As a healer and a teacher I always need to be aware of how much I am giving away professionally and how much I am receiving personally. I’ve taught yoga for long enough that I know there are periods of time when I’m depleted and my teaching is static. Other times I’m on fire with new ideas and teaching nourishes me. As with any job it waxes and wanes.
But over the years I’ve discovered that if I make the practice of receiving be equally important in my life I have so much more to give. In order to keep teaching yoga I need to take really good classes where I get to be the student and be wowed by a flow sequence or how good a posture feels. In order to be a successful acupuncturist I need to get regular acupuncture and bodywork to make my body strong and keep my mind clear. In order to hold the healing stories of my patients, I also need good friends who listen to my life stories and witness my journeys.
What I am getting at is the concept of purposeful, deliberate Receiving. How can we balance the depletion with the refilling this holiday season?
5 Ways to Practice Receiving
1. Nourishment: An easy way to receive this holiday season is by enjoying the treats. The next time you get a sugar craving or need a carb fix think about what would be the most nourishing and enjoyable treat. Spend the extra money for quality ingredients and take the time to get exactly what it is you want. Once you have finished getting that treat, take more time to savor it fully. Don’t enjoy a treat while in the midst of a deep conversation or while watching television. Make that treat the full show and let the tastes and sensations of indulging be the nourishment.
2. Appreciation of Communal Time: The people we get to see around the holidays are often the people we don’t get to see on a daily basis. Really receive their presence by engaging in quality conversations and activities. Hear how they are doing and be honest and specific about how you are doing. Allowing yourself to have a full connection with loved ones in the midst of a hectic season can be very filling and replenishing. Avoid counting the minutes until your next activity or responsibility and be fully present at each engagement.
3. Celebrate the Alone Time: Even the best extroverts need alone time in December. Don’t trade out your weekly yoga class for holiday shopping with your best friend if you know that hour class is the only thing keeping you sane. Sticking to your usual routine or even increasing your wellness routine during December may be a much needed gift to yourself all month long. Take advantage of discounts and treat yourself to a little pampering to show up at holiday parties looking healthy, rested and peaceful.
4. Get Creative: Just because your favorite recipe calls for white flour, processed sugar and tons of shortening doesn’t mean you have to use it year after year. The internet is a wealth of information on how to make everything taste delicious with whole grains, less dairy, less or no sugar and higher quality ingredients. Check out some of my favorites cooking websites Smitten Kitchen, Nourished Kitchen, Crazy Sexy Wellness, Oh She Glows, and Nourishing Gourmet.
5. Rest: We can find rest in unexpected places if we appreciate it fully. The next time you are waiting in line or being put on hold close your eyes and rest. Take a mini savasana in the grocery store, or at your desk. Just close your eyes let your whole body relax and appreciate the stillness of not doing anything, not accomplishing anything. All the sudden you will want the line to move slowly or for that hold music to keep playing in the background.
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