Celebrate The New Year With A Memory Jar

Memory JarNow that Christmas Day has passed, we are in the period of time when everyone is looking toward the New Year.  Once again there is hype and an exaggerated focus on parties, fun, resolutions and having the “perfect” person or activity with whom to share the celebrations.

In short, it is another opportunity for elevated expectations and disappointment.

A friend of mine gave me a great idea for beginning the year. For the last decade, she starts New Year’s Day with a cup of coffee and her Memory Jar.  She settles into an easy chair and reads the small pieces of paper contained inside.

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Winter Solstice: An Ancient Holiday That’s Relevant Today

Winter Solstice

In ancient times, numerous beliefs and rituals were based on astronomical events. Many traditions that  started then are still celebrated today.  Tonight – the Winter Solstice – is one of those occasions.

Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year.  Throughout much of history, societies were built around the amount of daylight available.  The shortest day of the year, which comes with the longest night, was immensely important.  It meant the harvest had passed, and they would live on stored goods until the spring.  During the following months there would be hardship and even starvation for some.

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7 ways Self-Compassion Can Help Make Your Holidays Better

Self-compassion and the holidaysAt this time of year, many people are asking themselves how to make it through the holidays. One way to help yourself through the season is by practicing self-compassion.

What is self-compassion?

Kristin Neff, the most well-known self-compassion researcher at the University of Texas-Austin, calls it “a healthier way of relating to yourself.”  It is a tool to help promote psychological healing, well-being, and better relationships.

Rather than beating yourself up, you extend kindness and understanding to yourself. It is a caring attitude, where you can encourage yourself and realize that being human means things can go wrong. Continue reading

5 Ways to Cope With Holiday Drama

5 ways to cope holidaysHolidays may be a great time to see family and friends.  They are also a time when we return to old patterns and behaviors.  When we go back “home,” we revert to the relationships we had growing up, instead of acting as the grownups that we now are.  These are the same relationships and patterns that formed our views of ourselves and our outlooks on life.  Along with this, unconscious conflicts may come to the surface, which will cause us to end up in a three-sided behavior pattern.

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