Has the hustle and bustle of the holiday season passed for you or are you still in it? I know the lead up to the holiday break can be quite intense and aspects of it somewhat unpleasant. Have you ever felt that way? Over the years I have learned from experience. I am much better at pacing myself and letting go of things I do not enjoy. It is easy to feel a sense of obligation and an overburden to attend events, as well as pressures and commitments that come from others. Back in my youth, and well into my twenties, thirties and forties, I found myself doing things I really didn't want to do. Attending parties that I didn't enjoy or exchanging gifts with people out of some ill-founded sense of obligation. I do not do that anymore and what a freedom I feel as a result!
Aparigraha is one of the five Yamas in Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga (ancient philosophical teachings). It is often translated and interpreted to mean non-grasping, non-attachment, or as I like to think of it....letting go. I have written about this concept before and I am doing so again because I find the notion so helpful in my daily life. The idea of letting go of worry, letting go of my perceived sense of obligation and then letting go of any residual guilt attached to that perceived obligation. To be honest, practicing aparigraha is in fact quite comforting and allows more peace and contentment into my daily life. I have found so much calm in this practice!
An invitation from me to you .... just let go!
Take a few moments and consider what you have on your to-do-list. Are there some things that you really do not want to do, but feel obliged? Consider what would happen if you just opted-out of those things? What if you just let go of that sense of obligation? What if you simply did less? What if you took a little bit more time for yourself to breath, rest and reflect? Of course the things that are important to you will still get done, but those other things...why not just let them go?
Cookies & Calm Recipes
Here are two recipes to help you cultivate a little bit more calm in your life. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the tub and nibble on a few yummy cookies. (If baking and DIYing stresses you out, you have my permission to buy the cookies and the bath salts 😉 ) These are favourite recipes of mine. I hope you enjoy them too. I have included PDF downloadable versions also. These recipes make terrific gifts for special friends and family too. You know....for those people who also have super long and heavy to-do-lists and have trouble letting go!
Warmest wishes for a very Happy New Year!