One Minute Grace (OMG) for the Holidays

 

OMG for the Holidays (Week 1)

By on November 20, 2012 in Love, Personal Development, REACH-Celebrate

Holiday Decorations

It’s Thanksgiving Day on Thursday in the U.S., which will kick off the year-end Holidays here. For many of us, this time of the year evokes mixed emotions. On the one hand, there are lots of reasons to be joyful, from spending time with loved ones we may not see often to the overall festive spirit; there truly is something magical in the air. On the other hand, the year-end Holidays can also challenge us. Aside from the extra demands on our time with shopping, gatherings and perhaps traveling, the Holidays seem to shine a blinding spotlight on our losses and “holes” in our lives—the latter being self-judgments notwithstanding.

One-Minute Grace (OMG) for the Holidays

While much of what goes on around us is beyond our control, we do have complete authority over the attitude and mindfulness with which we approach the Holidays. To that end, I’m truly excited to have this post kick off a “One-Minute Grace (OMG) for the Holidays” series to go through December 24, or Christmas Eve for those who celebrate Christmas. My heartfelt intention is to offer daily suggestions that can each be read in one minute or less to help us create and recognize moments of grace during this Holiday Season. (I’ve even invited some great OMG Ambassadors to join me in this series—more on that below.) Aside from the over-arching objective of cultivating a grace consciousness, the 4 weeks of OMG tips will fall into 3 areas:

Appreciation

Appreciation is a sister of gratitude. While gratitude is often activated by receiving something, appreciation is the recognition of grace in things and people for their own rights, even if they haven’t done anything for us to elicit gratitude. I love the following depiction of appreciation (an extended version of which I’ve quoted in my own book) from What Happy People Know (pg. 81):

candle + flowerAppreciation is the highest and purest form of love.When you enter into the active condition of appreciation—whether over something as common as a sunset or as profound as the love in your child’s eyes—your normal world stops and a state of grace begins. … Creativity flows, heart rate slows, brain waves soften into rolling ripples, and an exquisite calm descends over your entire being. During active appreciation, your brain, heart and endocrine systems work in synchrony and heal in harmony.

Wouldn’t you love to be in a state of grace that’s activated by appreciation during the Holidays? Some of the OMG tips are intended to help us to be in grace.

Self-Care

It’s commonly known that anxiety and stress elevate during the Holidays. It’s really easy for self-care to drop to the bottom of our to-do list—or off the list completely. That’s not to mention any losses or feelings of being alone of which the Holidays may remind some of us. To help us manage Holiday stress and blues, some OMG notes will be self-care tips.

Kindness

Research shows that kindness promotes health and longevity, not just for the recipient of an act of kindness, but also the performer and even a casual observer of the act. Moreover, one of the best ways to counter Holiday stress or blues is to shift our attention away from our woes to giving, especially to those who may be objectively less fortunate than we are. To that end, some OMG tips will be suggested acts of kindness to perform over the Holidays.

The first 7 OMG tips are posted below, along with 3 different ways you can get these daily tips. But first, let’s meet Team OMG!

Meet the OMG Ambassadors

I’m truly honored to introduce my partners in crime, three wise and soulful beauties joining me in sharing OMG tips. Here’s a little about each of them:

Jodi ChapmanJodi Chapman is the author of the inspirational blog, Soul Speak; the upcoming book, Coming Back to Life: How an Unlikely Friend Helped Me Reclaim My True Spirit; and the bestselling Soulful Journals series, co-authored with her amazing husband, Dan Teck. She lives in southern Oregon and loves celebrating the holiday season with Dan and her fuzzy kids (a sweet dog and three cute cats). http://www.jodichapman.com

Jodi would love to connect!
Facebook:
 http://www.facebook.com/jodilchapman
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jodi_chapman

Jodi’s Gift to You: Journaling from the Soul – 100 prompts to help you get to know yourself better! Click here to download for free!

Barbara HarperBarbara Harper is known as a Soul Warmer who engages authentically from the heart.  Her wit and wisdom come from her life experience.  She comes from a professional medical social work background and has provided support during times of crisis intervention for patients and their loved ones. Barbara has led workshops and support groups including on topics of Seasons of Loss; Guided Imagery; and tools to help deal with the stresses of life.  She has facilitated caregiver support groups for spouses and adult children. Barbara warms the soul with tea & coffee, and shares hope one cup at a time.  She values having the vehicle of her OrGano Gold Healthy Coffee business with being a Soul Warmer. Her OrGano Gold website is: www.barbaraharper.organogold.com.

Barbara would love to connect!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbara.h.harper.1

Nicole MacDonaldNicole MacDonald holds a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (currently taking her board exams for licensing) and is a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild.  She has been successfully combining counseling and medicinal herbalism, healing mind and body to restore her client’s well-being, for the past nine years. Nicole is also an experienced workshop facilitator. Her latest workshop series is all about Finding Your Life Purpose.  Learn more about Nicole at www.nicolemacdonald.com.

