Welcome to the holiday issue of my life coaching newsletter.  I hope you
find the information of value as you head into the holiday season.   Relax
and enjoy!  
                                                                                                           Janie Murray

A Thought to Ponder… 
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

                                                                                                           Lao Tzu

 Embracing the Joy of the Holidays
The holidays should be a time of joy, connection, love and family, but, in actuality, for many of us, they are a time of stress, frenzy and exhaustion.   We set unrealistic goals for ourselves, wanting everything to be perfect.  In the midst of all the chaos, we lose the true meaning of the season.  So, how can we do it better and differently this year to bring back the joy, love, excitement and true meaning? 

Begin with a different approach.   Set an intention to maintain balance, and experience a joyous season—one that you truly enjoy. Then, through the season, hold yourself accountable to that commitment.  Note that you may need to remind yourself of this daily, until it becomes your new habit. 
Next, decide what parts of the holidays are most important to you and make those your priority.  Let everything else go.  Accept that the holidays do not have to be perfect.  Take a deep breath, plan, and pace yourself.  Realize that you are the model for your family and the energy and attitude you bring to each day will help set the energy and tone the family will hold.  So, if you are calm, centered, and living in the moment, your family will feel that and mirror it back to you.

Set realistic timelines and goals, and most importantly, simplify.  Look for easier, smarter ways to shop and prepare, and include your family in the preparation process.   The preparations themselves can be fun, and soon may become part of the tradition your family remembers most.  These preparations can also serve to bring the family closer together.  Consider hiring extra help for certain chores that aren’t your favorite, so that you can focus on the enjoyable areas.  Don’t own any disruptions, and don’t let these rob you of your peace.  Realize the only person you can control is YOU, so remain calm, even if something goes awry.  Again, how you handle a situation will help determine how others respond, so stay centered, calm and at peace.

Connect.  Pause, reach out and connect with family and close friends.  Make it a season of precious moments.  Life is short, so making the most of the best times is so very important. 

Recharge.  Carve out time to nurture and recharge yourself.  Put time on your calendar weekly for you, keeping those appointments as you would keep appointments to others.  You cannot give to your family if you are depleted.   Self-care is not selfish.  It is smart and necessary, especially with the pace of life today.
Lastly, remember to live from a perspective of gratitude.  Be grateful for all your blessings every day.  Coming from a place of gratitude and peace will help you not only survive the holidays—you will thrive through the holidays!

 Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!  May 2019 bring you peace, love, great health and abundance!