Enjoy this old episode of a podcast I did on called Wednesday Wisdom Radio. And this particular episode was called Making Holy Days of these holidays. 

Welcome. This is Deborah LeeAnn and this is our Wednesday wisdom radio show. Today’s topic is about holidays, versus holy days. It feels ironic that when we celebrate. 

We go to all this trouble, to have all kinds of gatherings and we bake and we have special breads and special meals and maybe not the gatherings this year that we’ve had in the past but we arranged to take time away from the office, which creates either more backlog, or more stress around getting more stuff done before the end of the year. 

It doesn’t feel very holy. 

What we’ve done right to cram so much into these last few weeks of the year, year after year after year. So, to honor ourselves and our spirits during this very spiritually invoked time. 

Let’s just drop in and get present with who we are, what we’re here to do, and what our body wants to talk to us about and what our soul wants to whisper in our ear. So as we drop in and feel our feet, very heavy on the floor, connecting in a way that is like lovers embracing after not seeing each other for a while. That really pulls our energy down, and allows that gravity to do its work for us, and pulls our energy back into our bodies. 

It almost reminds me of the Peter Pan thing where they have this shadow that they have to tack on to their bodies when they lose their shadows. There’s something very mystical for me to feel the grounding again, and to remind myself that this is the physical body, that I am in this time around in this lifetime. And I’m just curious for you in terms of how it feels to be back in your body, and not scattered all over. 

So let’s just allow our feet to feel heavy and allow the connection to Mother Earth to happen naturally and gracefully. And then focus down on our lower belly and into our pelvic bowl. Feeling our hip bones and our sits bones in the chair, being held so beautifully in the lap of gravity of Mother Earth. 

You can kind of move your hips back and forth to feel that energy down there and feel again, almost as if we have a grounding cord heading straight down into the root chakra and into the center of Mother Earth. Just tugging us gently, letting us know that she’s got us, right, like a belay person makes us feel safe when we’re climbing. 

The next part is to just be still enough and shut down any of the places where we’re multitasking, whether it’s virtually multitasking, or physically doing so. For me, that meant I needed to just go sit down and stop trying to control the noises that are in the house. Which is what happens when you have other people around, and the animals that don’t want to be outside because it’s raining or cold. So, just be still, closing off all of the other places where our attention has been sent to put out fires, or to manage relationships, or to control our schedule, our time and space schedule that is anything in the past. We can let go of because we can’t do anything with it anymore. 

Anything that’s coming up later today or tomorrow or the next day. During the rest of these holidays. We can’t do anything about that in this moment, either. So let’s just be here and give us a treat of being present. 

We’re going to breathe into that and allow that to settle into our system. And then, calling in our connection to our divine light, we’ve celebrated solstice, and that is the celebration of light. It’s the celebration of the days getting longer and how beautiful it is to allow that light to just be this golden, or silvery, shimmery piece. It’s calming influence, its connection to all of that beautiful energy that we very often forget that we’re attached to and can call upon at any time. 

So we’ll just let that flow in us around us, and fill our inner and outer self with that additional energy charge. And now to keep that charge up as that’s all working. Let’s take a breath, receive a breath and settle into your system, pulling your energy and my energy from way out in front of me. Back in, and settling down into this beautiful temple of a body. We’ll start from here. 

So this conversation around holy days, the original celebration of this time of year was around the days getting you longer and looking forward to the warm weather that would be coming, the planting season, and the warmth that comes with that. The misconstruing of so much that’s gotten into this time of gift giving and decorating and baking. It all started with really lovely intentions of wanting to create a beautiful space. create homes that welcome family members. Create a time for sharing our love with all of our friends and family. In many cases, it’s gone too far. And what I want to say is that the meaning underneath it all has very often been lost. 

It was this time of year most years that I would choose to get sick. This was a way of my body knowing that there was a break during the holidays. And this was a good time to get sick. So, this was the time that I would choose, because I could get away from work and hide away from family, whether it was during college on break or actually in my early career days when I was a workaholic. I knew it was a safe time to get in bed and be sick. I knew I would not be able to see my family that way. I also knew that somebody else could feed me, and I could relax and do what my body was asking for rest. 

We’re still in the dark enough days where our bodies do need rest. And just because the light is getting more and more each day doesn’t mean that we’re at the end of, we’re ready to plant seeds. We’re still in the germinating phase. We’re still in the darkness of the wild winter night where we get a chance to be still. Many times during this time of year we don’t have time at all to be still. My own meditation schedule, my own eating schedule, very simple routines and rituals in my life have been disrupted. And I can’t blame anyone else. But, in trying to be there and take advantage of opportunities to spend time with loved ones, or to see friends right now virtually for morning for coffee or to fit in work around what I probably need to be is quiet time. 

