#128 — December, 2022

When things change inside you, things change around you.

— Unknown

Greetings, Inspired Seekers!

Welcome to the month of joyous chaos! Filled with sweets, celebrations and surprises, this is a month when the Interfaith calendar is crammed with special occasions. Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Yule, Winter Solstice, Christmas and Watch Night all converge to make this December a month of holidaze! So, how do we celebrate mindfully and joyfully, and relish the revelry as much as the sanctity of this season?

Well, I think we have to break it down into stages – not just of activities, but, of thought; of how we enter into and live in the season. We love the order of the holidays and their places on our calendars. This, first stage, gives us our own personal celebration guide for the month. Regimented. Precise. Easy to follow. Great Party Season. GPS for all of us!

But then, things get a bit messy as we consider the how. Because the “how of the holidays” requires regular transformation – and that takes work before the wassail! Consider this stage an invitation into metanoia – the changing of the mind. Stubbornly clinging to our past celebrations, beliefs, to-do lists or what we think the holidays should be prevents us from entering into them in a fully present, meaningful way.

“I wish the holidays were already over” is a sad sentiment I hear too frequently and is usually the result of past disappointment, past choices or the expectations that we create when we write the script that, then, must be acted out. And, we miss the mark.

What we get is hectic and harried when what we want and need, I suspect, is the solid ground of joy, presence and serenity – all possible along with the parties! The third stage of the season.

Tradition, while important, is the foundation but not the whole. It is the beginning but not the continuum. So, sit. Pause. Reflect. Why do we celebrate? Really? What is important now that, perhaps, did not hold as much importance in our earlier lives? What is not important anymore? Who needs our care and love in a different way? So many questions to consider. And, what beliefs have evolved in our hearts that now hold a sacred space?

These are the real reasons for celebration. The revelry is delightful. The parties are festive. Heaven knows I love the glitter and sparkle of the season! But, without the “reason for the season,” however we celebrate will be empty. Order, Chaos, Re-grouping. Peace. All wrapped up, just for you! It's time to recalibrate and re-gift this season to ourselves!

Blessings of the season! Celebrate it all with hugs and grace!

Grace, Always Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Question of the Month: Will you take the time to reflect and re-group your holiday practices?

The Reverend Dr. Deborah Darlington celebrates all of the sacred days with those who follow them. She can be reached at GraceMatters@TheSpaceForGrace.com or at 215 260 1611.

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