So, let’s talk a little bit about the holidays and the upcoming new year.
Yes, it can be overwhelming.
Yes, it can feel like a time of sadness and loss.
Yes, it is a time of cash outflow.
On the other hand, it is a time of joy, celebration, family, friends and lots and lots of twinkly lights!
My first holiday seasons during and after my own divorce were filled with all kinds of emotions.
On the one hand, things would never be the same again.
On the other hand, things would never be the same again.
The old routines, rituals and holiday habits would no longer take place, but in their place, new ones were being created.
Join me now as I walk you through a little exercise to prepare your heart for the holidays!
As you look towards the month of December and the sounds of the holidays are playing everywhere…take a few minutes this week to let go of what was, used to be, should have been…
Take out a clean piece of paper and write down all the holiday rituals, ceremonies and patterns that will no longer be part of your NEW holiday celebrations.
When you are done, put on your warm coat (if you live where winters are cold!), your mittens and your hat and scarf and take a short walk into the woods. If you are not an outdoorsy kind of person or you don’t live in an area that has a woodsy place outside, then create a place of solitude in your home. Perhaps you can light a few candles, dim the lights and invite the silence.
Wherever you are, it is not time to crumple up this piece of paper and burn it in a safe place.
While you may feel that your divorce is an "ending" or that things are now "different", it is really a new beginning. This small ritual will help you to open your heard to possibility and the creation of new shared experiences with your children, family, friends and most importantly yourself!
While this paper burns, say the following outloud:
Today I let go of that which is no more and welcome in that which will be. I open myself to the possibility of what tomorrow will bring and commit to honor what I wish create.
Making Your Heart Sing
What makes your heart sing? What makes you shine from within and lights you on fire about the holidays?
This is the time to indulge in what you want your wonderful holidays to be like…to feel like, to look like, to taste like…
Being Jewish, lighting and decorating a Christmas tree was not part of our holiday celebrations. I have, however, for as long as I can remember, absolutely loved the lit up trees and sparkly lights that adorn the homes of those that do celebrate. They simply make me feel joyful!
After I got divorced, I wanted to make my house sparkly during the holiday season. So, I decided to buy little strings of light and strategically place them in my home. I put some around my fire place and around doorways. I have many, many candles and I light them almost every night…especially in the winter.
This new ritual is something that makes me happy. It is not a religious expression, rather something that makes my heart sing and creates an environment in my home that I want to come home to each night!
So, I ask you again…what makes your heart sing?
Is it lots of sparkly lights?
Is it a pot luck brunch with all of your friends?
Is it working in the soup kitchen on Christmas Eve with your children?
There are many rituals, ceremonies, and traditions that you can do to begin to create your new celebrations!
As you move forward along your journey through divorce, there is so much change. Sometimes, change can open the door to new and exciting opportunities. Often we wait to see what will happen, and allow ourselves to feel like a guest in our own lives. The joy of the holidays is that you don’t need permission to create and celebrate in any way you like! Being home alone does not mean that you are lonely. How you celebrate and spend your precious time is your CHOICE! You can do anything you want, with anyone you want in any way that you want! What a fantastic and liberating freedom!!!
When I was married, New Year’s Eve was always a big deal. We dressed up, we went out, we were part of a serious social planning exercise that began weeks in advance.
Once divorced, I found myself with nothing to do on New Year’s Eve and no one to do it with. Sometimes I have my kids, and sometimes I don’t. What I ultimately learned about myself is that I really didn’t want to do anything at all on New Year’s Eve. I make it a quiet night of wine, good food, a bath…very relaxing and I add in renting movies!
Instead, what I love is to open my home for a pot luck New Year’s Day Open House where all of my family and friends, as well as those of my kids, can come over on their schedule and share the 1st day of the New Year…even if for a short time! It is how I now choose to begin the new year and to set my intentions for what will be.
This is my new tradition and one that makes my heart sing.
Create a little time for yourself to write down all the things about the holidays that make YOUR heart sing. After they are all written down, make a plan to incorporate each one of them over the next month!
I hope that these two exercises help you to prepare your heart for the holidays!
It is your holiday season and you are allowed to design a celebration that fills you with joy!