Bringing Your Genius to the Holidays (Dec 2016)

by Susie Amundson

Every fiber in my body screamed NO at going to my friend’s New Year’s Eve party. And yet, I went.

Because at the time I was single. And thought it couldn’t be any worse than lying around on my sofa and crying through “While You Were Sleeping.” One more time. OK, I admit it. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Bill Pullman and Sandra Bullock would have looked like Cheech and Chong.

Instead I went to the party. And maybe I needed the full-on sensory experience when I crossed the threshold of their front door. Then, my head finally heard my body shuddering “EWWWW.” But there I was, washed up, dressed up, and made up. I stepped into my girlfriend’s living room.

It was a nice enough party. House by the lake. Sparkly white Christmas lights. My girlfriend and her boyfriend. A spinach-artichoke dip begging to be devoured. Cheery party-goers I didn’t know — coupled up. A friendly black Lab. Music wafting in the background.

And yet as every minute ticked by with another dipped cracker and halting conversation, my body knew I was in the wrong place. I wanted Bill and Sandra.

Finally, my head caved in too – well, not literally. Gory. But my mind joined forces with my body and together aimed me toward the door and the threshold out. Way before midnight. Way after my body knew it was the wrong choice.

When I finally slid into my truck’s seat to drive home, every organ in my body expelled a sigh of relief.

How many times does this happen to you during the holidays? You receive an invitation and then your head nods up and down and out of your mouth you hear “OK.” While your body is flinching inside. Let me jog your memory.

You give your credit card to the cashier at Toys R Us because you just bought nephew Toby the most awesome 200-piece Lego set. “What a great Christmas gift” your inner voice declares. And yet, your body quivers remembering that last credit card statement.

You gladly accept your third, or maybe it was your fourth hot buttered rum at your exceedingly boring work holiday party. “Ahh, sure give me just one more” you hear yourself say — all the while your body cringes a little.

Or you declare it’s no big deal for you and your family to host the Rose Bowl party on New Year’s Day. We like hosting! And now 33 of your closest friends are coming. It sounded like such a good idea at the time but why is your body flinching now?

Let’s face it. We are masters of disconnecting from ourselves – body, heart, mind, and spirit. It’s a habit of survival. Most of us haven’t been schooled up on honoring and listening to our bodies. We are barely aware of our internal receptors that help us monitor and pick up our energy within. That place where our emotions fire!

This holiday season try creating a new habit about that body-mind connection. Before you reach for that next piece of raspberry cheesecake, take pause. Yes as in, put your hand down.

Just take a breath in and an even doubly longer breath out. 1-2-3-4 IN. 1-2-3-4 5-6-7-8 OUT. You can just stand there. No one’s watching. You’re just breathing. And then scan: Use your inner body receptors and focus on the inside energy from your crown to your toes. Head, Neck, Shoulders, downward. Just check in. Are you Calm? Anxious? Excited? Disappointed? Just breathe steady. In and out and focus on your internal energy.

Now, remember the cheesecake? Is your body jumping up and down and demanding it? As in, cheesecake tantrum? Yes I know. Doubtful. But something else could be going on.

Every year the holidays arrive and we crazily venture into places we don’t want to go. Even when our Mensa bodies are shouting and begging at us to do something different. It happens to all of us. We deceive our minds from our inner vessel’s genius.

So how about making this the season when you connect more with your body, heart, and mind than ever before?

And in 2017 connecting to this place where your inner resilience coalesces –- where your mind links up with your body and heart and understands them. For starters, here is a Heart Scan. Just practice it every day and the next year will be so much easier.

As for the Holiday Season, I send all of you warm blessings to add to your already rich lives. And is anyone else up for watching ‘While You Were Sleeping’?

Happy New Year!
Susie