This is a tough time of year. It’s winter and if you live in the Northern hemisphere this means that you may leave for work in the dark, come home in the dark, and spend your day inside under the glare of fluorescent lighting. You’re tired and because you’re tired, you aren’t exercising. You aren’t eating properly. Your sleep is suffering. You don’t care because it’s that time of the year when everything seems bleak and cold, and things are out of your control.
Add to that a constant barrage of ads telling us to Spend! Money! Now! because it’s also Christmas time – time to go broke for one day out of the year. This isn’t the message of Christmas, of course, or of any Winter Solstice celebration from any belief system, but it’s the one that we’ve internalized over the last couple of centuries.
This is the time of year when you are most likely to focus on what you don’t have or what you feel you must have in order to be happy. It is so easy to get mired down a negative thought process, but here are three simple ideas to toss around, that don’t cost anything, to incorporate into your life RIGHT NOW, to send a message to The Universe:
- Grow where you are planted. If ever there was a time of year that a person finds themselves unhappy with their work, relationships, residence – unhappy with anything – this is that time of year. As cliched as it sounds, grow where you are planted. What this means is that even though you may not want to be a file clerk, be the best damned file clerk that you can be – show up early, stay late, reorganize things, tidy up those dusty corners in file storage. If you hate your home, then you should absolutely be putting out flower boxes, or sweeping the front steps, or painting the door red. If you hate the town you live in, now is the best time ever to join a community group. The common response to negative things is to pull back from them and go find something else. The problem with this is that you get stuck in a cycle of repetition because you don’t master what is in front of you. This is what it means to grow where you are planted. People often believe that if they do this, they will stay stuck in that awful job/home/town forever. Not so. When you make the best of a bad situation and turn it into a good situation, you generally don’t stay in a holding pattern.
- Be open to abundance. That is a really popular buzzword right now, isn’t it? Abundance. It means different things to different people but for most of us, it means either money or the ability to generate money. The simplest way to be open to abundance doesn’t require meditation, crystals, or any strange foofoo. The simplest way to allow abundance into your life is to be gracious in receiving things. Whether this is picking up a quarter off the street or cheerfully accepting a coffee from a coworker who was thoughtful enough to get one for you while they were on break – opportunities to be receptive come in many small ways that we often overlook because we’re waiting for the BIG BANG. So the next time someone compliments you on your hair/nails/weight loss/insert thing here, smile your biggest beaming smile and say “Thank you” and STOP RIGHT THERE. Enjoy the nice thing that just happened and don’t stomp all over it. Then, pass it on to someone else.
- Network. I get it, you’re already stretched in December and going outside sucks when it’s cold and snowy. I’m telling you, though, when you feel like you’ve been triple dipped in poo – that is the time to get out and start smiling and shaking hands. Go to those “holiday parties”, take a Sunday afternoon workshop at Michael’s and learn to make a Victorian wreath, take your dog to the pet park and bring enough dog cookies to share. The more social you are, the more you shift your energy. We aren’t meant to be hermits all of the time.