Before you dive head first into the holiday hubbub of parties, events, shopping, gifts, holiday cards and planning, remember these four words: Cooperation, Understanding, Positivity and Satisfaction, or "C.U.P.S." Though getting it all together seems like it takes a village, filling your C.U.P.S. can be a welcomed anchor as you go deeper into the season. This uplifting choice will feel like a true slam dunk on your way to greater joy this holiday season. I'd love to help you bound into 2023 instead of barely limping over the finish line. Let me explain...
The "C" in C.U.P.S. stands for cooperation.
There have been many times during the holidays where I've felt like I'd rather just do what needs to be done myself than bother with trying to engage anyone else in the tasks at hand. Can you relate? In hindsight, I'd say this was a bit shortsighted on my part. I'm convinced that Mary Poppins got this one right. "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun, find the fun, and SNAP, the job's a game." At my house we call it the "Mary Poppins Theory." When it comes to cooperation, apply some creativity or silliness, and just have a blast. What I've learned is that not only are the tasks more enjoyable, but they become beautiful memories of the holiday. As long as you can be open to not controlling every outcome, cooperation is where it's at! Here are a couple examples: For years I used to single-handedly bake mountains of holiday treats. I've been blessed with a natural talent to bake and I know that people look forward to the treats I make and share. But it got to the point where it felt overwhelming to bake all those cookies alone at the expense of more joyful things because I tied my own self to those ovens! Some time ago, I began inviting the cooperation of my grown children, and now their significant others, to come over and bake cookies. They love it! This special time is always brimming with love and laughter and a great sense of fun. At the end, everyone takes cookies and great memories back home. Another favorite example of mine is how my husband cooperates with gift wrapping. We like to put on a traditional Christmas movie--"White Christmas" is a fav--and then we just take our time, be creative and enjoy the wrapping experience. You might even like a cup of holiday cocoa, or even a glass of wine, if that's your thing. Bottomline, this "task" now feels light, joyful and meaningful instead of overwhelming. I hope you too will give some thought to what and with whom you'd like to share some cooperation this season.
The "U" in C.U.P.S. stands for understanding.
So many folks are running on caffeine and adrenaline during the holidays. People feel the stress of buying gifts, getting the "right" things for those they love, and getting it all done in record time. So many of us feel over-tired, over-worked, over-stressed and overwhelmed. That said, I believe this determined energy comes from a desire to be excellent and to delight, rather than disappoint those we love. Of course this is a good thing! But too much pressure and it easily turns one into a "crabby patty" if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, this also distracts us from the sacredness of the season. Whether this sounds like you or someone else you may encounter this holiday, the level best energy to extend in the case of stress, is understanding, understanding, understanding. Use it liberally and often! We all need to cut ourselves (and everyone else) some slack when things get crazy. The truth is we are all doing the best we can within our current abilities and personal resources. Each one of us looks forward to sitting back and finally enjoying the fruits of ours and others labors! Just keep in mind, the more understanding you can muster and offer up, the greater your chances of feeling appreciated and truly helpful. The bonus? You will create a much deeper connection with your self, with others and with the Divine during this sacred season. That's a holiday win.
The "P" stands for positivity.
If you are feeling holiday stress, negativity may not be far behind. Maybe you can't harmonize the family schedule, the gift you needed is no longer available, or you have unexpected car trouble or challenges at work. In these cases, our reactions can easily be magnified by the holiday stress we may be experiencing. What I would offer here is to consider the fact that in any given moment you can indeed find some (likely many) positive things on which to realign your focus. The larger vision of the holidays tells us that getting them "right," simply requires one thing: that we get our hearts right. Everything else is just a cherry on top of the holiday sundae. If we choose to focus on the positive, perhaps feeling genuine excitement for things like getting that coveted parking spot at the mall, or taking the time to immerse oneself in the beauty of a snowfall (catch a few on your tongue!), or embarking on an evening stroll or drive to see neighborhood holidays light displays, we can keep ourselves lifted. This is so empowering because then we won't be secretly or overtly holding others "hostage" to bring the joy. Being the source of your own joy is a beautiful thing! Actively focusing on the positive will give a whole new feeling of sovereignty and gratitude as you glide through the season with your (inner and outer) smile intact!
The "S" stands for satisfaction.
When it comes to satisfaction, you're likely to feel a whole lot more of it if you have chosen to fill your cups with cooperation, understanding and positivity. The feeling of satisfaction is a natural outcome of these actions. The precious (or ridiculous) memories you will create from cooperation, from the moments of extending understanding, or from your choice to see the positive and recognizing the power of it, will flood your mind and heart with a rich sense of satisfaction. Won't it be great to flow through this season with the intention to share (cooperation), care (understanding), uplift (positivity) and enjoy (satisfaction)? Choosing to fill your C.U.P.S. will create a platform for you to experience the kind of peace that protects you from stress, and helps the heart to open...naturally. Isn't this exactly what we are seeking this time of year? So yes, let's go through our motions and enact our traditions, but this year, let's decide to do it from a higher state of mind and a deeper state of feeling. In doing so, you will also inspire others to do the very same. And truly, what is a greater power than the power to uplift others? It's what this season is all about. I hope you too will choose to fill your C.U.P.S. to the brim and then experience the joy of pouring them over the ones you love (your self included) with abundance.