When I was little, I loved to write in my journal. I’d write for hours, cut little butterflies and hearts out of magazines and paste them into my diary. Thinking back on it, it seems like the world was on hold while I wrote and reflected on my experiences, or when I wrote about my goals, hopes and dreams.

I still love to write in my journal. And I often cut out doodles I find on my kids’ homework and paste them in there. I find it very, very therapeutic. 🙂 But I have no illusion that the world is standing still for me. And, it isn’t of course… People depend on me to deliver work, my kids depend on me to provide food and shelter, and every day a hundred little tasks quickly pile up if I take too much time off.

The weekend between Thanksgiving and the beginning of Advent (25 days before Christmas) is such a great time to press “pause” to reflect back on the year and get ready for the holidays. And yes, decorating our houses is a part of ‘getting ready,’ but the ‘inner cleanup’ is more important.”

One way to do that is to identify what’s preventing us from being present and calm.

Sometimes it’s something we can easily ‘fix’ by making intentional changes… (like if I get impatient or frustrated easily, I look at my sleep patterns and my diet – and make appropriate changes). More often it’s some deeper emotional pain that will take more time to heal, like dealing with grief. When it comes, I give myself permission to feel it, but I then let go of it. And I let go of it by focusing on something in my immediate surroundings for which I am grateful.

Even just the intent to do this ‘inner cleanup’ changes the way I feel – and it helps me to be more open to receive the graces and gifts of the sacred season ahead of us. And the very act of reflecting (and journaling) does ‘pause’ all that’s less important and puts all of the overwhelming rushing around in a different perspective.

If you are looking for something to help you do some of that ‘inner cleanup,’ try my book 25 Gifts for Christmas! 🙂

Have a great week!

Tatiana ‘Tajci’

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