Unlike a lot of folks, I don’t look forward to the holidays. I prefer to look back into them. It’s a visualization technique I picked up a couple of years ago when I took an online writing class with artist and “inspirator” Mary Anne Radmacher. Her workshop was called “Holidaze” — and its theme was how to back into the season. Essentially we were to visualize ourselves January 1st looking back over the festivities, falderal, and fa-la-la. How would we want to remember them? We were to imagine what we’d want that to look like and then set about creating that celebration. Instead of waking up in the new year wondering what happened, we can focus on the results and outcomes we most desire. Wow. Intentional? Purposeful? In-the-Moment Mindful? You mean there’s another way to broach the season besides pell-mell tumult, confusion, frustration, anxiety, and pharmaceuticals? Wow. Sign me up.
Before I took that workshop, I always felt a little like the last doggie in the herd – every other cow on the cattle trail seemed to know where they were going; I just sort of followed along. It feels good now to set off on an intentional trail — as much as that trail seems to twist and wind about. Mindset in place I try to orchestrate a lot of what made those my seasons particularly happy and memorable. Not surprisingly, those happier days between November and January weren’t the ones consumed by shopping, credit cards, and frenetic activity. The most glorious days were colored with hall decking and laughter, merriment, surprise and serendipity. So this December, along with my naughty and nice lists, Christmas card and shopping lists, I’ve got my “memories to make” list. I shall choose to focus on those activities so my January 1st will be filled with a warm heart and no regrets.