(originally posted 12/17/13)

Comfort and Joy? Yeah right…

I’ll give you comfort and joy!

Here we are…another December.  Another holiday season.  We thought we’d be better prepared this time…get our shopping done early, have less to do.  Hmmm…that just never seems to happen.  We hear ‘Happy Holidays’ and think,’ yeah, I’ll be happy when the holidays are over!’

When did that happen?  When did the holidays become the holicraze?  Certainly not when we were still young.  I can remember the excitement and anticipation of everything Christmas.  Now, truth be told, I come from a huge Italian family and we have a LOT of family fun and traditions throughout the season.  Even as I get older,  I don’t want to miss anything.  Personally, I also love everything about the season…the meaning, the music, the lights, the bad holiday movies on the Lifetime, Hallmark and Family channels…20 years ago, I even had a Christmas wedding! (Photo below – me with 11 of my 13 nieces and nephews…aren’t they soo cute!) 

But for most, it’s a time of stress, overwhelm and obligation.  We stand in line on Thanksgiving night for the 50% off sale.  We push people out of the way to get the last Tickle Me Elmo (okay, that was years ago, but I don’t know the current hot item!)  We say yes to parties and events we don’t really want to attend.  We bake 10 dozen cookies for our kids school or that darn cookie exchange we do every year!  We have a Secret Santa at work…and we always pick the person we don’t even really like!!  We HAVE to.  It’s expected.  People count on us.  Sound familiar?

Of course we have obligations.  However, we DO have the freedom of choice when saying yes…or heaven forbid…NO!  We also have a CHOICE on how we respond to these obligations.  Yep, it’s going to take you a full evening to bake 10 dozen cookies.  UGH!  You’re so tired and now you have to bake.  If you feel you have no choice and HAVE to bake (choice, that’s a whole other discussion for February!), ask yourself, ‘what could make this ‘chore’ better?’  Could my kids help and make it family time?  Perhaps I can call some friends over and open a bottle of wine while we’re measuring, folding and icing?  Maybe my friend will help me put together my kids new bike.  Yes, we may have obligations, but we can choose how we respond to them.  We can CHOOSE to moan the whole time or we can CHOOSE to create some joy around it. We can also CHOOSE  to take some things off our to-do list!  Do we have to have 5 different desserts? (That’s for you JH!) Does our house have to be picture perfect?  Guess what, you don’t have to be Martha Stewart.  (If you feel you do, the deeper question is, who are you trying to impress?  Call me and we can work through that!)

My charge to you is, what can you do to make this holiday season more enjoyable for YOU? 

Take your kids skating, enjoy your family (crazy and all), actually use some of the 20 hours of PTO and take a day or two off work, take a bubble bath, have a night out with the guys!  Just pick one thing that’s important to you.  Something that will bring you more joy.

Now for the comfort…what is your comfort?  Sitting by the fire eating Christmas cookies…watching 24 hours of A Christmas Story…wrapping gifts?  Since I’m offering the opportunity for you to create more joy, now it’s time to get OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!  That’s where we truly stretch and grow.  And that can be an awesome gift you give yourself!  How about volunteering to serve dinner at a local shelter, take a boxing class, or be a part of the do-it-yourself (sing-along) Messiah.  Again, doesn’t have to be huge…just something.

Remember the fear-factor from October?  This is another opportunity to laugh in the face of fear.  Over Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to take an aerial yoga class with some of my sisters and nieces.  I was full of fear, but chose not to miss out on potential fun.  I’m also out of my comfort zone even sharing this picture!  But I will never ask my clients to do anything I am not willing to do myself!  So, here I am!!
 
This is me out of MY comfort zone at the OM Factory School of Yoga in NYC.   I was downright scared…will the harness hold me?  Will I break a hip?  Will I look like complete idiot?  The answers…no, no and yes! But I had the most amazing time!  I figuratively AND literally stretched myself!

There are 14 days left in the year of 2013.  Prove to yourself that you are important.  Important enough to create some dis-comfort and then have some joy.  It CAN happen…even during one of the most stressful times of the year!  Say goodbye to the holicraze and welcome back the holidays!

Choose to CHOOSE JOY!  See what happens.  Even if you feel you were only able to choose once out of a hundred choices…you did it ONCE! You gotta start somewhere!  (And when you see how good it can feel, you’ll do it more!)

So, how are you going to choose your dis-COMFORT and JOY?

Here’s to discovering your Holiday bliss!  
 
Lesley Picchietti, CPC, ACC, ELI-MP
Lesley@InspireBlissCoaching.com

© Inspire Bliss Coaching and Consulting 2013

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