No doubt you are feeling the increase in tempo as the frenetic pace of the holiday season encroaches on all other aspects of life. If you are like most people you might find yourself grumbling about the time, energy and costs associated with Christmas, Hannuka, New Year and other social events. It’s as though they all come together in a crunch and society is swept up in the tidal wave of celebration, festivities, social interactions, etc.
Overall, this time of the year is incredibly stressful for many people. At the risk of sounding negative – not meaning to be – there are countless individuals who cannot afford the expense of presents, party and celebratory foods and the expectations foisted upon them to be more than generous with presents.
Yet, regardless of these expectations and consumer pressure to spend and indulge more than in previous years this is also the time of year when more suicides occur. For many individuals in our society this time of year results in heavy credit card debt that may take months to pay off, and which places extra stress on household budgets that are already over-stretched. It’s easy to deduce that depression could easily be a by-product, or end product, of rampant marketing and consumerism.
Over the years I’ve spoken with individuals who like myself don’t subscribe to the concept of celebrating Christmas. However, in many instances they continue with the charade of participating in festivities because of family expectations. Or, possibly because to be different from the mainstream is too challenging?
Don’t get me wrong, I love the practice of spending time with loved ones, of celebrating thankfulness and sharing joyful moments. Ideally these moments should be ongoing, at times when it’s convenient and suitable for family and friends to congregate and share their abundance and love.
Spending time together because the time has been deemed to be one of celebration and cause for great consumerism just doesn’t have any meaning for lots of people any more – yet the charade is often continued!
In earlier missives I’ve referred to the fact that Earth and climate changes are occurring rapidly. Along with these physical changes there are also paradigm shifts taking place. Yet, it seems that as much as we acknowledge that change is strongly evident there is also an ongoing clinging to old traditions, habits and belief systems. In order for the shift in consciousness to become fully effective and impactful we have no choice but to put into action new practices while letting go of those that are dated and irrelevant to the new heart centered consciousness paradigm we are shifting into.
Stepping away from the dated traditions that have shaped society takes courage. How can we as a global society become more cohesive, live in true community and develop inclusiveness? It is through recognizing the traditions, beliefs and habits that keep us in bondage to systems that we begin making changes.
Identifying the traditions and belief systems that are limiting is the first step. Talking about what isn’t working, what isn’t relevant or applicable is the next step. It is through discussion and sharing that the kernels of new models for functioning develop. Finally, comes the need for action. Without action there is no change. Without action there is no growth and the status quo is maintained.
Below is an excerpt from the new Ram Dass book, “Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart”.
“Ours is a journey toward simplicity, toward quietness, toward a kind of joy that is not in time. In this journey out of time to “NowHere,” we are leaving behind every model we have had of who we thought we were. This journey involves a transformation of our being so that our thinking mind becomes our servant rather than our master. It’s a journey that takes us from primary identification with our psyche to identification with our souls, then to identification with God, and ultimately beyond any identification at all.”
If we truly are shifting into the Now Moment, or as Ram Dass calls it ‘NowHere’ we then have no choice but to leave behind every model of who we thought we were. This means letting go of traditions, beliefs, dated concepts and paradigms, etc.
Are you truly ready to let go and leave these behind? Are you willing to ‘buck the system’, challenge the beliefs of others, and take action to ensure that what you feel and think is in alignment with all your behaviors?
What will you find when you do this? That remains to be seen. I suspect that you will still be the same person, reveling in the Now Moment, living in appreciation and joyfulness and without the pressures currently being experienced by many at this time of the year.
Personally I feel liberated – freed from expectations and stresses. I choose to not embrace traditions such as Christmas and religion. Instead, I feel so much peace and joy and celebrate the feeling of Oneness in all actions and interactions. However, I will add that it’s taken many years of questioning and reflecting to reach this awareness. It has been a process of letting go, of accepting that it’s okay to not conform, of learning that ultimately the chains of being in bondage were all in my mind.
Where are you on this journey? What can you do to create greater ease within? As always, it’s a matter of choice!
Check out my blog at www.joyinoneness.blogspot.com.au for more comments and information
regarding the changing times we live in.