Image via WikipediaI am a candy cane junkie. I bought this year's first box two weeks before Thanksgiving and hid them away until Black Friday, the official start of candy cane season. Since then I've had at least one a day. I can't help myself. The red-and-white pepperminty goodness keeps me in the Christmas spirit, even when the holiday preparations get stressful - like having my entire family planning to spend Christmas Day in the house I haven't moved into yet thanks to delays in finalizing our mortgage. Thank goodness for those sugary hooks.
The holidays can be stressful for many of us. We are bombarded by images of glittery holiday tables, expertly browned turkeys and trees surrounded by piles of gifts with coordinated wrap and bows. Earlier attempts to recreate magazine picture holiday decor have left me disappointed. What I've discovered over the past few years is that my family never expected a magazine picture. They've been happiest without any pressure to keep the house photo-shoot spotless and they care more about the gift than the wrapping paper. Now I try to keep reminding myself that Christmas can't be found on a glossy page, although I sometimes forget in a store aisle full of blinking lights and garland.
This time of year people come to yoga class with their own stories of holiday pressures, and they bring the holiday stress to their mats. In addition to offering my yoga students in a stress-relieving practice, I've decided to combine my candy cane addiction with affirmations - a tool that worked for me when I needed to change my thinking and my stress-causing expectations. I've got a bag full of little candy canes and I'm attaching a positive holiday affirmation to each. What could be better in the yoga room than a bowl full of good thoughts, sugar and mint?
I'm even going to try not to eat them all myself.
I've been working on the affirmations, finding some online and writing others. Here are some examples:
I give myself the gift of compassion and forgiveness this holiday season.
I glow with joyful light that shines on those around me.
A wave of peace flows through the world and over me.
I fill my home only with treasured, meaningful decorations.
I've got others, but I still have more candy canes than affirmations. Any contributions would be greatly appreciated!
Now I've got to go think of a few more. And eat a candy cane.
UPDATE: We've gotten word that the mortgage company has finished their seemingly endless approvals, checks, and quality control, and we are clear to close. Looks like we may be in the house by the weekend. Just in time to put up the Christmas lights.