Finding Stillness in the Holiday Rush

The holiday season is a time of year we dream about often. There’s something exciting about our community coming together, the energy in the air as we all build with anticipation, and even the longer evenings filled with blankets on the couch and snuggles with our favorite loved ones (pets included). 

This beautiful season can also come with a feeling of overwhelm. There are gifts to buy, decorations to hang, events to attend, finances to straighten out and the list goes on and on. What happened to the magical time of year we knew when we were kids? Is it possible to get that back as adults? 

Bring back the magic

Our society loves to do. We measure our worth by how much we accomplish or earn. We start each day with a drawn-out to-do list and end it with the guilt of not accomplishing more. In all the movements of the day, we forget to be still. To come back to our breath. To clear our minds. To be present. We miss out on the fact that we are human beings, and that just being is essential.

As children, we see the magic of the holidays because we are present to them. So much so that we think they may never actually arrive, time is moving so slow. But somewhere along the road from childhood to adulthood, we forget to slow down and be present. It’s in the stillness that all the magic happens. It’s when we slow down and let go that we can start to appreciate all that’s around us. Tuning in to ourselves becomes easier and the guilt we might be feeling becomes less. 

Where to find stillness

Coming back to the present isn’t always easy, especially with so many distractions at our disposal. But it is always available to you. Stillness can be found in making a cup of tea, just like in the art of the Japanese ceremony where the roots of Wabi-Sabi (a concept of simplicity and nostalgia) were formed. You might find it in your yoga or meditation practice or even when you go for a walk around the block. 

The art of stillness isn’t fancy, it’s simply finding your tool to bring you back to this moment. Out of anxiety (the future) or anger/regret (the past), stillness gives you permission to be here, now. The very principle that yoga was built on.

Remove Distractions

The greatest enemy of stillness is distraction. And in our society, that’s pretty much everything. Technology, while providing amazing knowledge and connection, has also brought disconnection and distraction. We often feel like we have no extra time in our day because we find something to do with every moment, leaving no room for stillness. 

In The Art of Simple Living,  Shunmyo Masuno states that “​​in Japanese, the character for “busy” is written with the symbols for “lose” and “heart.” It’s not that we are busy because there isn’t enough time. We are busy because there is no room in our heart.”

If busy means to lose the heart then to be still is our way to gain it back. We make space for beauty, love, connection, hope, dreams, and so much more by being still and growing our hearts.

What if instead of scrolling through social media in the checkout line you looked up and noticed the things around you. Or maybe instead of watching another show on Netflix you opened a book or went for a walk? We all have time for a little stillness in our lives just a moment where we can all be with no agenda, no need to perform, and most importantly no need to do.

Find stillness this Holiday season

Ultimately, when it comes to the holidays, stillness is what brings the most joy. Winter was always meant to be a season where we slow down and stillness helps us do that. In the space of stillness, we can still dream, but we’re always pushed to come back to this moment and hold onto it. These moments will go faster than you think, and slowing down, being still, is the only way to hold onto them for just a little bit longer. 

Let us help you find stillness this season with 14-days of Unlimited online Ohana Yoga +Barre. Hit your mat to become more present and learn new tools you can take with you off the mat to find stillness throughout your day and magic in this holiday season!

Katie Leigh Jackson Denver Artist and Illustrator

Katie Leigh is an Ohana YTT Graduate and Artist in the Denver Area. She creates artwork and wallpaper that showcases the magic in the ordinary and helps others live a simpler more peaceful life. Get tips + resources to create a calmer life and home with her free weekly newsletter.