This year, David Langley brought his recording gear to my home studio, so we were able to make this video for you! He is a master guitar player, so doing this was pure joy!

 

 

Now… We are still a few days away from Christmas. Traffic is getting worse, stress level is rising, and many people wonder, What happened to the sacred and simple ways of Emmanuel (God with us)?

Well, nothing happened. 🙂 God’s the same as God has always been.

All of our hustle and bustle doesn’t change a thing about Christmas. It’s just us – what we find in it, and how present (and mindful) we are in our daily routines, relationships, and even during the times we spend in prayer.

I saw my therapist this week (yes, I consider therapy just as important as having my teeth cleaned every six months), and I told her how good I feel – peaceful and present. I explained how I felt I crossed from a storm (of so much going on) into the calm waters (of life).

I told her how I’ve been waking up now loving life as it is, mindful of my new routines that allow me a more time to breathe, cook healthy meals and do regular things, like order Christmas cards on time and actually send them out BEFORE January! (I never knew how good it would feel to actually have that happen! haha)

Yes, life is still a ‘whirlwind,’ (and I still struggle to manage work, kids and finances), but what always lifts the fog and stops the madness is our willingness to pause, breathe and still ourselves even for the briefest moment. (In that stillness, I always remember the words: “Be still and know I am God,” and I feel an incredible sense of comfort, love and abundance.)

The stillness in which we connect with God, become aware of God’s presence in our lives, and choose to be more present ourselves is where we experience Emmanuel – and Christmas.

Think about it, without this awareness, and without being mindful of the present moment, we become like kites in a whirlwind – letting our life’s circumstances (or the holiday season’s madness) toss us to and fro. And we spend most of our energy trying to deal with what might happen or which has already hit us.

Without our personal stillness, Christmas becomes just another occasion to consume and run through our lives fulfilling someone else’s expectations while acting out a ‘picture’ of a ‘happy holiday’.

And yea, going into that still place is not always comfortable. As we quiet down the distractions and the busyness of our lives, we become more aware of what we are feeling underneath… grief, loss, sadness, desperation, fear, anxiety, etc… But if we can just sit through the pain, knowing that we re LOVED, we will heal – and reach that place within where God fills us with love, hope and peace – just like on Christmas day.

So… this weekend, spend some time in stillness. Listen to meditation music, pray a centering prayer (contemplative) or meditate.

This is what works for me: close your eyes and focus on your breathing, let your thoughts simply flow through your mind – don’t latch onto any of them as they drift by. Reach that still place within yourself and spend some time there.

Then, when you are ready, think of something you are grateful for right now. See what happens!

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