When my kids were tiny, but big enough to be enthusiastic Christmas tree decorators, I told a little white lie. I said there were special fairies that came and decorated Christmas trees for us. All we had to do was leave the decorations out and they would do the rest. The year before the tree had looked so awful, I couldn’t bear it. Everything lopsided and crammed into one 3 year old sized corner. I wanted the tree to look nice that year…hence the fairy story. What can I say? Christmas does funny things to you. It makes even the most sane of us go a little bit loopy. But don’t worry, it only happened that one year (ok, maybe 2) before I relented and accepted the joy of a wonky and lopsided family tree.
Can you feel it? The pressure to make it “perfect” this year. After it was snatched away from us in the pandemic last year, the festive season feels particularly loaded this year. It’s as if we need to make up for all the heart break and difficulty. There’s no denying that decorations are out earlier, Christmas ads are being released early and even the Christmas songs have started.
The Perfection Dilemma
With the quest for perfection comes a problem. It has a tendency to suck the joy from it all. The more we grasp for the elusive ‘perfect’, the more it slips through our fingers in the rush to make everything bigger and better: The delightful table setting. The ideal gifts. The outstanding food. The charming conversation Suddenly it all becomes hard work and impossible to achieve.
The Perfection Antidote
You might not be feeling the frenzy yet. Perhaps it still feels a long way off. Or maybe for you there’s a big hole where Christmas should be because of loss and difficult times. Whatever your situation, you can choose how this festive season carries you through. What can you do if you don’t want to get sucked into the whirlwind? Or if you need to rediscover what it all means? The antidote to perfection is mindfulness. That quality of paying attention on purpose to exactly what is, without judgement.
How to create a mindful Christmas
Here’s 4 of my top tips for a Christmas that’s perfectly imperfect so you can find the joy and enjoy it all: 1. Set an Intention Make a decision about how you want this Christmas to be. How do you want to show up for the people in your life? What qualities would you like to experience in yourself and others? A useful way to do this is to close your eyes and imagine yourself in your Christmas experience. Let your imagination paint a vivid picture of how it will look, feel, sound and taste. Open your eyes and write down everything you imagined. Letting go of any objections your mind has about why it can’t happen or what might go wrong. Just let yourself build that strong image. 2. Make a plan What are the things that really matter to you? Is it being with special people? Having fun? Connection? What really needs to be in place to make that happen? Are there some things that you can do that will take the pressure off and make it more doable? Write those down so that you have a plan for the minimum that needs to happen. Not for perfection, but for good enough. Often when we stop and reflect on what really matters to us, we realise that many of the things that feel so vital have nothing to do with the real joy. They’re just nice to have. Creating a plan lets you spot where perfection is creeping in. 3. Express Gratitude Gratitude is a bit of a super power. It’s proven to increase positivity and optimism and is a great way to stop perfectionism in its tracks. When we try and make things perfect, we’re not stopping to appreciate what IS, instead we are chasing what should be. Practicing gratitude regularly helps you build the muscle for noticing what you have and being truly thankful. More is always good, but it’s even better when you can find the blessing in whatever happens. 4. Laugh out Loud The final tip to find joy instead of perfection is to find the humour. This comes down to mindset. Can you turn your frown upside down when it all feels too much and find things to smile and laugh about? Just like gratitude, joy is a practice. It’s always there when we look for it.
What about the blocks?
Sometimes we all have old beliefs and patterns that get in the way of experiencing happiness.
We have an amazing guest expert this month. In this session Linda Anderson, Mindset Magician and EFT Tapping Expert, will teach you how to use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) in a really fast, effective way to relieve any feelings of stress and overwhelm, so you can embrace the Spirit of the Season and really enjoy the break.
It's on Monday 6th December at 11am, and you can register here.
I'd love to see you there.
Laura @ Be x
“People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.”
― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience