What is the real meaning of Christmas, and how to teach it to your children?
As a mother, you teach your children first and foremost by example. During this holiday season, you have the opportunity to show your family the three most meaningful tenets of Christmas: Peace, Love and Joy. Here, I break down four ways to achieve these states of mind: Think of it as a gift you give yourself too.
BE THE SPIRIT OF PEACE
To be the spirit of peace, you first need to bless away the holiday stress! Here is a simple, quick practice to help you feel peaceful, calm and relaxed during the holiday rush.
Christmas Peace Snow Flake Meditation
Each morning, set aside 10 minutes for this simple meditation.
Step 1: Lie down or seat comfortably, with your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your heart.
Step 2: Breathe deeply and slowly. As you inhale, open your body to receive the Breath of Life, allowing the air to travel all the way to your belly. Then gently allow more air to fill your stomach, then your chest. The hands on your belly and chest should rise gently. Exhale slowly, allowing the air to leave through your nose or lips. The longer the exhalation, the deeper the relaxation. Do several cycles of inhalation and exhalation, until your heartbeat slows down.
Step 3: As you inhale, visualize your mind as a clear winter sky. Experience your thoughts as clouds. As you exhale, visualize the air that you are releasing dispelling the clouds. Do this until your mind is relatively free of thoughts and worries. (It doesn’t have to be perfectly empty. That state is achieved over time.)
Step 4: As you inhale, see a giant snow flake slowly floating in the clear winter sky of your mind. Enjoy the perfect, beautiful star formation. How slowly and silently it surrenders to the world, bringing beauty and peace! Imagine that it enters you through the crown of your head. Feel the peace of the perfect snowflake expanding inside you.
Step 5: As you exhale, visualize that perfect star of peace being multiplied by your breath, voice and words, touching everyone and spreading all around you.
Step 6: Throughout the day, whenever you feel stressed, simply take a deep breath as you evoke the image of the Peace Snow Flake. This will bring you instantly into the spirit of holiday Peace.
BE THE SPIRIT OF LOVE
To be the spirit of Love, here are some inspiring practices to romance the holidays by falling in love with the magic of the season.
Put On Your Santa Glasses
Putting on your Santa glasses is a metaphor for shifting your perception to capture the magic of the holidays—whether it’s a whiff of fresh pine, a warm smile on a stranger’s face, the sound Christmas music pouring out of a window, or children’s laughter. Putting on your Santa Glasses allows you to see and share the magic of life with your loved ones.
Step 1: If you have glasses or sunglasses, use them as props. If not, use the gesture of putting on glasses as a mudra to activate this visualization.
Step 2: Put on the Santa Glasses immediately after washing your face in the morning. Watch yourself doing it in the mirror. You can even draw a face of Santa with glasses on a Post-it paper and paste it on the mirror as a reminder.
Step 3: The moment that you put on your Santa Glasses, you are going to see something magical, beautiful and enchanting: your face in the mirror. You must keep this image for at least 5 minutes at a time.
Step 4: Each day, set five specific moments to put on your Santa Glasses (e.g., upon waking up, at lunch, on leaving work, during dinner, before going to bed).
Step 5: Share at least three of those magical images with someone in your family.
Step 6: Remember: this is not another chore. This is a joyous time!
FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT
Do you remember how you felt when you first fell in love? The colors brightened. Your senses heightened. The world became a magical place. This holiday, you are going to fall in love with the Christmas Spirit.
Step 1: The Magic Love Pill: My favorite magic love pill is a bite of organic 85% cocoa chocolate. It’s also good for my health. My second magic love pill is my excellent organic Kenyan morning coffee. Find a taste, sight, smell, sound or bite that feels so good that you can use it to activate your love hormones.
Step 2: Enjoy the small pleasures: Ignite your passion for the small pleasures in life. In the morning, as you stretch in bed, feel the sensual sheets caressing your skin. (How about some red silk sheets?) Before you open your eyes, remind your heart that you are in love with the Christmas Spirit. When you open your eyes, remind your eyes that you see beauty, magic and love. Watch the world glow!
Step 3: Romancing the holidays: As you go through the day, remind your mouth that you are in love with the Christmas Spirit and taste each word coming out of you, to charge it with love, beauty and magic. Just as you whisper sweet words to your beloved, charge your voice and words with the sweetness of the Christmas Spirit.
Step 4: Use all 5 senses: Seek to invoke the Christmas Spirit by using your five senses. Pamper yourself every day with sensual experiences that bring out the Goddess in you. Surround yourself with the tastes, fragrances, sound and music, textures and colors of Christmas. From delicious recipes to holiday decorations, fragrances and music, enjoy every minute of it.
BE THE SPIRIT OF JOY
What do Santa and his elves, the Three Magi and Christmas have in common? Joy! The holidays are the season of the Sacred Child. Almost every belief system in the world includes this Sacred Child because it is intrinsic to the presence of joy. Christians have the baby Jesus, the Mayans have El Niño, the Yorubas and Santeros have the Elegüa or Elegba. To be the spirit of joy, you need to become childlike again. How about embracing these playful ideas to laugh and play like a child during the holidays? They will bring out your Inner Child to play and will delight your children.
The Play List
• Make a list of all the fun things that you loved to do in the winter when you were a child. (Example: snow angels, snow fights, pillow fights, bake and eat gingerbread cookies, slide down your favorite slope in a sleigh, ice-skating, creating Christmas ornaments, singing villancicos, making a snowman, making gifts.)
• Set aside time on your calendar to do at least five of these things this season. Do some with your children, some with your friends or siblings, some with your partner and perhaps you want to do some alone, with your Inner Child, for self-mothering.
Telling Christmas Stories
• Add storytelling to your winter celebration. Each person tells their favorite seasonal story, childhood or family memories, or can make one up. The stories can be funny, romantic, inspiring or fantastic. The idea is to have fun while expanding your imagination. If you love to draw or write, you can even create a storybook and make copies for your family as a gift.
Christmas Cooking Contest
• Have a contest for the best Christmas cooking experience. Each family member brings a recipe and all of you cook it together. The person who brings the recipe is the chef and the others assist. The rating is based on how much fun you have and how tasty the recipe is. You can make it so that everyone wins by having first, second, third and so on places, until everyone wins.
• Make the prizes something playful and fun, like a treat to their favorite holiday activity.
Being the Christmas Spirit will be like an undercover spa. You will relax and renew yourself while you teach your children the true meaning of Christmas.
Maria Mar is the author of the Success Seed Gardening Kit, 7 Key Emotional Permissions for Authentic Success for Women and Spiritual Creatives, Rewrite your Fairy Tales for Success and the upcoming inspirational novel, Angelina and the Law of Attraction. Learn more at Dream Alchemist.