A Sanctuary Holiday. Is that even possible? If you are anything like me, you have experienced (and yes, created for yourself) holidays that are over-scheduled, over-stuffed and over-blown. It happens. It’s horrifying, but it happens.
This year I wanted to be different. I set out to the beat of a different drummer — I set out hearing the alluring cadence of sanctuary. What does that mean, exactly? Here’s the short list in my world:
- Slowing down instead of rushing around like a madwoman
- Leaving blocks of unscheduled time in the day
- Saying no to most invitations and yes only to a select few
- Exercising self-restraint – every surface does NOT have to be adorned with holiday frippery
- Investing in a bit of extra self-care (like clearing the time for a second meditation during the day, or lingering outside with my feet in the grass – this is Florida after all)
In its truest meaning, experiencing sanctuary involves looking inward rather than outward. It promotes feeling calm and grounded, refreshed and replenished. Sound like any holiday you’ve ever had? Me neither.
So you can see why this year, unlike past years with full-on holiday mania, I am taking my time. Pausing to notice the little moments of happiness and unexpected tenderness. Letting myself sit down and rest. And you know what? I haven’t wanted to kill myself or anyone else. Well, not yet, anyway. And I made it all the way through Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the in-between-the-holidays freak-out-period right after the turkey pan is finally clean and I realize how much I have to do in the coming weeks.
I am lighting my candles, piling my favorite crystals on my desk, grabbing my favorite pen and notebook and just BEING. I am putting on my favorite music, changing the entire mood of my space and sinking into the moment, like relaxing into a hot bath.
What is my favorite music for sanctuary, you ask? At the moment, it is the new holiday album released by my beloved husband, Philip Stephen Allen, and he named it after this very blog. “Finding Sanctuary : Christmas”! (Now I know for sure that he loves me.) I cannot begin to tell you how much I adore it. It is exactly what I love in music — peaceful, calming, inspiring. It soothes my ragged edges and stirs my imagination at the same time. And yes, I am insanely proud of him for creating such an artful work of utter beauty. If you haven’t heard it, you simply must. Find it here and savor a bit of sanctuary for yourself.
So if you think I’m smiling while I’m typing this, you’re right. If you think I’m counting my blessings and thoughtfully sipping a glass of wine, you’re right again. If you think I’ve got all my shopping done and have moved past all possibility of holiday panic at this point, think again. Let’s not get crazy here.
Sending peace and serenity from my house to yours. And please send it back if you don’t mind. For that above-mentioned moment when the panic sets back in.