Mindfulness During the Holidays

December 13th, 2011 by Dionna | 12 Comments
Posted in Adults, Children, Eclectic Learning, Guest Posts, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Preschoolers, Strive for Balance, Teens, Toddlers

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Please enjoy a guest post today from Terri of Child of the Nature Isle. I am hosting her post today as part of the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by the fabulous Zoie of Touchstone Z and Kelly of Becoming Crunchy.

Welcome to the December Mindful Mama Carnival: Staying Mindful During the Holiday Season

This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have shared how they stay mindful during the holiday season. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Here’s a secret: I don’t celebrate Christmas. No I’m not related to Scrooge, I just don’t get involved in the fanfare of Christmas. For many years my celebrations have always been more aligned to the natural phases of the year and thus the times of equinox and solstice have always felt more meaningful for me to remember and participate in.

Before being a breastfeeding mama I would fast on water for three days during these turning points. This gave me a chance to slow down my usual energetic pace of life, turn inward, reflect and move mindfully into the next phase of the year. While I was grateful that moving to the Caribbean gave me a chance to fast with coconut water rather than plain water, the change of seasons from four in the UK (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) to two in the tropics (Wet season/Dry season) meant that gradually and lamentably, even these turning points have become less significant in my life.

But I love celebration and meaningful ritual and it is this I reflect upon now as a mother of two young children – how do we create personal and planetary rites of passage to transition us through the seasons of the year and our lives? What meaning do we choose to create?

I recently made a Squidoo lens on the many celebrations that occur in December and was pondering on whether this year would be a good time to reintroduce Kwanzaa to my life and to introduce it to my children (I use to participate in this but haven’t in a long while). I really enjoy the community aspect of the celebrations but am struggling right now with the disbursement of my real-life community. Probably this year we will use the time to focus on the Kwanzaa principle each day and grow our commitment to the celebration from here on.

Ideally I want to craft a series of mindful celebrations throughout the year, being aware of the Earth’s rotations, our connection to nature and spending time honouring this very special and mysterious life we have been blessed with. The act of mindfulness for me now is to allow time to deeply reflect on this and find ways to sculpt a life rich in reverence and joy. This meditation time will be the gift I give to myself and my family this Christmas.

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Terri writes from the Nature Island of the Caribbean: Dominica. Living at the top of a rainforest mountain, she blogs at Child of the Nature Isle about all aspects of natural parenting and homeschooling with her two children.

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12 Responses to:
"Mindfulness During the Holidays"

  1. Charise@I Thought I Knew Mama   ithoughtiknewma

    I love these questions that you ask: “How do we create personal and planetary rites of passage to transition us through the seasons of the year and our lives? What meaning do we choose to create?”

    I agree that being conscious of these choices is so important, and I think the ripple effects of these decisions will have big impacts on our families.

    You’re giving a wonderful gift to your family this Christmas!

    • Terri   onelovelivity

      Thank you Charise. It’s a joy to think that the simple choices we make will have that ripple effect for our family and others.

  2. Very nice post. In the past year, I have become much more drawn to the idea of celebrating the changing seasons and it fits so nicely with our homeschooling rhythms.

  3. Kelly   BecomingCrunchy

    I love your Squidoo lens – what a great resource! I am looking forward to learning tons there and sharing it with Bean when she gets a little older – I would love for her to have knowledge and understanding of the holidays outside the ones we primarily celebrate. :)

    Really enjoy all of your ideas here – particularly in regards to creating mindfulness rituals throughout the year – that is something I am going to have to think on for sure. Thank you so much Terri!

    • Terri   onelovelivity

      Thanks for the compliment on the squidoo lens…I had a lot of fun making it. I really enjoyed being a part of this carnival to think more deeply about celebrations. Funny that in the past few days my 3 yo has been telling me ‘Christmas is coming’ because of what she has heard on the radio…so looks like the conversation has begun and I realize that we will probably find our own Christmas rituals very soon!

  4. Rachael   RachaelNevins

    I very, very much like the idea of figuring out what holidays to celebrate and how as a process. We don’t have to figure out EVERYTHING about celebrating the holidays with our families NOW; the holidays can instead grow with our families. Best wishes to you in reintroducing Kwanzaa to your life!

    • Terri   onelovelivity

      Thanks Rachael for the reminder that the process will evolve and that I don’t have to have it all figured out right away …I have a tendency to think this way! Yeah I think mostly we’ll just sing the Kwanzaa song a lot this year which I love!

  5. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ   TouchstoneZ

    Thank you both, Terri and Dionna, for participating in the Mindful Mama Carnival.

    I love the idea of bringing ritual mindfully into our lives throughout the year. My family observes a number of significant dates throughout the year, too. Some of them are pulled from religious or spiritual traditions, some are personal, and some are natural transitions during the year or in a family member’s life.

    I, too, miss the tradition of fasting or cleansing in relation to a holiday. I have replaced it with meditations or asanas, but can’t quite capture the same body atunement. Once my children are finished breastfeeding, it is something I look forward to reincorporating.

    Thank you for sharing the lens. I’ve bookmarked it as part of our December homeschooling resources, too.

    • Terri   onelovelivity

      Thanks to you Zoie for hosting and Dionna for featuring my post! I’d love to read more about the ways you create a personal calender of celebrations.

      I’m not convinced at this stage that I’ll have the energy and ability to ‘go within’ with fasting all that much even after I’ve stopped breastfeeding …unless I have a community around me to support I’ll have to forgo the fasting for a while!

      Glad you liked the Squidoo lens and found it a valuable resource.

  6. I really enjoyed reading this post, and checking out the Squidoo Lens. We are going to be celebrating the Winter Solstice for the fist time this year, and I love the idea of learning about other holiday traditions in December as well. I look forward to checking out Child of the Nature Isle and reading more of Terri’s posts.

    ~The Other Terri

  7. Terri   onelovelivity

    Thanks Terri!

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