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Freedom Friday: Elf Your Self!

You’re probably all familiar with the holiday ecard service that lets you turn yourself (and your family and friends) into Elves that dance around crazily, spreading giggles and chortles wherever they’re put on blast, right?  But what if we actually did that for the holiday season? No, I don’t mean get dressed up as an Elf and gyrate maniacally (although if that floats your boat and you can do it without getting arrested, go for it!). I mean, what would happen if we all developed an Elf Attitude for the holiday season?

Let’s start by figuring out what Elf Attitude actually is. In the dictionary, Elf  is defined as a small, mischievous creature that is lively, and usually has pointed ears and magical powers.  Okay, then: so what’s mischief, and what’s magicMischief is behavior or activity that is annoying, but is not meant to cause any harm or damage, or a playful desire to cause trouble (upset the status quo).  Magic is the exchange of energy:  you put your energy out there, and the Universe reciprocates! So, an Elf Attitude would be one of playful desire to upset the status quo by putting happy energy out there, even when people might find that profoundly annoying!  Sound like fun?

Ring in the holidays!  Have you ever noticed how many holiday songs talk about the jingle of bells?  There’s a reason for that: in many Pagan traditions, the ringing of a bell signals the arrival of The All (Deity) into the sacred circle. That’s also why churches ring bells as a call to worship.  There is something profoundly and undeniably happy about the sound of a ringing bell, no matter how big or small that bell might be.  So grab yourself a bell (or bells) this holiday season, and let no one jangle your jingle!  Dollar stores (like Dollar Tree) have entire bags of bells for a buck a pop! Get out there, and grab some; string them up, and wear them on your wrist or around your neck.  Every time you’re confronted with someone bent on pooping all over your holiday, jingle at them and jangle their vibe!

Commit random acts of gifting.  Make a second (or third, or fourth) “jingly-bob” (be that a bracelet or a necklace) from your Dollar Tree stash of bells, and randomly give it to somebody who could really use their jangle jingled! Or look for other small trinkets that you can randomly hand out to people you maybe don’t even know (Dollar Tree has a host of packs of party favors and things of that sort, like holiday-themed erasers, pencils, and piñata-fillings).  Make little paper crafts (maybe now would be a good time to take up origami, unless you’re afraid of coming across like that one creepy dude from Blade Runner), or get involved in the adult coloring craze, and shower the world (and total strangers) with your art!  Or you can go the simple route, and go back to Elf Yourself and create something to share on Facebook and brighten the day of your whole friends list all at once.

Take advice from Will Farrel in Elf, and sing loudly for all to hear!  Who cares if you don’t have the best singing voice in the world? In the immortal words of my beloved’s mother: “Raise your squeak to the Lord!” (Or in this case, The All!)  Buddy the Elf is right: one of the best ways to spread Christmas cheer really is singing loudly for all to hear! Sure, some folks may find that annoying, but generally, they’re the ones who need their jangle jingled anyhow!

Take further advice from Buddy the Elf, and enjoy the four holiday food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup. Don’t let guilt get to you or anybody else this holiday season, especially when it comes to watching your waistline!  Food isn’t the only area where you need to give guilt the boot, though.  Don’t let yourself (or anyone else you love) get caught up in all the mundane crap of debt, grief, or oh-my-god/dess-I-gotta-get-shit-done, either!  Put all of that stuff in the chuck-it-bucket, and walk on with your holiday!

Be the artist you never knew you were.  You practically can’t spit in a store right now without hitting a holiday coloring book.  There’s a reason why that’s one of the cheapest gifts you can possibly get for a kid, and still make them happy: coloring relaxes us, because it sets free the artist within, without needing to make excuses for our supposed inability to make things pretty.  We all have an innate ability to beautify the world, just most of us have had that crushed by criticism over the years, promoting a healthy heaping of really yucky self-doubt.  Start with the coloring page below (just right click, save, and print this puppy out); it even has a nifty blank space for you to doodle something that would make your holiday particularly merry and bright!

Be thankful for everything and everyone all the time.  Gush gratitude constantly!  When somebody does the teeniest tiniest thing for you, say thank you with the same level of excitement as if they’d just given you a million dollars or signed you up as an extra for the next Star Wars movie.  (We live in a world where we often talk about “shock and awe” as the world’s greatest secret weapon; it isn’t a secret anymore! Shock them and awe them with your exuberant gratitude, and see if that doesn’t put smiles on the faces of even the most jangled people you know!)

Put your Elf Attitude out there and see what happens to your holiday spirit, as well as to the spirits of everyone you meet.  Spread some light through laughter this holiday season!

