It's that time of the year again for celebrating! Whether your family celebrates Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Bodhi Day there's much 'coming together' with friends and family at this time of the year worldwide. Of course it will likely take a new shape for this particular year with COVID-19 shifting everything in new ways.
We all in our different traditions can come together in our shared experience of 2020 as an intense time of having the shadows in our life journeys brought to the light during our isolation. Where busyness and rushing through set routines covered up the 'heavier stuff' before COVID, being at home in lockdown for lengths of time made these aspects visible and highly felt. It's been a whole lot to process emotionally.
The thing is, processing heavy emotions for the light, intelligence and wisdom they hold is NOT a subject typically taught to us growing up. I definitely didn't receive that course in my schooling and lacking it wreaked havoc on my calm and clarity before I discovered new ways of being.
Yet, what we lack in life can propel us to seek, find and share what we discover. This is exactly what I intend to do here with you by sharing 3 simple and fun ways for you to create clarity and calm within yourself for the holiday season. So go get your chalk pastels (if you have them, if not, crayons or children's paints will do) and tuck into a quiet corner and try these 3 colorful exercises of clarity and calm for you!
Exercise 1 – Color Yourself into a Calm Imaginal Massage
Sitting at a desk or table in a quiet room spread your pastels, crayons or paints out around a piece of paper.
With your eyes closed inhale for 4 seconds, hold, then exhale for 6 seconds.
Take note of all the areas of tension in your body, don't judge, see them as helpful data.
Imagine all the tension gathering and forming a ball in your centre with each inhalation, on the exhalation, envision this ball rolling down your arm and into your drawing hand.
Using the color that feels ‘just right’ to express this tension flow it onto the paper. Let your hand do what it wants to – rub, blend, tap -- as you imagine each movement massaging the inner tension points right out of you.
Breathe deeply into the tension areas and feel them soften and release with the movements of your colors. If you want a new color or feel you need to add another paper to ‘hold’ all the released tension do so.
Continue until you feel you have completely shifted your tension out. Fold, tear or throw the paper away and feel your inner massage continue working through you as you continue to breathe deeply while you move through your moments.
Exercise 2 – Ground Your Overwhelm Down into Strong Layers of Support
With one hand holding a color and with the other hand on your paper close your eyes and take stock of the level of overwhelm you are feeling on a scale of 1 to 10 -- 1 being 'hardly any' and 10 being 'maximum overwhelm...about to lose it!'. Don't judge, just use this information as data.
Take a moment to peel off the paper wrapping around your pastels or crayons so that you can use their sides to color for this exercise.
As you inhale, imagine all the things that have you in this state of overwhelm getting pulled into the crayon in your hand.
As you exhale, feel and watch the overwhelm flow out of your energy field and onto the paper as you draw a line -- using the side of your pastel -- from one side across to the other horizontally. To support clearing this energy out you can let out a clearing sound of "ahhhhhh" or audibly blow breathe out.
Pick up a new color and repeat steps 2-4 drawing horizontal lines stacked one onto of the other until you fill the paper to the top inhaling and exhaling the overwhelm out completely.
Turn your paper over and write out this affirmation: "I am calm and held by strong layers of support in my life". Now list all your forms of support below this affirmation. Perhaps you feel supported by a person, a Higher Power, aspects of nature, or various practices and healthy habits you cultivated in your life. List them all and feel them grounding you and providing a strong foundation for you now.
Revisit that scale from 1-10 and notice if your level of overwhelm has shifted for you. Repeat as often as needed.
Exercise 3 – Create Exercise 1 & 2 Energetically
This exercise is inviting you to repeat the exercises you learned above without paper or crayons, rather, with your most powerful art material, your imagination. This way, when you're right in the midst of a family filled, highly charged overwhelming situation you can access Exercise 2 using your breath and imagined crayons moving across the paper while you're sitting at the dinner table without anyone noticing but you. Mind you, your calm energy will be felt by everyone in the room, a gift for the holidays that everyone can enjoy!
Or perhaps you're at work and there's a whole list of things to get to before you have to race off to fulfill another list of family and holiday tasks to attend to. Why not create a calm imaginal massage as in Exercise1energetically on your car ride home? Feeling your tension, see in your minds eye the color that expresses it and flow it out on your imagined paper as you navigate your way through the streets. You will arrive in a wonderful state and find that your tasks are not nearly so hard to do from this calm and clear way of being.
Let this holiday season be a wonder-filled opportunity for you to see how you can leverage anything that feels heavy as the ultimate art material for your life. If you need more support, know that you can contact me for a free 15 minute consultation to see which healing modality is the best for your unique challenge to transform right now so that you can truly create
a holiday season of calm and joy!