Advent is an important season for you. Advent begins on December 2 and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent has traditionally been a significant, ancient theological time of year. I believe the nonreligious, spiritual, and religious alike are called into these 24 days of reflection and introspection as we leave 2018 and begin 2019. This is an excellent opportunity to unplug from your hectic life and assess where you are in your life’s journey.

The Amount of Stress In Our World Is Not Going To Change But You Can

Creating a life of emotional and physical health, happiness, and meaning is not about running away from stress and challenges but learning how to become resilient in the face of life’s obstacles. Advent, the spiritual season during the last month of the year, marks the end of another year of your precious life. Advent also signals the beginning or the coming of the New Year. Advent means “coming” in Latin.

Advent Invites You To Experience 24 Days of Mindfulness

This season invites you to experience and explore the inner you at a deeper level. We are so influenced by the outside world of social media, news, relationships, responsibilities, and work we can easily learn to ignore our inner needs and calling. Maybe your mind and body have been whispering or possibly screaming to you that it is time for a change. Advent is a season of listening, reflection, and self-examination. Advent asks you what is most important in your life and are you focusing on it. What is holding you back? Are you living a habitual life that has become numbing or one that is infested with chronic worry and anxiety?

Listen Deeply As Your Higher SELF Whispers Your Name

Are you desiring you? Then you must listen and become aware. The more you trust the process of listening, silence, and awareness, the greater your opportunity to live your meaningful life. It’s time to empty 2018, prune what is not you, and create new practices that will lead you to your purpose.

The Mindfulness Tools That Bring You Home To You

Three tools can help you become aware of where you are and where you want to go in your life. I created the acronym A.C.E. for simplicity to always help lead you home to your SELF. When you become aware of these three keys into your life, you can learn how to navigate them.

A=Awareness

Your first step to Mindfulness is awareness. It begins by developing your Awareness (A) of your daily experiences.   Become aware of what ignites your passion, energy, and love. What drains you, distracts you, and irritates you? These are clues to becoming more aware of what you love and what stresses you.  Write down what you are becoming aware of in your life. When you write things down, it gives you a greater focus on your goals.

  • Write it down. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center with a plus sign on the left and a minus sign on the right.
  • Credit. (+Plus) Every day, under the plus sign, write the things that give you energy and bring joy to your life like your job, dog, spouse or your garden.  Think back to your day and recall moments that made you happy.
  • Debit. (-Minus) On the minus side of the paper ask yourself, “what drains your energy in your life?”   Write things that sap your energy and make you irritable. These are your stress triggers. Learn stress reduction practices to become resilient to these stressors.
  • Advent practice. Become aware of what you love, what is important to you, and also what is draining your energy and the stressors affecting your life. What brings you home to you and what pushes you away from your heart.

Awareness Check

Put each of these on credit and debit sides of the line.

  • Persons. Persons that affect your life such as family members, friends, and coworkers.
  • Tasks. Tasks that affect your life such as meetings, work, carpool, meals, and family time.
  • Emotions. Emotions that affect your life such as guilt, shame, worry, expectations, excuses, fear, anger, self-image, or complaining.
  • Money. Money changes your life. Your financial status, wage earners, problems, challenges, and blessings.
  • Time. Time is the holy grail in life. It has a purpose. What are the positive or happiness ways you spend your time? What are the negative or draining ways you spend your time?

C=Choice

Now that you have become more aware of your stressors and challenges it is time to realize the power of Choice (C) in your life. Your current life is a result of the choices you have made and your responses to the challenging events in your life. Victim mentality ends when you understand the power of your choices.  You may not control many of the circumstances in your life, but you can choose your attitude, responses, and mindfulness in response to these circumstances.

  • Triggers. Choose something from the energy draining side of your list, your stress triggers, to begin to create a more mindful life. Choose something simple with you personally, at home or work. Focus your attention on this trigger.
  • Stress management. When you know you will be in this situation, make a conscious effort to practice stress-reducing practices such as taking deep breaths, practicing yoga, walk, doing a type of meditation you like or repeating a positive affirmation; “I am calm,” or “I am relaxed.” Choose a practice you enjoy doing and feel it works for you.
  • Follow your joy. Take a look at the positive side of your list, too. Choose one or two things that nourish you and bring you joy.  Commit to doing those things more often. Is it creating or nourishing your relationships, returning to a hobby you love or visiting a place you have always enjoyed?

E=Energy

Energy from your experience.

Developing your awareness and living more mindfully creates new Energy (E) power and freedom in your life.  When you begin practicing awareness and listening to your life, you become more mindful of what you are eating, who you are living with, and where you go to work each day. You may begin to notice an energy swelling within you as you become more aware.  

If you choose to stay in a challenging job or relationship, you can choose to change your attitude. You can make new and different choices because you now know that the situations in life are your choice, and you are the hero of your life, not the victim. You will radiate confidence and a new sense of your own power.

The more you become aware of this life-giving energy, you can begin to plant and nourish mindfulness in your life. Your energy fuels your passion, and as a result, you experience the joy of Mindful Living. May you be blessed with more clarity, joy, and love in everything you do in your life.

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