will swirl about us?
my friends, i am in the midst of creating a little guide/ritual for making it through the rest of the year (the holiday season) in an intentional, slow way. i am creating a theme for each week, beginning this coming sunday, november 29th and running through the 3rd of january. i invite you to journey with me. i’ll have some writings, some photos, some music, and some challenges/rituals for us to practice together.
it’s my little gift to you. my way of deciding and claiming my intention to be fully present in this holiday season. and to share it all with you who want to journey with me.
it’s all up to us how we decide to live through this beautiful, wonderful season of peace and love. there is so much potential and possibility, and we have all of the power we could ever need to decide daily how we want to live. i do hope you journey with me, but i also encourage you to search your heart + soul, and to celebrate this season of darkness + light in the way that works best for you right now.
as always, i am here for you. and i wish you light and love and full moon blessings.
Beautifully put, Liz that the, “pining and dreaming of the past and the future do not help us to actually create that life that we so desire. we can only do that by being present in our life right now.” And oh so true. The only way to change is to choose and the only way we can choose is to be aware of our present realities as they exist. Which, as you said, is not the same as not acknowledging our memories or past or thinking about what we want for the future, but it is making the choice to keep our past and our future dreams as part of who we are without letting them overwhelm our emotions and obscure the fact that we are not living in the past or the future. We have complete control over how we perceive our present and we have a choice every moment how we will live those moments. This is a beautiful, inspiring post and one that is so helpful and important with the upcoming holidays, when it is all to easy to get sucked into thoughts and emotions instead of staying present. Thank you. Love and strength to you both. xoxo
Thank you so much, Meghan, for always making me feel like the things that I write really do matter. And, that I actually make sense when I write. Seriously. I just through all of my thoughts out there, and you always soak them up, taking them so seriously. Taking me, as a person, for real. I never need to wonder if I am seen or heard because you most definitely see and hear me. And, for that kind of friendship, even only shred over the internet right now, I am so grateful. Love and peace to you, dear friend. xoxo
Thank you for this, I had never stop to think about it that way, but is so true. I look forward to joining in on your journey. love, light and full moon blessings to you too xx
So glad that you are joining in the journey. I hope that all is well with you right now. Sending you much love! xoxo
I loved this post Liz. For me, the Christmas season has been bitter-sweet for years. I find it stressful, too commercialized, and always a scheduling challenge. But you are right: it’s in my hands to make it what I want it to be. I can make my own rules and live it as hectic or as slow as I like!
Thanks for the important reminder ❤
I am so very thrilled to hear that this post touched you and served as a reminder for you to live your Christmas season exactly as you wish. We can support each other in keeping it slow and meaningful. xoxo
I’m catching up on your blog here. I have to say that this is one of my favorite blog posts by you. I really felt on the same wavelength as you were when you were writing this post. I would read one sentence and it would trigger some thoughts in my head. Then the further I read, you would say what I was thinking. It was a nice nice experience. I love what you have to say here. 🙂
Oh, that is just amazing when that happens! I love reading something, thinking something about what I read, and then reading exactly what I was thinking a few sentences later. That is really an amazing gift of the universe, of spirit. I am so very touched that you experienced this while reading one of my posts! 🙂
Presence is so very important. Especially during these hectic and chaotic times. I’m glad that you are choosing to be in the moment.