Can you feel the way life seems to be ratcheting up? Can you feel the stress and pressure of the approaching holiday season? Can you feel the ‘electricity’ building within you as the days slip by? Don’t you find your various mailboxes become jammed with catalogs, flyers and all forms of advertisements telling you what you need to have if you want to be the best host/hostess, friend, spouse, aunt/uncle, mom/dad, sister/brother, boss, employee, student, customer, etc., etc., etc.?
On top of all your other ‘normal’ daily activities and responsibilities, the added demands of November can be unrelenting; demanding your time, attention, organization, commitment and your money. And, to think this is only the warm up to the wildly demanding month of December.
But let’s not forget that Neptune’s retrograde will continue to wreak it’s own form of havoc for the majority of the month. As mentioned in previous posts, maintaining your mental, emotional, and spiritual equilibrium will remain a challenge until Neptune goes direct on November 18th. If you find yourself feeling distracted, frustrated, emotional, distraught, or overwhelmed, take a break from your thoughts and feelings. Recognize their inconsistency and by no means take any of them to heart because this will be a thing of the past by Thanksgiving. In the meantime, turn on some music; music you can sing along to and takes you back to happy times and great memories. It doesn’t matter if you do this alone or with someone…just do it! You will feel lighter and much happier!
November, the month of Thanksgiving, is my family’s favorite holiday. It’s a time when family and friends come together to share a meal, some time, some laughter, and the creation of new memories. But there is no denying the fact that as lovely as all that might sound, there are real demands taking place here!
Let’s take a moment to stop and itemize the demands placed on your time, energy, and resources; demands you make of yourself, like those things you truly want to do for others, and those things you want or need to do for yourself. To begin, get yourself a piece of paper and make four columns on it. Write ‘Others’ on the first column, ‘Self’ on the second, ‘Resource’ on the third, and ‘Want/Need’ on the fourth. Just for the month of November begin listing all of your demands, placing them in the appropriate column. If the demand is something you do strictly for yourself (i.e., manicure, hair cut, meeting friends for fun), place it in the second column. If the demand involves someone else (e.g., work, providing aid or a good shoulder for a friend, grocery shopping for the family, cleaning/decorating for the holiday), place it in the first column.
Take your time to complete your list. Rushing may cause you to overlook some simple tasks that can consume large portions of your time, energy and resources. Once you feel you have accurately identified the large majority of tasks, begin filling in the resources required to complete each demand (like time to think, drive, shop, plan, cook, prep, or other financial, emotional, or mental needs).
When filling in the fourth column, ask yourself the question, “Is this something I NEED to do or WANT to do?” If your first response is that you NEED to do it, consider what would happen if you didn’t do it or if someone else did. If your answer suggests that it might not be a NEED, but is definitely not a WANT, put a question mark in the column.
Looking at your list, begin removing those tasks or items where you placed a question mark under the NEED/WANT column. Next, remove all of the tasks and items you do each and every month as part of your normal routine or responsibilities. With this smaller list, spend a few moments focusing on your WANT tasks or items. If any of those items carry even the slightest measure of being burdensome, take it off the list and save it for another time. For this is the time of year to feel joy and gratitude for all you have, all you can give, and all you are given.
Demands can feel like a crushing weight, effecting you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. But you do not have to let it. Take back some of the time, energy and resources you have so freely given away in hopes of helping and aiding all those you love and honor in your life. Make this the month you love and honor yourself, by letting go of those demands that rob you of your own holiday joy, happiness, and pleasure.
You have worked hard this year … now give yourself permission to enjoy it!
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.”
– Elizabeth Coatsworth