The Holidays Are Coming: Do You Know Where Your Soul Is?

by Jen Louden

"Loving earth, work, one another, psyche - all these require unhurried time. Frenzied questing after the icons of modern life (speed, power, instant, more, bigger, unboundedness) devours time and injures the capacity to love. The shy soul is driven inevitably into hiding where she yearns for a time when men {and women} had time to love. The failure to find time for soul is the essential tragedy of our time."

-Russell Lockhart, from When Men Had Time to Love

It's almost holiday time. Do you know where your soul is?

Have you asked soul what she wants to do and feel during the upcoming months? Can you give her lots of time to respond? (A thirty-second check while in line at the bank doesn't work so well with soul).

And after asking, would you be willing to honor what she has to say?

This is such a tender, heart-open-wide time of year. Simple things like the blood orange and lime yellow leaves wiggling outside my window and the sound of our heater coming on bring tears to my eyes. A deep yearning to nest, to deeply connect with those I love, to know soul comfort as well as I know the curve of my daughter's smile, simmer in me.

A spiritual longing breaks through the surface of my life and catches my heart. It is a radiant song that I can't quite hear the lyrics to. I want to stop and listen but instead I find myself emptying the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, making lists, sorting Aunt Edna's silver. Perhaps the barrier between this longing and our daily lives grows thinner during the holidays. All that is required to cross the border is courage and stillness, and perhaps a friend for support. We are entitled to "to feel ourselves beloved on this earth" as the writer Raymond Carver wrote shortly before his death. Yes, dear ones, we are.

Once I asked my young daughter what she wanted the holidays to look like and she said, "Games like hide-and-seek and sleeping giant and everybody just being together, and you know, I would like just a few presents."

How strong and sincere it feels to live soulfully during the days of darkness and glitter, yearning and connecting. What does that mean specifically? To live soulfully, I:
Stop and pause OFTEN to ask, "What do I really want to do?"

Question every "I have to" especially the ones that seem so IMPORTANT. Look at my real reaction to each invitation and each inclination to get this or that.

Watch for bodily sensations of feeling hurried, panicked, or pressed upon, and using these sensations to wake me up to what I'm thinking and doing, and is there another choice I would rather make?

Basically, I'm learning there is no real reason to be freaking out over when or where to buy the Yuletide tree.

Remind myself the only thing that really can't be replaced is time with those I love: my seriously ill Dad, my daughter, my sister, my mom, my husband and you know, they just want peace, laughter, and a little sleeping giant game once in awhile.

I'm letting the rest go, gently, gracefully, and with a good guffaw at all my shoulds.

What does your soul want for the holidays? They’ll be here before you know it and now is the perfect time to check in with your precious self.

Jennifer Louden is a best-selling author of five books, including the classic The Woman’s Comfort Book and Comfort Secrets for Busy Women. She has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs, including Oprah. She’s also a certified coach, creator of learning events and unique life balance products. Visit Retreats

Also from Jennifer Louden:
Comfort Queen Books
Life Organizer Companion CD
The Mood Changer and Comfort Wishes PLUS Audio Sacred Pause Retreat: Listening to the Questions
Audio Sacred Pause Retreat: Listening to the Question
Mood Changers and Comfort Wishes
Comfort Cafe
The Soul Deliverable Inner Organizer

More Thanksgiving Articles at Momscape

Thanksgiving Quotes
Celebrate the season with this collection of Thanksgiving Quotations.  

Thanksgiving Traditions: Nine Ideas for Families
Ideas for starting new family traditions – and for revering the old ones.

Reducing Holiday Meal Frenzy
The holiday season can be stressful enough without the added pressure of making one of the "big" holiday meals for 15 of your closest relatives or friends. Here are a few terrific tips that will help you get through it smoothly. 

Before, During, and After: How to Declare a Truce at the Holiday Dinner Table
Most families have some history of arguments that seem to erupt at the yearly holiday dinner table. Can you avoid these uncomfortable, often repetitive, and predictable confrontations? Here are some tools to make that happen, from author Sharon Rivkin.

Holidays with Ease: A One-Pot Turkey Dinner with all the Trimmings
Here is a great solution to getting the meal with all the trimmings without spending hours and hours in the kitchen or facing a week of leftovers.