*Sung in the voice of Kermit & the Muppets*: There's only one more sleep 'til Christmas!
I love Christmas Eve. Growing up in New Jersey, we'd occasionally get a white Christmas. Before bed on Christmas Eve, I'd sneak outside in my onesie pajamas, look up at the stars, and listen for sleigh bells in the snow. There's a special, deep kind of quiet unlike any other night of the year. The quiet anticipation of miracles.
Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, this season is hectic and often loud. The winter solstice is intended for quiet reflection, and we often spend it in a blur of business. With all that needs to get done, it's tough to get quiet and open to miracles.
This year, I'm setting an intention to listen.
I mean, to really listen.
For me, this means pausing that record in my brain that casts opinions on what I hear. That little voice that repeats, "I agree / I disagree" after everything.
Listening means not interrupting with, "In other words, you mean..."
Listening means not crafting the next witty thing I want to say before a loved-one has finished speaking.
I'm setting the intention to simply listen.
And I don't just mean with people. I plan to get very quiet this week and listen for my truest self. The self below the record in my head that says, "You're not a good writer. You should do more yoga. You're writing's not original. You need to read more books..."
There's a self *below* that mind chatter. The truest nature. She deserves to be heard.
One way to bring that truest self forward is by grounding in the present moment. There are two techniques I've learned recently that help me stay present:
Saying out loud, "I'm back." This gem comes courtesy of Marie Forleo and her husband Josh Pais. Saying "I'm back" literally stops the mental chatter and drops you into the present moment.
Doing a quick body scan. What sensations do I feel in my toes, legs, stomach, chest, arms, shoulders, face, and head?
Once I'm present, the mental radio is a little quieter, and the still, small voice of my truest self gets a tiny glimmer of spotlight. And she's got the real wisdom.
I invite you to join me, friend. This is my wish for you: I hope you'll give that small voice, that inner light, some room to speak this season. Quiet the inner audio tape of "I'm not enough" and tap into the magic of the present moment. It's there that your truest self can work miracles.
Wishing you peace, joy, and love this holiday,