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Happy Holidays? Itís Up To You

The Holiday Season. Does time seems to compress, or is it just me? There's so much going on - the end of autumn, the beginning of winter, and all the holidays that follow. As a child it was an exciting time of year. As an adult, it seems filled with more shopping, baking, parties, and other events than I can squeeze into the available time. In Aikido, the martial art that I practice and teach, we have something called "randori," an exercise in which the student stands alone on the practice mat and as many as five opponents attack simultaneously. Sometimes the holidays feel like this - which task, event, or relationship do I take on first? The first secret of randori is to handle one attack at a time.

I can't let myself become overwhelmed by the enormity of what's out there. I must stay fully present with what's right in front of me. It's hard to do, but it saves time, energy, and wear and tear! Secret #2 is to engage the attack. Though it sounds counterintuitive, welcoming the attack puts me in charge of it. I decide what I want to handle first and move toward it.

Planning a family dinner, finding places to stay for the relatives, shopping for holiday gifts, getting the budget report done on time, AND hiring a new administrative assistant - each task by itself might be doable, even enjoyable, but taken together they seem overwhelming. How to stay balanced and effective? In the midst of life's multiple, simultaneous events: - Know that each can be an attack or a gift - it's up to you. - Engage one task at a time. - Every time you experience the pressure of "How can I possibly do it all?" - stop and BE where you are, and give your relaxed presence to the task at hand. Gradually you'll feel in charge of the only things you can be in charge of - yourself and the present moment. Happy Holidays!.


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