A client and I were discussing the various emotional triggers that emerge this time of year. The holidays are loaded with good and painful memories. And what about the manufactured stress people inflict on themselves? The core of this added pressure is a misguided idea about creating “the perfect holiday.” Perhaps, subconsciously, we are trying to re-write a painful memory of a time when our actual experience didn’t measure up to the “Hallmark” commercial.
Every year, I resolve not to participate in the manufactured stress that surrounds me.
What if we simply embrace the nature of these days in their purest form: true presence, shared food, revisiting the good memories, holding a safe space for someone who is in touch with old or recent loss, and deep emotional pain?’
This time of year, I notice a tinge of loss for loved ones who are gone. A particular piece of music or recipe can trigger that teary moment. No amount of distraction through food, alcohol, or trips to the mall will numb out that emotion, for long.
Allowing myself to acknowledge the loss, have a good cry and reconnect with the loved ones who ARE here can bring me back to reality. The holidays are joys and endings, funny and serious. It may be an over-used cliché but the greatest gift is simply your presence.
I’m grateful for the moments when massage allows me to be unplugged, offering my breath and presence. Practicing bodywork is my anchor during these whirlwind holiday weeks. It works when I’m “on the table” too.