How To Make The Most Of Your Holiday

The Flower of the Pohutukawa tree -
known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree
Well the end of the year is fast approaching, and most people are looking forward to it least a few days off over the New Year period.

However long or short your break is, here is a simple suggestion to help you make the most of your holiday:

Take time to be fully present to what is happening NOW.
Most of us rush from place to place seldom taking time to be aware of our surroundings. We live in our heads constantly thinking about the next thing that needs to be done, the next place we need to be, the things we have forgotten, and so on and so forth.

This produces a massive amount of cumulative stress, and I suspect contributes more than any other single factor to loss of productivity, illness and inefficiency in the work force. Not to mention depriving us of the joy that is our natural birthright!

Sadly the vast majority of us rush through our holidays in exactly the same way, and then wonder why we come back to work less refreshed than we would like to be. This year I invite you to do something different: really experience your holiday.

Allowing yourself to be fully aware of where you are, right now, can open an amazing world of richness and refreshment. It naturally produces gratitude, reduces stress, increases vitality and promotes relaxation and youthfulness. It also boosts the immune system and enhances creativity. What better way to make the most of your holiday?

The simplest way to do this, is to bring all of your awareness into your physical senses. Let go of your preconceived ideas of what is "nice" or "nasty" and allow yourself to experience your life as it is right now, without resisting or judging it.

Here are some suggestions to spark your imagination.

  • What do you feel?: Whether you are in the warmth of summer, or the chill of winter, take note of all the information brought to you by your skin.
  • What can you smell? Each season has its own distinctive fragrances. Where ever you are in the world, take note of the scents and aromas around you. Allow them to bring richness to your experience.
  • What can you taste? Slow down your eating and really taste all the delicious foods that you will be eating during this celebration period. (You will enjoy your meal more, and be less likely to over- indulge if you do this. It is also an excellent weight-management tip)
  • What can you hear? Whenever you are outdoors, take time to really listen to the sounds around. Play a game with your children to see who can identify the most different sounds.
  • What can you see? We live in such a visually rich environment that most of us are simply overwhelmed, and simply tune out all of the wonder that is around us. Choose one simple object, such as a flower, a pine cone, or a stone. Hold it in your hand and take time to examine it in detail.
Teach these suggestions to your children and practice them together. They will love doing this with you and may even teach you a thing or 2 about the ability to live life fully in the now.

I know from experience that learning to be fully present in my life as it is now is truly life changing. I wasn't born with this skill and still have to practice it consciously on a regular basis. However it is one of the best ways I know to develop my sense of inner joy and appreciation of life and all of its variety and richness.


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