This weeks topic the final week of advent, peace. Again, this can be talked about in a number of ways, but I think talking about a personal peace, an inner peace, is most relevant to own own journey right now.

This time of year can be a big challenge to your sense of inner peace. This is all of the shopping, advertising, and commercial aspects of the holiday. Your life gets busier socially and even church life can get busier and more complicated. Stresses from family interactions can deal a huge blow to your inner peace as well. I cannot forget to take time out for self care during the winter holiday season.

There are many ways to talk about inner peace and achieving inner peace. From the mystical to the practical there are many ways to manage your self care during this holiday season. From a practical side of things, boundaries and limits are essential to keeping me happy and healthy. So many things are going on and so many ways to get busy during this season. I have to look to what is most important to me and say yes to that first, then carefully look at what else is happening around me and get involved where it makes the most sense to me personally. When it comes to mental health and wellness, it is perfectly OK to be selfish. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t really enjoy what is happening and participate at a level that other would expect. This is your holiday season too. It’s OK to say no to things, even when others are applying pressures to you to participate. Take time out of your day, each and every day, for your self care. It sounds daunting to do this is this most busy of seasons but it is a must. Even if it is 10 to 15 minutes a couple times during the day, take a time out from everything and just be. Sit and read a book, listen to some music, write in a journal, or simply just sit quietly and breath. This type of thing allows you to reset your emotional levels and catch your breath.

On a mystical level this is a great time to start or reenforce a spiritual practice. I am not saying run out and join a church and get super involved. I am talking about self care. Meditation and prayer exercises can do wonders for your emotional well being as well as the spiritual. You don’t have to “buy in” to a spiritual dogma or religion to have spiritual self care. One of the biggest tools I use to manage my mental health is meditation. Taking even ten minutes out to stop, relax the body and breath in stillness controls so much of my well being. I try for 30 minutes every morning and 10 as needed, but that isn’t always possible, or so we think. What is more important, your wellness or episode 34 of that show? What is more important, your health or bubble popper thing on your device? I would say if you take it seriously, you can find 10 minutes a couple time a day to begin a meditation practice. It’s all about priorities.

When I attend a spiritual gathering and I hear something like “my peace I give to you”, I seldom think of “world peace”. I think of that inner calmness that says, despite all the chaos and confusion around me, it will be OK. That is the peace I wish for you this season and every day.

On this Holiday season I wish you peace.

Rev J


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