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Dec 21, 2012

You might have noticed the celebration cycle tends to have a busy build-up to the apex of the celebration (which might be a gift exchange), and a let down afterward. There is a way to bring consciousness to all parts of the cycle, and tune into the emotions that are common in all parts of the cycle. When we have perspective from the cycle, we're less carried away by it and less emotionally in turmoil.

In this interview with  Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of The Mindful Child we delve into making conscious the practice of giving and receiving. In this 30 minute call, Susan teaches a few simple practices:

  • How to recognize the cycles in the holidays, regardless of tradition, and make them conscious
  • How to mindfully manage the low-points with children
  • How to mindfully give to another human being

In listening to this conversation, you may be struck at how simple and mindful the practices are. You also may become aware, like I did, that I'm not doing them. There is an opportunity here for all of us to be an expression of connectivity at a deeper level, together. If we have children, we can do it with them, and they will pick it up second nature and perhaps carry this way of giving through their lives.

It's easy to blow off mindfulness practices during the holidays. Your mind might get hyperactive and create extensive to-do lists that at the time seem absolutely essential for happiness. I know many people get sick around the holidays. While the person might blame it on a change in the weather, more likely it's due to their diet and lifestyle not being in sync with the season changes. Why do we get out of sync? We're usually paying attention to something else, like preparing for a celebration and lose our connection to which part of the cycle we are in. 

When we have perspective of the greater cycle that we're in, and what is the essence of the celebration, we get focused and connected. We don't get stressed out. There is less let down afterward.

In this interview Susan leads us through doing an easy practice with our children. If you don't have a child.. do it yourself. Listen to the practice and integrate into your day between now and the new year. It will deepen your persepective to enjoy what is happening now.

Become present for your children in the phases of celebrating:

  • Leading up to the celebration
  • The celebration
  • After the celebration

Learning how to do loving kindness , or "Friendly Wishes" as THE fundamental practice of giving. You'll learn how to practice this with children. You'll learn Susan's easy method of connecting when a child is upset. She teaches a few easy steps:

- acknowledge the upset

- settle the nervous system

- see what can be learned once the nervous system is relaxed

- inquire into how to move forward

Let's make a point of not being too "busy", too distracted by stuff, to tap into our deeper capacities to give and receive. The future depends on it.