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Find Your Holiday Sparkle

Some might scowl when I say how much I love winter…but, I do! I love the chill of frost, the sparkle of freshly fallen snow, the crunch of boots on snow-packed paths, twinkling lights against a dark night sky, sitting with a cup of cocoa near a crackling fire.

I even love the hustle and bustle of the winter holidays…the music, the treats, the joy of sharing, and the magic that shines out during this season of giving.

OK, admittedly I don’t love the over-commercialization as stores begin marketing Christmas in October when pumpkins are still sitting on many porches. I don’t love the stress that emanates from stores as people frantically move through the crowds to find the new-better-best gifts for loved ones. I don’t love the holiday traditions that are kept even after they’ve lost meaning.

During my #journey2simple, I even decided for a couple of years to STOP some of my cherished holiday traditions because I thought they were somehow contrary to my choice to begin living a more simple, less cluttered life.

I read something last week that helped reinforce the change of heart I’ve been feeling this year. I had already decided to cherish the winter holidays again, even as I focus on letting go of the excess. This quote reminded me that a SIMPLE shift of perception is all it takes.

Yes, the holidays can seem too commercialized! But…it’s my choice to get caught up in the judgment of the holidays or to shift my perception to the wonder of the season. I am never going to stop the commercialization through my irritation or judgment. I can, however, transform my experience by holding onto the message of the season: peace, kindness, love, hope, and goodwill to all people.

– Beverly Hutchinson McNeff/What Would Jesus Do?
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We choose where to focus our attention, and our choice is what determines our experience of any season. I recently wrote about this in Choose Amazement. What we focus on gives meaning to our life. We can choose to be amazed and humbled by what we see, or not.

This message is so important to remember, especially during a time of year that is so busy and over-flowing with opportunity to lose our focus (& our sanity)!

So I’ve come up with a simple SHINE reminder to bring comfort & joy to you this holiday season. Use these daily to see where you can shine a bit more light into the world as you celebrate the simple gifts of winter.

Slow down…and savor what you love. What can you let go of that you don’t love, and how might this create even more space to attend to what you do?

Hear with your heart. Listen closely for the deeper meaning of the season. Are you missing any messages of joy as you rush about trying to finish your list?

Infuse yourself with light & reflect what is good and holy for others. Be a beacon of love and goodwill, as you set an example for everyone you meet.

Nourish yourself with rest & good choices. Have you sipped a warm cup of tea today?

Embrace the mystery. Are you looking through eyes of wonder or fatigue?

Whatever holiday you celebrate, remember the magic comes through opening our minds and hearts with child-like wonder. Keep shining, and remember that YOU put the SHINE into every season.

Sora Garrett
Sora Garretthttps://soragarrett.com/
Sora Garrett is a highly-creative humanitarian who spent years resisting her identity as an organizational genie. After becoming burnt out trying to change the world, she decided to focus on shining light on what’s Good in her world while helping you create joy and meaning in yours. With her fourth book to be published in early 2020, Sora is blending her love for writing with her gift of inspiring people to think outside the box. Still passionate about creating a better world, her business is a philanthropy playground where she shines light on collaborative giving programs and the everyday beacons who inspire her. When she’s not writing or creating, Sora is walking by (not on) water with her mini-schnauzer joy-mate, watching movies with her newly retired husband, sharing time with her two grown children and one amazing grandson, and skiing or hiking in the mountains of Idaho where everyday miracles can be found.
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Laura Staley

Thank you so much for the reminder to SHINE, Sora! I love this essay and the encouragement to choose how we see and experience this time of year. We always have a choice and sometimes we can forget that we do! As I have experienced both seeing through eyes of fatigue as I recovered from laryngitis and eyes of wonder as I unwrapped the holiday ornaments from my life inside the years with my two children and their dad, I know that I no longer live in the either/or but rather the both/and of grieflove, Joy, awe, tinged with sadness. Being human I feel pieces of the past flushing through my heart and eyes at the same time I experience this moment right here, right now. I no longer rush about, but I do now listen deeply to my heart-I’m finally giving her a chance to feel deeply grateful and to grieve, to love, and no longer ever be numb to life or walled off from any experience-for there is wonder in the miracle of being alive even as hot tears of griefgratitude might stream down your face. I appreciate the joy, the passion that weaves all around your invitation to SHINE! i wish you a most joyous season and wonderFul year ahead, Sora!!

Mike Pitocco

I like what you say Sora. I’ve never been a pack rat when it comes to material possessions……but I’ve certainly been guilty of letting my mind get cluttered. One thing that helped is learning when to say “no”…..or, perhaps not saying “yes” too quickly. Learning to do a few things well rather than more things than I should haphazardly was an important lesson. I love you SHINE reminder. Thanks for sharing.

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