For all the talk about being authentic these days, it has been so hard to come by. Perhaps it is because for far too many years we’ve so entrusted the conveying of titles and credentials, the corner office, the right address or school as the “be all and end all.” It appears that for many of us, we’ve forgotten the importance of being truly ourselves: trusting and sharing our own authenticity with those who keep us in business and with those who keep the home fires burning.
As we move towards the 4th quarter solstice with the holiday season in full throttle, I am reminded of the real meaning of the holidays and life itself. Did you know that “Solstice” comes from an ancient Latin word meaning to stop, or to stand still? With all the holiday events, the lists of gifts to buy and cards to write, we tend to go on auto-pilot, forgetting the power of stopping and reflecting on what truly matters. Yet isn’t that what this season is all about?
The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside. Only he/she who listens can speak.
After all we’ve been through since the beginning of the pandemic, it is crystal clear to me what matters most. This is the time to be ourselves with each other—listening to each other, reveling in the joy of being together, and sharing our individual and family history in the making.
Long ago I learned the value of our time together and its impermanence. My young children lived far away across the oceans, so our time together on school holidays was so very precious and fleeting. What kept our loving connection vibrant all those miles and years ago weren’t the wanted gifts of Hot Wheels or Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker look-alike dolls, but the moments sharing the joy of just being together. It’s all about truly getting that this moment, this day, won’t come again—so live it to the fullest.
As we party and share with family, friends, colleagues and community this holiday season, let’s all be sure to stop and reflect, being truly in the moment with those folks who mean so much to us.
Please take this holiday time to look into the faces of the people in your life—your partner, your kids, your friends, and even your colleagues and clients. Remember that this moment won’t come again in this way. Keep the knowledge that this time with them is all you can be sure of, so please remember to cherish them.
For those farther away, make the call. Let them know you value them. Make sure to tell them you love and appreciate them for who they truly are. We all need this reaffirmation! Show them in every way. Remember how you came together and why they are important to you. Let them know from your heart and Soul. And listen to their response—let it fill you with joy.
I’d like to share a Buddhist story that was gifted to me:
One man is standing in the forest. Suddenly another man rides by on a fast-moving horse.
The standing man asks, “Where are you going?”
The man on the horse shouts back over his shoulder, “Ask the horse!”
You guessed it, the horse is a metaphor for our running so fast we don’t stop to just “be” with ourselves and with the ones who give us purpose and make our life work, at home and in the workplace.
So this holiday season, join me in reflecting on this question: How do we take back the reins so that we can get back to the real meaning of the holidays, and life itself, at all times of year?