Jack Kornfield talks about how we get so caught in trying to perfect our lives and how far this takes us off course - when really it is our love that is worth the effort of perfection. As several holidays approach, so many people get caught in trying to create perfect festive experiences.
Many go into a sort of overdrive managerial mode, trying to construct and design experiences with enough joy, generosity and holiday cheer to light up 10,000 trees. This can leave you feeling depleted, disappointed and disconnected because how many of these visions actually turn out like you envisioned them? How often does the effort leave you too exhausted to enjoy the moment? How connected are you with your guests when you’re playing the perfect host?
Holidays at their core are about celebrating love and connecting, yet the optics of it all can sometimes block this.
"The idea is not to perfect yourself. As you know, you've already tried that and it's sort of a dicey affair at best, right? The game is to perfect your love. That's really what it's about."
- Jack Kornfield
As you embark on any holiday that has a lot of materialism, chatter about expectations and diversity of opinions in one room, remembering that you get to choose how to be with life is important. You get to choose how to respond to the family member who might think differently than you do. You get to harness your love and express it in meaningful ways.
However the gatherings turn out, with awareness you’ll see the beautiful parts and the messy parts — and can turn toward experiencing them fully, dropping the tendency to give yourself a grade and simply feeling like the moments that make up your life are enough.
We can’t orchestrate a scene out of a Hallmark movie in real life but we can pour our energy into love and trust the outcome.
Tips for Staying Connected to Love
Pausing and asking yourself - what matters most right now in this moment, while you take a few long, intentional breaths. Is it to connect, to understand, to express love, to get the gravy whisked? Whatever it is, it’s easier to stay focused (and calm) when we know what is most important to us in any given moment.
Slowing down as you speak. Taking a conscious breath before you start talking is the best advice I have been given. It helps me check in with what I want to say, so that what comes out of my mouth matches my intention.
Spending some time in reflection and making a list of what you value most about this time of year can help you align your behavior with your values. Do your actions reflect your values?
This time of year can be magical and overwhelming. It can be full of love and joy and grief and loss also. You are strong enough and expansive enough to embody all of that at the same time and be conscious in how you choose to be with life during this time of year.
To share how your awareness helps you through the holidays, leave a comment below.
Wishing you all many tiny moments of awareness this week,