How can I remain in a place of peace during
the busy, and sometimes stressful, holidays?
Rev. Chris Jackson, Senior Minister
There is only one way to remain stress-free and at peace – whether at Christmas or any other time. It is to remain as conscious as possible of who you are and where you dwell. The world will tell you that you are weak, vulnerable, worried and miserable. Is it any surprise that we would feel stressed and restless with that idea of ourselves? Your innate Spirit speaks otherwise. It tells you that you are strong, invincible, peaceful and in joy. When you hold that idea of yourself, there is absolutely nothing that can stress you out or make you feel uneasy. And interestingly, that’s what Christmas is all about. Beyond all the decorations, gatherings and gift exchanges, Christmas is about looking at how you define yourself. Your definition of yourself will define your experience of life. Join me during this holiday season with a commitment to stop thinking negatively of yourself. Affirm with me our identity as children of a God of magnificence. Take on the identity of the Christ – as one who is made in the image and likeness of God. Want to give Jesus a birthday present? Give Him the remembrance of who you are and never again be dismayed at a false identity of your beauty, grace and joy. May you and yours have the merriest Christmas ever!
Rev. Elizabeth Longo, Associate Minister
While the holidays can be filled with warmth, joy, and great gatherings with family and friends, it can also be a very busy time. The Christmas season can sometimes bring up nostalgia and the holiday blues. While our hearts may feel more open to give and receive love we may also be feeling more vulnerable. Regardless of where we are in consciousness the holidays are a time of change. Our senses are experiencing lights, Christmas decorations, Christmas songs, and holiday foods. Then there are the Christmas gift lists, shopping, and the social gatherings. All of this can bring up tension, anxiety, and stress. During the holidays I recommend that we take the time to nourish our souls by being extra gentle with ourselves. Practice self-love and radical self-acceptance. You are the reason for the season. You are the greatest gift you can give to yourself and to the world. Change does not necessarily mean transformation. You have an opportunity to awaken the Christ in you, your true self. First, stay prayed up. Put God first. From the moment you wake up be grateful. Count your blessings. Pay attention to the inner world. Practice repeating the mantra, “thank you, God,” as you go through your day. Take breaks from your busy day as you withdraw the attention from the outer world and notice your breath. Enter the silence and rest there for a few minutes. It will make all the difference in the world.