And let what has happened in this year germinate and percolate in the inspiration of what’s going to happen. Come to me, instead of forcing things to happen. This is where I feel very much right now is that we’re in a time where we have to do lists, and we’re so busy doing that we’re disconnected from our imagination, our inspiration, our intuition, and even just being still enough to listen to any guidance from any of those parts of our beautiful, creative, self. So as we look at what are ways that we can celebrate and be true to ourselves and be our holy whole selves. What would that look like? Can we plan to make smoothies on Christmas morning versus jumping right into coffee and mimosas, which is what my family will be doing. What if we started off with a green smoothie that morning, you know, what if we could introduce new ways of going for a walk. Just to get everybody outside and into nature. 

What new kinds of rituals can we introduce? Mine is, I don’t really necessarily like giving and receiving gifts that are all wrapped up or in paper bags and need to be recycled and, or get used again. But I have drawers and drawers of those bags. 

I would much rather use that time to do fun things with my family. And yet, anything I go to right now it’s expected that you bring a gift, you know, for a round robin or just to bring something and you exchange or for the host or hostess. There’s a group of my girlfriends where we have a great time gathering. And what’s called a white elephant party. And we bring all the things that we got that were gifted to us that we then choose to wrap up again and give away. I don’t get many of those because I’m not in a position of receiving or giving gifts as much anymore. And a lot of people get these ridiculous things. Makes me wonder, because so many things are never going to get used. So we bring those wrap them up beautifully. And we play a game and we laugh hysterically at some of the things that we’re given and what people might do with them and how much we fight over these wrapped presents to see what’s really inside. It’s a great time. And one of my favorite times of the year, because I don’t think I laughed that much in one evening, any other time. So much fun, the appropriate gift giving the appropriate not going into debt to get things for people and honoring ourselves is what feels right. 

You know, if somebody says you’re required or you’re expected to bring a gift to this thing. Honor yourself. Is that what you want to do, how can we go along with culture and family traditions and be the odd man out. 

I’m learning right now that I don’t have to hide anymore, because I’ve been little by little letting my family and friends know who I am. And in fact, invited some friends over for the solstice the other night and shared my tradition with them. A couple of the friends got that, they understood. They’ve been following me and they know my traditions and rituals, a couple of the others not so familiar and didn’t really want to talk about what they wanted to let go of. 

We got a good laugh out of that finally because somebody said, we can let go of denial, that there is nothing to let go of that was brilliant. It broke the ice and everybody ended up sharing. And for me it was a coming out party of sorts, you know, with some friends that I’ve not shown all of my pagan or priestess side two more and more. I am putting myself out there. I am showing all of my sides and inner and outer selves. And I am asking others to do the same. So far, you know it’s not changing too many of my relationships, it is moving us into a different level of intimacy, which is good. And if we weren’t that good friends before, it’s not going to change things, and my family, they’ll always love me and my weirdness. That’s true. Now, I am enjoying the fact that my sister will act. What essential oil should I use with this situation with my son. You know, we’re starting to talk about alternative ways of being and choosing a word to focus on for the year that we want to grow and aspire to have more of just little practices that are not your typical denying of what is and what wants to be. So as we move forward through the rest of these holy days and holidays. I am going to pose a challenge to you. If you’re listening, and you catch this before the end of the year. How can you bring more of you into these days. How can you bring more of your rituals, your beauty and inspired ceremony, whatever it is that you want to create during this time. 

How can you begin a new tradition and honor yourself and your spirit and your heart, more and more. At this time, intellect, even you know, do we really want to watch the news, or would we rather listen to music, that makes us happy. What is it that we can change in our schedule? When I looked at my calendar for today and saw all of the things that I had set up today. I wondered. Okay. Is there something that I don’t have to do this afternoon? When I can find time to make peppermint bark, or check in with my daughters, because that to me is a holiday memory that I am ready to create. 

And that is what my challenge is to you. Do you need to be at each and everything that’s on your calendar. Is there something that if you sat down and gave yourself 15 to 20 minutes now and lit a candle and just sat still and asked that you would like to learn about yourself going into the next year. Is there a way to create more rituals, more beauty, more joy, more openness, more spaciousness for you. 

I will leave you with these questions and wish you a very merry. Happy Holi-day season, holiday season, light, bringing season, and a beautiful, beautiful end to the year, and a beautiful beginning to next year. I look forward to staying in touch. Talk to you soon.