December 25, 2012: Relax. Relate. Release.

Today is an extraordinary day. Then again, every day is an extraordinary day to be among the living and the dead, to breathe, to be grateful, to love, to give, to thrive, to seek understanding, to be inspired, and to celebrate life.

RELAX.  It is no good having all the right ingredients if you don’t have a recipe.  Even if you know what needs to be done, you may not be guaranteed a delicious dish; you have to make an effort.  You have to concentrate and be dedicated.  You also need support from the people around you. If they keep walking into your kitchen and helping themselves to snacks, or worse, criticizing your cooking, you may never make that delicious meal.  Much the same formula applies to life. Relaxation is an art; one that requires us to use methods of changing the way we do things, slowing it down, lessening the tension, and putting our feet up. It is a form of activity that provides us the necessary relief from effort, work, or tension, and gives us pleasure. For some bakers and chefs, cooking is their means of relaxation. We must combine the right ingredients for learning how to rest and take a load off. Otherwise, anxiety and stress will take its toll on our bodies. Mindfulness and introspection are good ways to relax our thoughts and connect with our center. This holiday season don’t allow the commercial hustle and bustle to engulf you. Take essential time out to relax your mind, your heart, your spirit, your emotions, and your wallet!

RELATE. Life is too short for peace, harmony, and understanding. We can have plenty of that to contend with during the rest of eternity! What we really want while we’re here on Earth is lots of conflict: trouble, tension, hatred, resentment, jealousy, fear, stress, and drama. That’s what we came here for, right? Well, if it isn’t, why do we allow so much of this negativity into our space? While we are putting so much energy into these toxic behaviors, we should be focusing on love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control during this season. These divine qualities and attributes of the Holy Spirit encourage within us benevolent concerns for one another. Relating to others outside of ourselves is the most important element of our journey because when we help others, we ultimately help ourselves in the biggest way. Yes, we will at times encounter difficulties in our efforts to expand the realm of unselfish joy. But we should never allow that notion to be the end all for not giving compassion to someone less fortunate. In this troubled world of ours, there are plenty of opportunities for thoughts and deeds of compassion but there seems to be all too few for sharing in others’ joy. Take a few moments to relate to someone else’s situation other than your own. Just when you think you’re cup is tilting – someone else’s has already overflowed.

RELEASE. George Carlin once said, “Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next country, but NOT to where the guilt is.” Releasing stress and anxiety can be a tedious task. Often times, we have to get the “monkeys” off our backs so we can BREATHE. Stress of any kind causes us to lose our balance – and our faith, and fear immobilizes us as if we have chains on our hands and feet. These emotions can push us forward and force us to release the giant within to become more liberated and proactive in the choices that we make. Bad choices are always a result of some kind of fear we have that creates insecurity. We do not get “punished” for this; rather we experience the natural results of those bad choices. When we realize that we cannot control the final outcome of any given situation, but only our own decisions, it allows us to let go of fear and our need to control and assert better choices based on the faith we now have in ourselves. Remember that every day is a new day of pure potential: a day of giving, a day of choice, a day of purpose. Whatever it is that you need to release, let it go; be it guilt, fear, stress, suffering, anxiety, insecurity, resistance, or grief. The universe is abundant in providing us with the positive things we need to survive. During this holiday season, be well and take some time to relax, relate, and release to enjoy more extraordinary days ahead.

After all, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Love and Light for your Tuesday. Happy Holidays!

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