Nicole would love to connect!
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HealMindandBody

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OMG Tips for Week 1 (November 20 to 26):

Below are the first 7 OMG tips for this week. These daily tips are merely suggestions. They don’t need to be done on the associated day or at all. If a tip resonates with you, feel free to repeat it again and again.

Tuesday, Nov. 20 ~ OMG Tip #1: Adopt the mantra, “We’re all doing our best.”

Let’s face it, part of the stress of getting together with family and friends over the Holidays stems from the buttons within us that they push. When you feel judged for how your life may be falling short, tell yourself, “I’m doing my best [with my life.]” Moreover, it’s rarely others’ overt intention to hurt you. Rather, they speak and act out of their own biases, doubts and fears. So, when triggered, tell yourself, “They’re doing their best.” Remember that our best is what any of us can do at any time.

—by OMG for the Holidays Series Curator Alice Chan

Wednesday, Nov. 21 ~ OMG Tip #2: Leave your cape behind

Sometimes – especially during the holidays – we feel like we need to put on our cape and become superheroes. We think that we should be able to move at warp speed and accomplish more than humanly possible. The pressure that we put on ourselves is astounding, and we end up suffering tremendously when we aren’t able to keep up with it all. So this season, give yourself permission to leave your cape behind. Allow yourself to be human. Embrace being human. You’ll feel so much better!

—by OMG Ambassador Jodi Chapman

Thursday, Nov. 22 ~ OMG Tip #3: Appreciate signs of grace

swanWherever we place our attention becomes our reality. Today, take a few moments to appreciate signs of grace in your life, e.g., that great morning cup of joe/tea, the crisp fall air, Holiday decorations, etc. Close your eyes and think of people and images that make you smile. Nothing is too small or insignificant to appreciate. Involve your family on your drive to a Thanksgiving gathering or around the dinner table in naming aloud all the things you each appreciate. Make it a game that lasts as long as possible, if you’d like. Bask in the warming of hearts and elevated energy of grace.

To my American Friends and Readers, Happy Thanksgiving!

—by OMG for the Holidays Series Curator Alice Chan

Friday, Nov. 23 ~ OMG Tip #4: Spa Friday instead of/in addition to Black Friday

Whether or not you’re venturing out to shop on Black Friday in the U.S., gift yourself a “spa day” in your own bathroom. Take a hot bath with several drops of lavender essential oil and few cups of Epsom Salt. The salt is absorbed through the pores of your body and carries the lavender in along with it. Together, the lavender oil and Epsom salt relax the nervous system and muscles, reduce irritability, and draw out toxins and excess stress hormones. Ahhh…

—by OMG Ambassador Nicole MacDonald

Saturday, Nov. 24 ~ OMG Tip #5: Appreciate those who made the greatest impact on your life

When you’re writing your holiday cards this year, rather than taking out the standard lists that you always send cards to, why not mix it up this year? Think of 3 people who made the greatest impact on your life. It could be a teacher, a friend, or someone that you’ve never actually met but read about or saw on TV. Take some time to write them a card, honoring them and thanking them for their positive influence on your life. If they are still alive, and you can find their address, mail it to them. If you’re not able to mail them, it’s okay. Just the act of expressing your gratitude is more than enough.

—by OMG Ambassador Jodi Chapman

Sunday, Nov. 25 ~ OMG Tip #6: Extend kindness

stones and waterResearch shows that an act of kindness positively affects the health of the recipient, performer and even an observer of the act. Consider performing an act of kindness today. Stop and give some money to a homeless person you pass by on the street, along with a heartfelt blessing, making eye contact with him/her—and really mean it. Drop some money into the Salvation Army bucket on your way out of the grocery store, make eye contact with the person ringing the bell, and bless him/her—and really mean it. Your act of kindness extends lives—including yours.

—by OMG for the Holidays Series Curator Alice Chan

Monday, Nov. 26 ~ OMG Tip #7: Remember to Breathe

Often during times of stress, grief, uncertainty, or mixed emotions, we may discover that we are taking shallow breaths, or holding our breaths altogether. Remember to BREATHE, which is an acronym. Here’s the first letter of the mnemonic:

B = Breathe. Note how you are breathing – are you taking shallow breaths or holding your breath? Take a deep breath in. When you inhale, think of inner peace, quiet, strength, courage, or other words that particularly resonate. When you exhale, feel your out-breath releasing any fear, worry, discontent, etc. Breathing mindfully helps to quiet and calm your mind.

The remaining 6 letters of BREATHE will be in future OMG tips.

—by OMG Ambassador Barbara Harper

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How to Get Your OMG Tips

You can get your OMG tips in 1 of 3 ways:

  1. Read this blog every Tuesday. For each of the next 3 Tuesdays, I’ll be posting 7 more OMG tips for that week (without all the above background). 
  2. Have each OMG tip emailed to you on a daily basis. Sign up for daily email delivery here.
  3. Connect with me on Facebook where I’ll be posting an OMG tip each day through December 24.