I often talk with clients about the concept of celebration as a way to acknowledge progress towards a goal or an awareness of something good in their life. It doesn't need to be a party hat with streamers kind of celebration; sometimes a simple expression of appreciation for what we have today reminds us that we can choose where we focus our attention and how we feel as a result of that choice. As we move into this seasonal time of 'celebrating the holidays' I am reminded of how easy it is to fall into 'over consumption' as a holiday ritual. We often tend to eat too much, drink too much, or even buy too much in an effort to 'get into the holiday spirit'. I suspect we are striving to experience abundance in our celebrations, sometimes losing track of what truly matters to us in the process.
Bringing a shift in our awareness of what celebration and abundance are about can create a different holiday experience. In the 1954 movie classic "White Christmas", Bing Crosby sings "If you're worried and you can't sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep." Counting blessings as we near the holidays is a good idea even if our sleep comes easy, and writing them on paper adds a new dimension to the idea of a 'Christmas list'. It can remind us to focus on the true bounty of the season, and encourages us to verbalize our appreciation to those we love. And if we throw a little quantum physics into the mix there is a theory that supports the idea that we might even be able to make the world a better place.
"Action at a distance" refers to the concept that a change in the quantum state of one particle can affect another, sometimes instantaneously, even if they are light years apart. Einstein referred to this as "spooky action at a distance" because such instantaneous changes did not initially quite fit with the accepted space time geometry of his era. While understanding quantum physics is a little beyond the scope of my practice, I have seen how changes in attitude and behavior on the part of one person can set off a shift in behavior and attitude in others, even at a great distance and without direct contact. I especially remember an estranged grown daughter who phoned her mother "out of the blue" the day after her mom had done some powerful work in therapy. So if we take the time to dwell with thoughts of appreciation and gratitude, our quantum particles might positively affect other quantum particles.
Not all of us grew up with happy holidays and it is important to know that while you cannot change the past, you can change the present. So tell your beloveds how much you love them, spend quality time with them, mindfully enjoy the blessings of the table, practice forgiveness for whatever unpleasantness lingers from the past, speak aloud gratitude for your blessings today and create a bright and beautiful holiday this year by choosing to focus your thoughts and actions on what brings you joy. And if you find yourself getting caught up in an old non-productive pattern, stop, take a breath, and change direction. You can start over as many times as you need, knowing that each redirection brings you closer to your intention.