Be Genuine This Year.
Cut the Holiday Crap!
Holiday Thoughts from the Bitchy Zen Master
What’s funny is that someone once called me the Bitchy Zen Master. Of course, she’s dead now! Just kidding, I laughed when I heard that, but have been thinking what a perfect point of view to express. I think people would really like the alternative perspective…
I have to tell you that this year I feel the long reach of the uninspired and certainly un-genuine advertising, emails, and social media crap that has been floating around out there. And worse, it’s directed right at me!
You have seen all the, “Achieve your goals,” “Exciting new events,” “A gift-giving idea.” Seriously, do you really need all this crap? I don’t think so. If you haven’t achieved your goals or are not on the way to achieving them, well then, do you want to start over at ground zero? Do you really care about any “new events?” As if your calendar wasn’t already full between your job and the friends you already have. Again, I don’t think so.
New Year’s is just a mental construct of humanity’s unreal concept of time. Do you think your dog or cat knows anything about New Year’s? No, they do not! Nor do they care. They watch you consume large amounts of alcohol to do what they do naturally, and you wonder why they look at you so stupid. It’s not them, trust me. It’s us needing something to do what should come naturally—play and have fun. And be in the moment! But we do not, because we are so trying to move forward.
We work to hard all year and try to make up for it during the holidays by “spending time with family.” Is that a crock or what? You should be spending time with family throughout the year and making your time precious and valuable. Be really engaging and enjoy the time, don’t wait till the end of the year, as if you have to do it. You won’t feel guilty and have to buy all those ridiculous presents for your children and friends if you just spend the GENUINE time with them during the year. Most importantly, that is what they would RATHER have anyway. The day in and day out time with those close to you.
Look, the last thing I am is cynical. I am a realist and that is Zen. Seeing the real nature of humanity and you know as well as I do that the holidays for some people can be absolutely insane. Preparing parties, attending parties, buying gifts, making plans and the like. Why not just spread it out throughout the year? Let’s have a mid-Christmas celebration in June. It may not be snowing, but its sunny and we can have Santa Claus floaters in the pools.
I find that many people are rushing, anxious, buying, finalizing, renewing, and simply not paying attention to the moment. They are confused and wonder why they are so RELIEVED when the holidays are over! Traffic is everywhere. Especially, near malls or parking lots which are packed. Worse, people are yelling at each other and angry for no reason, except that they are in a rush and need to get their shopping list done for the holidays. I just saw a postal worker having a melt down because he couldn’t get out of a parking lot because people kept cutting him off. If it’s not fun and you don’t have the time to do it, then don’t do it, period!
What am I saying? Well, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, but for God’s sake SLOW down and enjoy the moment of everything you do. Do it FOR THE RIGHT REASON and NOT because you have to. Now, you may think it’s all worth it. Well, that’s ok and maybe this year you can add something special to your own holiday shopping. Before you leave the house, take five minutes to just slow down and breathe and become aware of this moment. A short meditation on the moment. This short pause before you hit the malls, parties, or family dinners will make all the difference. Because if you have to choose between two paths, please choose the path less travelled.
If you’re seriously interested in learning the technique of mindfulness—which is what eased us through the rough spots of the trip—you can contact me to schedule a free seminar at your company, private group, or attend one of my scheduled seminars, see http://wheresmyzen.com/seminars.
You can also download one of my books in PDF format from the site above or go to Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble for a Kindle, Nook, or Hardcover version. The short version of the technique appears on page 49-56 in Where’s My Zen? and a full detailed version appears on pages 386-430 in The Ten Paradoxes: The Science of Where’s My Zen?
Paul Harrison AIA
aka Master Nomi
Architect, Author, Creator of the Zen Advantage Program™ (ZAP)