Although most people want to find meaning in their lives, few know how to do it—especially during times like the holidays when everyone seems busy, stressed, and exhausted. This holi-“daze” can easily misalign us from our everyday groove, leaving us feeling extremely distant from where—and who—we want to be.
So, how do you live a more soulful life during the holiday season? What does this even mean?
Simply put, we misalign our lives most when we do things that don’t resonate with or match the needs of our soul. This seems to happen more during the holiday season than any other time of the year. High expectations about gatherings held by family, employers, and friends often throw us out of balance. The unrealistic demand on our time to do more and live “bigger” also destabilizes our truth. Navigating the dynamics of family and other loved ones can also send us into a soulspin.
One of the best ways to navigate the holidays is to set standards for how you choose to live in the weeks and months to come. Soul-based living requires us to be intentional and mindful in every decision we make, in every turn in the road, and in every context our souls may have created. By answering the following three questions, you not only increase your overall awareness, but you can also lead a much more enjoyable, peaceful and enriched life.
1) Is it necessary? (“It” being an activity, tradition, obligation, etc.)
Evaluate each decision you make—from the time you spend with others, to whether and how much you decide to decorate, right down to the food you eat and prepare. This will help you determine if the action is actually necessary or just expected by yourself or others. If guilt is involved, you may want to evaluate the core of where it originated, keeping in mind that guilt often reflects our feelings about things we didn’t really want to do anyway. Misaligning our behaviors from the desires of our soul is one of the worst offenses we can inflict on our inner ally. Dread and angst are often the main two outcomes of engaging in activities that don’t suit our soul, so take action now by changing plans to include only what is truly necessary to make your holidays a hit.
2) Is it meaningful? (“Meaningful” means to enrich and inspire your life.)
How often do we do something during the holidays that lacks meaning or interest? How much of it feels like a task rather than a meaningful event?
Once you evaluate whether an activity is necessary, it is important to then explore whether it brings meaning to your life. There is nothing worse than engaging in an activity that has no significance to your soul. We get bored, irritated, and even depressed when events are void of any personal meaning or enrichment. We often feel frustrated, angry and empty, even when the world expects us to feel excited and alive during the holiday season. It is virtually impossible to fake our way through the season and in the case of leading a meaningful life, holidays seem to rank high on the list of things that bring mixed blessings. To make the best of the upcoming season, consider what is meaningful when you plan your festive efforts.
3) Does it feed your soul? (Does it nourish and enrich your life?)
You cannot live a soul-based life if the majority of your activities suck the life out of you. Yes, the human condition is a drain in and of itself. But in many cases, we can choose whether or not we participate in activities that are more life-giving than life-diminishing. Feeding your soul entails choosing activities that bring you excitement and joy, rather than dread and exhaustion. If a family or friend gathering takes away more than it gives, consider why you continue to subject yourself to this sort of drain on your precious life force. Ask yourself what you would rather be doing instead, and consider starting a new trend or tradition that allows you to restore and feed your soul.
Soul-based living requires us to become conscious participants in day-to-day living. Although you can apply these questions to the holiday season, they are can also help you evaluate the rest of your life. We can choose whether to live a soulful life versus one that is laced with the exhausting challenges of the human condition.
In the months to come, you will receive many messages about how to live a more soulful life. It is certainly time to lead our lives with twenty-twenty “Soul Vision” since the human condition just isn’t fulfilling our needs. By becoming more conscious of how we design our lives, we can become more appreciative of all our soul has to offer.