Is it just me, or does the world seem like a broken record this time of the year? The lights on parade throughout the town, the same songs playing on the radio, the same family stories, decorations, and constant messages to buy things – and of course a reminder here and there for peace on earth.
Then, just as suddenly as it appeared in stores and on television, it disappears just after the ball drops on Times Square.
All for what? Are we really learning anything each year? Do we really ever change? Or are we just reliving the same stories every year, just like a broken record? Whether they’re family stories, religious stories or some other story about a personal or sacred ritual only done this time of the year, we seem to cling to remembering the past and only honoring what has been done in the past.
What about now? What about honoring what we find sacred and personal every day? Or even every moment?
We bake the cookies, decorate the house, light the menorah, gather with family we only see once a year, and buy, buy, buy the gifts because that’s what we’re supposed to do to remember. But what good is remembering and reliving a ritual if we don’t grow or thrive from it? How can we find the sacred and the meaningful not just for 12 days, or 8 days, or even one day, but how about 365 days?
Here are a few ways to find the sacred in everyday, so that you’re able to celebrate life with meaning throughout the year.
1. See The Sacred In Everything
Whether it’s a special date, an eagle flying overhead, or even a yoga practice. Things become special and sacred through your personal intent. The sacred can be seen in every moment. Notice what’s around you, sounds, sights, people…
2. Find What Makes You Appreciate Life In Every Moment
Not just during one holiday, and make that what is sacred for you. Is it a majestic mountain peak or a turquoise ocean, an activity that makes you come alive, the feeling of love from another person, or the simple details of one special day? Whatever it is, it can reveal your true nature of what is sacred to you.While decorating my house the other day, I realized that I just wasn’t in a Christmas holiday mood, and why on Earth was I doing this “decoration” thing again? While adorning my silk ficus tree with lights and glass ornaments of sea creatures, shells, birds, sea creatures and sailboats, I realized that I was celebrating my life – all of these things were sacred to my life, and I did find my moments of life’s joy around many of these things, and I was decorating a tree with symbols of my happiness.
3. If The Record Is Broken, Put Another One On. (Am I Dating Myself Here?)
Just like hearing the same song or lyric over and over again, it gets a little tiring – especially if the message from the lyrics have been memorized, the words are no longer heard. The song becomes bothersome. Repetitive. Search out a new tune. One with a new lyric you can sing from your heart.
While decorating my ficus tree, I tried to inspire myself with some good old traditional Christmas music – only to find that it made me more annoyed and frustrated. I had heard these songs too many times. Most of the holiday song lyrics were more about praising nostalgia, than encouraging evolution and change to make the world a better place. So I turned off the holiday music and turned on my Michael Franti Pandora station and felt a lot better.
So, whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, atheist or whatever, a sense of ritual and remembering is important in all of our cultures – it reminds us of who we are, who our ancestors were and how far we’ve come.
In yoga we are always taught to be in the present moment, and to let go of whatever isn’t serving us from being our true selves.
So, perhaps this year, let your presence be your gift to yourself, and others, by of being in the moment and finding what’s sacred to you.