by Katherine Skaggs

The Holidays are often full of excitement, friends and family, gatherings, parties, and even drama! This can be a time of fun, and a time of challenge. If you don’t always like or have fun with the holidays and all the hub bub, here’s some ideas to create your world with greater pleasure.

Set your intentions for a good outcome
Play the "What if…" game…
Practice the Attitude of Gratitude!
Bless Yourself, your world and others!

Set Your Intentions for a Good Outcome

When you are the one directing your world through intention, you will typically have a better outcome than not. Direct your mind and your life by setting powerful and positive intentions. When you get "stinkin’ thinkin’" going on, stop! Change direction. Focus on the idea that there is a better way of feeling, and living.
 

Play the "What if…" game

Setting powerful and positive intentions for good outcomes goes hand in hand with the "What if…" game. With each positive intention, ask, "What if this year it was fun? What would it be like to experience that? Where would I be, who would I be with and what would I be doing? With each intention there will naturally be a series of questions that will arise to stimulate your imagination and awareness of new realities you can explore. Be open to the potential of a new and more joyful Holiday Season!
 

Practice the Attitude of Gratitude!

Now, lock it all in with the practice of gratitude. This is the cultivation of an attitude that all is well and that life is good, and that you are grateful for all that is given to you. When you are grateful for all life gives you in this now moment, you are then able to receive all the blessings that are all ready for you to experience.
 

Several practices for the Attitude of Gratitude

  1. Write the top ten things in your life that you are grateful for. Explore what comes to mind and write a sentence for these ten things. Next, go back and expand what you have to express about what you are grateful for, and why you are grateful. Next, write about what you have received from what you are grateful for. Look at how you have grown from this, and what you are able to give the world when you are grateful. Write until you can’t write anymore. In this process you will most likely recognize other things you are grateful for: people, places and experiences. When you can, take time to acknowledge them, either by writing, or by sending an email to someone, or?
  2. Create an altar of gratitude. Find a sacred space in your home where you can put up an altar – a place where you honor and think of people, places, things and experiences you are grateful for. It could be a bulletin board with photos, words and writings that express the gratitude. Or it can be a small table with a candle, photos and items that represent these people, places, things and experiences. Light the candle each day, burn some incense and give your attention to gratitude for these things… adding prayers for other things and people that come to mind.

Bless Yourself, Your World and Others

Make a practice of blessing yourself, your body, your family, your work, your ideas, your car, your phone, your computer, your world, the Holiday Season, and all you meet! Try it! You will be surprised by the power of blessing yourself and others. In the challenges of our world it is easy to find ourselves cursing our computers, the traffic on the road, or the crying baby in the supermarket. If you want to be a magician and change your world, you can change the course of your experience by blessing your computer, the traffic on the road, and that crying baby. As you learn this practice you will discover that you are more centered, that you are in your heart and filled with compassion, and that you are feeling more joyful as you say a blessing.

How to Bless Others

This is a simple practice. "Bless you." That is all it takes. In traffic you might expand on it and think, "Bless these travelers on the road with safe journeys. May they reach their destinations with ease and grace." It really is simple. What are the good thoughts you would like to bestow on another?

These practices are very powerful when you engage them with your heart and attention regularly. This will help you move through the Holidays, or any challenging time, as they are tools for opening the heart and focusing the mind.

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