Let's take a quick 'tis the season poll: Who gets stressed out around the holidays? You? And You? And you and you and you?? Don't you wish you could pop an anti stress pill in much the same way anyone over 55 years of age pops Tums? Since such a pill does not exist, let's try this instead: Take a nice deep, slow breath in and then let it seep back out. Do this until you feel yourself starting to settle a bit. Now, picture yourself crossing all the "must do by Christmas items" off of your list. I find this oddly satisfying even though I am just pretending. The little exercise gives me hope I will indeed get it all done. Next, picture all of your gifts wrapped and placed under the tree. Finally, try to stifle the thought of heaving the Yule log at that one person who is on your last nerve. If you are a New York minute away from such an act, it would be a perfect time to take a moment to channel the true meaning of the season and ponder the age old biblical question, WWJD. Again, for those of us over 55, WWJD is code for "What would Jesus do?". I am sure Jesus would thank you for giving yourself a time-out so that you may think of the many reasons it is better to place the Yulelog where it belongs; in the fireplace.
'Tis the season for a warm heart.Once you are toasty and warm, with the fireplace crackling nearby and a cup of Joe (or tea) in hand, enjoy the results of a fun little creative writing challenge I posed to my Facebook readers. I asked that they write a Holiday Haiku. Haikus are particularly fun because, as you recall, they are short 3 line poems having 5 syllables in the first sentence, 7 in the second and back to 5 syllables in the last. Rhymes are optional. I had such a great response to the challenge that I decided to devote a blog post to it. Feel free to add your own Holiday Haiku in the comment section below.
I present to you The Facebook Holiday Haiku Challenge:
There you have it! Give a big hand to my Facebook readers! They did a wonderful job Holiday Haikuing us right into the holiday season. I hope you enjoyed them and are inspired to take a stab at one yourself.
There is one more important thing about writing Haikus; by nature, they guide you down a mindful path, especially if you read them out loud. Finger counting syllables and focusing on the inherent rhythm of a poem all calmly guide us into an awareness of the task at hand (pun intended). However, if in doing so you still find yourself distracted by your thoughts, simply turn your attention to your breath. In the spirit of a Haiku poem, take 5 slow calming breaths letting each breath slowly seep back out. Still thinking of your Christmas list? That's ok, let the thoughts float in and out along with your breath this time taking 7 calming breaths. Is focusing still elusive?? Add a 5 final slow breaths, in then out. That is what I call Haiku breathing. By the time you finish, you will feel less frenzied and better able to concentrate. Remember, Haiku breathing can be done anytime and anywhere; standing in long lines, dealing with naughty elves, upon stepping on the scale one day after your holiday feast (just don't) or, should you still find yourself wanting to throw the Yule log at someone or something other than the Yuletide fire. Go ahead and give it a whirl (Haiku breathing, not the Yule log) then go write a Haiku. Even better, try this: At your holiday meal, have one person start by thinking of a 5 line sentence that pertains to the holiday season. Then, have the person to their right add the next 7 syllable sentence. Again, the next person to the right finishes up with the last 5 syllable sentence. Don't discount children! You would be amazed at their creativity. They may just need a bit of assistance. Continue until everyone has had a go. It's great fun and a super conversation starter. Hey, it beats talking about politics with a Yule log!
A Merry Christmas Very Happy Holidays And a great New Year!
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