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Finding the Calm this Holiday Season (Part 2)

12/07/2021

Ask yourself these 5 questions to shift your perspective and explore your values to figure out what matters most to you.

PART 2 By Beth Pfitzenmaier, MS, LCAS, RYT-200

The first part of this post introduced you to some exercises to help you move towards your calm, clear center and to a place of ease and balance. (click here for Part 1). The next step is to experiment with a few exercises by digging deep and honestly asking yourself a few questions about what matters most this holiday season or anytime you are struggling.  

Shift Your Perspective 

We live in a world of abundance. There is an abundance of gratitude, joy, love, and hope just as there is an abundance of pain, fear, discomfort, and negativity.  

You get to choose what you look for, what you focus on, and where your energy goes.

You find what you look for: whether you’re seeking the light or the dark, you’ll find it. What you look for and focus on is magnified and intensified. 

And—this is so important—you get to choose what you look for, what you focus on, and where your energy goes. In so doing, you create your reality. 

This does not mean we push away or ignore or escape from that which we do not want. We can acknowledge its presence and choose to shift our focus to something that is more meaningful or helpful as opposed to dwelling on it. 

We can choose to shift our focus to something that is more meaningful or helpful as opposed to dwelling on it.

Also consider that you can move through life thinking that you have to do things, go places, or have experiences; or that you get to do things, go places, or have experiences.

The storm is the stressors of your daily life: the to do list, the arguments, the disappointments, the painful thoughts or feelings as well as the pain you may experience in your body.

Think of this like a storm. The storm is the stressors of your daily life: the to do list, the arguments, the disappointments, the painful thoughts or feelings as well as the pain you may experience in your body. Outside of the storm is clear, blue, calm sky. 

The storms come and go but the clear blue sky is always there. The storm will be happening either way–you can choose to get caught up in the storm or you can observe the storm from the calm places outside of it. 

It takes practice, but you can learn to spend more and more of your time in the places that are calm even when storms are happening nearby. The exercises in the first post offer some suggestions to help you access the clear blue sky inside of you.  

It takes practice, but you can learn to spend more and more of your time in the places that are calm even when storms are happening nearby.

Explore Your Values  

How do you want to behave this holiday season? What qualities do you want to display? (gratitude, compassion, joy, courage, flexibility, integrity, kindness) Or, What kind of person do you want to be? 

  1. Consider what actions or behaviors will help you live out these qualities. How can you express gratitude? What would it look like for you to behave with courage or compassion or integrity? 
  2. Set an intention to behave in this way and then do it; put your desired qualities into action.  
  3. You can choose in each moment to behave with kindness if that’s what matters to you. You can choose to behave with kindness even if others around you are not making that choice and you can choose to behave with kindness even if there’s another part of you who would like to be cruel.  

Reflect for a moment on the fact that you do not have to attend every event you’ve been invited to if you decide that attending the event will move you away from the person you want to be or the experiences you want to have.

Consider what kind of experiences you would like to have—maybe loving, calm, exciting, safe, kind, or fun. 

  1. What holiday events have you been invited to? Will these events have the kind of environment you’re seeking?  
  2. Reflect for a moment on the fact that you do not have to attend every event you’ve been invited to if you decide that attending the event will move you away from the person you want to be or the experiences you want to have. Or, if you choose to go, bring your awareness that you are the one who chooses how you behave.   

We only have this moment right now.  

This is the only time where you can make choices and changes, this is the only time where you can move your feet towards the life you want to have.

This is the only time where you can make choices and changes, this is the only time where you can move your feet towards the life you want to have. Right now is the only time where you can live out your values. We get where we want to go by taking one step at a time.  

While you can absolutely teach yourself these new skills it does take time, effort, and discipline. Be kind, loving, and patient towards yourself.  

About Beth:   

I value authenticity, courage, growth, and connection. I am the Clinical Training Director and use my values on a daily basis as I work alongside others to ensure we are providing the best care possible. I recently completed yoga teacher training and am now a certified yoga teacher. I look forward to being able to more fully incorporate yoga into my work with the people I serve. 

About SouthLight Healthcare: 

Founded in 1970, SouthLight Healthcare is one of the area’s largest nonprofit providers of substance use treatment and mental health services. SouthLight partners with individuals and communities to provide innovative treatment solutions delivered with compassion and dignity. With outpatient and community-based programs, SouthLight provides prevention, education, and treatment services in the Triangle and beyond. Call 919-787-6131 for help.