Hanukkah and Christmas are the most popular holidays that bring families and communities together in our country. But let's not forget about the astrological phenomenon - the Winter Solstice - that also occurs this time of year and is celebrated throughout the world through ritual, traditional foods, and social gatherings.
In Chinese philosophy, the winter solstice is associated with yin and yang - the balance at the heart of the universe. Thus while those of us in the northern hemisphere are in the darkest day of the year, the tide is about to turn, and the light will begin to grow again. It is a time of hope and optimism. Let's all take some time to reflect on these principles on December 21 this year!
Anthem Tai chi holiday schedule:
- Dec 23-27: No Tai Chi class - Civic Center will be closed and I will be traveling.
- Dec 30 & 31: Tai Chi classes will meet in the Community Center.
- Jan 1: No Tai Chi class - Community Center & Civic Center will be closed.
- Jan 2: Classes will resume in the Civic Center.
I'm pleased to announce that our tai chi community continues to grow. Four students have entered the intermediate class, while three new people have started the beginning class. And also a quick reminder: Diane Friedman continues to teach Qigong at the Civic Center on Thursdays at 6:30 pm, and at the Anthem library on Mondays at 6:30 pm.
Finding Balance in the Holiday Season
It is easy to get out of balance at this time of year. Whether your spirits are higher than usual or lower, there is always value in re-balancing and grounding yourself. Here are a few tips that might help.
FOOD - If you seek balance in what you eat at events, try thinking ahead of time about what you will eat. If you are worried you won't find healthy food at an event, bring something festive but balanced: Whole grains, fruit, colorful veggie trays.
TIME - If time is getting away from you, and there's just not enough - consider limiting the number of celebrations you'll participate in. Look at your calendar and decide what is reasonable. Also - look for ways to minimize the amount of time you spend on planning or preparing for events. If there are tasks that take too much time, set a timer and call it "done" when the timer rings. Settle for less than perfect!
GIFT OVERLOAD - If the focus on shopping and gifting is getting out of hand, take a step back and think about the values that are important to you. If there are ways to make your contributions meaningful, as opposed to financial, go for it! Which brings us to...
MEANING - You might find yourself wishing for the "spirit" of the holidays. If this is you, then take a moment to sit quietly and travel back in time (in your mind - unless you have a time machine, in which case by all means, do that!) Picture a time when the meaning of the holidays was crystal clear for you. What made the holidays special? Was it sharing an activity with the family - baking traditional treats together, or spending hours over a jigsaw puzzle? Whatever it is for you, see if you can bring that element into your present day. If not with your family, maybe with a group of like-minded friends. Bring the spirit alive!
SELF CARE - A sure cure for stress, anxiety or simple "overwhelm" is to take a break and do a quick meditative practice like tai chi, qigong (8 Pieces of Brocade, Six Healing Sounds, or qigong tapping) or a simple breathing exercise. Click the links for easy reminder videos if you need help with any of these practices!