How to make your heart “holiday ready”

holiday-ready-in-your-heart-crystal-gornto-heartstories

We had such a wonderful time last night at our Holiday Ready Girl’s Night Out.   We played with make-up & hair.  We laughed until we cried, while practicing our best poses for the camera.  (We even had a fan for that extra-glamorous wind effect.)  And maybe my favorite part of all . . .

Through our 1st annual, “Sister Stocking” silent auction, the generous HeartStories Sisters raised $840.00  for Hope’s Door, an incredible organization that supports the victims of family violence right here in Plano.  

We also had a quick chat about the real focus of the holiday season and I shared a few tips on how to get your heart ready for the holidays.  By no means could I make an all-inclusive list of the ways you could prepare your heart for the holiday season – but we talked about a few things we can do.

So I thought I’d share them with you too.

Here are 5  simple ideas:

  1. Be kind to yourself.  You are an imperfect human.  All the feelings you’ll feel this holiday season are normal and okay.  You’re not always going to respond perfectly, so give yourself permission to be imperfect.
  1. Daily prayer, meditation and reading –  this can be literally be 5 minutes or less.  But sit in silence and reflect on what you are grateful for from this year.  Speak it out loud.  Write it down.  And then read.  Read scripture, an uplifting blog or devotional.  Fill you mind with some kind of wisdom that will put you in the frame of mind for gratitude.
  1. Break.  In advance, plan little breaks for yourself – by yourself.  Even if it’s a made-up trip to the store for some unidentified item. . . get out and away from the chaos and the group.
  1. Listen.  This is a hard one for me.  The kids are screaming, food is burning, and chaos abounds – it’s so hard to sit still and listen.  Especially when there is SO much to get done.   But this holiday season, make it a point to hear what others are saying instead of worrying about what you’ll say next.  Be present and hear them.  No matter what you’re feeling, listening will send them the message that you care about them.
  2. Soak it up.  Enjoy this season of gathering with your friends and family.  Take snapshots of the little moments.   Soak in the joy, the hope and the love this season brings when it shows up in others.  And then reflect it back to them every chance you get.

And here’s a little homework for you:  

Make a list of each person you’ll see over the next month.  Then go back and visualize greeting them with compassion as a human being.  Let go of any judgement you may have towards them, even if it’s just for this exercise.

  • If you’re looking forward to seeing them – write down one question you’ll ask about them to make sure you don’t forget to make a meaningful connection.
  • If you’re not, write down one way you could engage them with humility while holding boundaries.

 Join in the comments below and tell me how you prepare your heart for the holidays.  I’d really love to hear.  

When you prepare your heart first, it’s easier to plan to love and connect with others in advance.

And when your goal is simply connection, on a human level, all the rest of the preparations tend to fall in their place.

to more love,

Crystal

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