This is it! This is what I've been mentally preparing for all year long. Christmas is but 2 days away and i feel like i've been studying and preparing all year for this final test. All of my #hicoselfcare efforts has been to survive the holiday season. I’m usually hella depressed and tend to hibernate from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day🤦🏽♀️. Not even exaggerating! I used to cry so heavy i'd be drained and needed days worth of sleep to recover. This year is the first of 33 years of life that I actually feel the mythical holiday spirit! ( correction i just celebrated my 34th birthday here and here ). Family members may say otherwise but for self preservation reasons, i don't have a single positive memory from my childhood pertaining to Christmas. Last year I got a tree reluctantly 🙄. Wasn't my idea ,but i didn't want to be a grey cloud and wild rain🌨 over other people's holiday cheer. This year I gave myself a migraine from how excited I was to get a tree. What a difference a year of self care has made.
I was reading the holiday posts of one of my new favorite blogger, Ondia J, and answering her prompts got me to thinking about how far i have come on my Mental Health Journey. In an effort to both document this milestone as well as share my testimony i wanted to share my thoughts to some of the question she asked her readers about their holiday experience. So, how did i get to this destination of Joy and Holiday cheer you ask?
Well first off, it is not a destination. I haven't arrived at a magical latitude and longitude that unlocked a hidden realm in my life. I've spent the past few years reading books, challenging every negative thought, changing the conversations i have with myself. Constantly editing my moods. Heavy Heavy Lifting! Ugh! What has impacted me most is my Practice of Gratitude! Learning that you have to go beyond having just a attitude and instead taking every opportunity to practice gratitude was the pivot my logical mind needed. Being grateful for every single thing every single day keeps my mind busy long enough to not rest too long on a negative thought. It allowed me to take responsibility for the role I play in my own unhappiness. I may be a victim of my childhood but as a grownup I no longer have to identify myself as that unhappy child. Reaching that point of self awareness allowed me to intercept, when i found myself bored and stirring up bad memories to entertain my mind. Playing the victim game and replaying the highlights. I realized i had become addicted to the internal conflict. Trapped in the cycle of playing the victim, expecting to always be taken advantage of and forever waiting on the day to be rescued or for things to magically BE better. Till i read *The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. He reminded me that i am already whole. A complete being. Lacking nothing. I challenged myself daily to believe that. It changed my mindset. If i am attracted to something in other people it is because i am what i attract. It starts with me. I am who i was waiting for to rescue me.
With both my constant practice of gratitude and believing whole heartedly that i am already whole; i found myself experiencing the magic of the holiday with a new sense of celebration. With the fog of my depression lifted, i was just so grateful for life, being given another day to live. I was even able to recognize some elements of the holidays that i didn't realize brought me joy.
Christmas is all about the tradition of lights, decorating a tree, and exchanging gifts. Things i've always thought were so cliche. Till last year i was given a hand made chunky wool throw i had been obsessing over and raving about on my instagram. The victim in me always has me feeling like no one really listens and pays attention to me. So when that special someone presented me with that thoughtful imperfect hand made gesture that she had dedicated hours to making, i shirked with joy! I didn't even know i was capable of such a startling sound. I was beyond shocked! My frozen heart was flooded with warmth! I couldn't have asked for a better holiday present. I am so grateful that in that moment i was present enough to allow that experience to awaken the joy in me. It set a new precedent for the holidays. One that i hold on to with everything in me!
So this year we got a tree the day after thanksgiving! Postponing the joy of decorating it till after my birthday, only heightened the intensity. Its not a "pinterest worthy" tree but what it symbolizes is far greater than what can be captured by a camera. For years and years and years I've felt like a victim of the holiday season. Reminded of what i never had growing up, hoping one day things would get better. Wishing i had some holiday tradition to feel normal and validated. Now i do. I've had it all along. I just had to stay out of my own way long enough to make the connection. As Eckhart Tolle said "The past cannot survive in your presence" .
Today i plan on gathering my ingredients to make myself some Rum PoPo (Belizean version of Eggnog), and wrapping the gifts to put under my tree. I hope this feeling carries over to the years to come. And in the event it doesn't i will cherish this memory just the same! How do you cope with the holidays?
Mustard top| here
Mustard Mini skirt| here
Faux Fur Clutch| here
Velvet Over The Knee Boots| here
P.S. In an effort to be more about what i say i am about, i want to share and show support to a women that i am inspired! And i do hope you check out Ondia J on her blog or her instagram @theondiaj. She is so so talented, truly!
*The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a book that has singlehandly transformed my life! I do intend to go into greater detail in my upcoming posts. Its impact has been so powerful that i couldn't possibly summarize it on a single post. I do hope you decide to sign up for my email list so you are notified of my upcoming posts. Thank you so much for your continued support!