Seventh Day Yule Coloring Page

 

 

 

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The Holiday Disconnect

The holidays are supposed to be a time of peace, love, joy, and hope; a time when we feel perhaps the most connected to all things people and all people and The All (Deity) that we’ll feel all year long, and yet for too many people, they become an opportunity for disconnection.  We get so caught up in holiday shopping and holiday baking and holiday get-togethers that we forget what we’re actually celebrating: holidays is just a contraction for holy days, and we’re meant to keep this time of year holy.  What does it mean for something to be holy?  It means that whatever it is, whether it’s a thing, or an observance (like a ritual), or a time of year, that it is something that deeply promotes that connection between all things, all people, and The All (Deity); that it is something that spreads light, and promotes active compassion.  Yet we all too often, at this time of year, lose ourSelves (and that connection right along with them) in the hustle and bustle of what we think is “celebrating the holidays”.  When all of that stuff makes us switch our focus from the holy to the mundane–things like debt, baking failures, missing the people who are no longer with us to the exclusion of celebrating the people who still very much are–we lose the holy part of holidays, and they just become days!

When we get caught in that trap, we desperately need to reclaim the holy part of the word holidays.  Part of that process is practicing active compassion with ourSelves. In active compassion, we’re supposed to let go of things with loving-kindness: a place of good will, with a strong wish of happiness for our target audience, patience, receptivity, and appreciation.  If you’ve let yourself fall into this trap, it’s time to let go of whatever it is that’s making your holidays days, instead of holy days.  What is preventing your holidays from being holy days this year? I’m talking about things like continually negative patterns of thought, a lack of faith and hope, a tendency to dwell on things and worry.  Now would be a really great time to give yourself the gift of letting those things go!

Often, when we work towards letting go of things in our lives, though, we wind up “beating ourselves up” quite a bit before actually releasing them. That sort of behavior is not actively compassionate!  For active compassion to happen, you need to adopt a stance where you care what happens to your target audience–that would be You, your True Self–and you only want the best for them, but with those sentiments, there is no further attachment: you care enough to want the best, but you can be patient enough to let any negativity involved wash away from you; you care and want the best, but you can also receive and appreciate any lessons which might go along with whatever you’re about to release.

What holiday activities are causing you to feel the most disconnected right now?  If your present focus is on debt, the activity in question might be shopping, or even wrapping gifts.  If you’re missing family members or friends who you have lost over the past year (or even over the past couple of years), family gatherings might be more than a little tough right now.  Whatever activity is making you focus on the opposite of hope, peace, joy, and love right now, you need to delegate authority and get somebody not you to take care of that “holiday chore”, or you need to at least keep that activity to a bare minimum.

What holiday activities are causing you to feel more connected right now?  What’s actually “doing it” for you?  What is making you remember hope, peace, joy, and love, and helping you feel more connected to all things, all people, and The All (Deity) right now?  Maybe it’s just lying on the couch, watching Christmas movies, and listening to your kids giggle and talk upstairs.  Or maybe it’s taking long walks outside in the cold. Whatever it is, you need more of that, and less of whatever you answered for the last question.

What do you have in your life right now, that others might not have? Take a moment to count your blessings.  If you’re finding yourself presently covered in debt from all the gifts you’ve bought so generously for others, consider this: there are some people out there who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, much less frivolous Christmas gifts!  If you’re finding yourself missing people that you’ve lost (family members and friends), consider this: you are surrounded by remaining family members, loved ones, and friends who could just as easily (God/dess forbid!) not be here next year, so celebrate them while you have them! Enjoy every single second! Imbibe moments with those people, so you’ll have those moments to treasure for always!  This may seem like a rather depressing way of addressing this issue at face value, but if you take stock of what you actually do have, I promise you, you’ll find you have way more than you don’t have.

Be actively grateful for what you do have, and rest in the generosity of Original BlessingThe World is an infinitely creative place.  Instead of worrying about how you’re going to accomplish this or that, or wallowing in what you don’t have this holiday season, keep these days holy by resting in faith, and constantly expressing your thank you to the Universe not only for what you’ve already been given, but for what you’ll receive in days to come.  If you want your life to be filled with good things, you have to actually believe those things are out there, just waiting to come to you. That may seem like a tall order, especially if what’s keeping you down is debt.  Trust me, I of all people get it, but as I’ve said numerous times before in this blog, the instant I stopped living in that place of debt, and started living in that place of abundance, my entire life changed, and yours will, too!

Spend time in prayerPrayer may not be something you’ve ever tried, or believed in before, but ultimately, a prayer is simply an offering of energy. In Dragonfly Theology, we talk about magic–you put your energy out there, and the Universe reciprocates. That’s all prayer is; prayer is one of the simplest forms of true magic. Prayer is simply asking; it comes from the Latin root precari-, meaning to beg or entreat. You may not feel terribly comfortable begging for anything, but the truth is, begging isn’t actually required here. True prayer isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength. It’s a sign that you know who the heck you are, and you know what you can accomplish if you put that real you out there, and point its energy towards the things that need to be done in the Universe. Prayer can—and should—be about so much more than constantly asking, though. It can—and should—also be about worshiping and showing gratitude. Again: whatever energy you put out there, the Universe reciprocates. So if you’re spending your time saying thank you to the Universe (to The All, or however you identify Deity), you’re going to get a pretty amazing you’re welcome back!

Here, you can use these:

Peace Prayer 1

Yuletime Prayer Card

clothed in connection prayer

If all of that doesn’t “snap you out of it”, and get you back on track with keeping these days holy, instead of “just days”, feel free to contact me (sicilianomishy@yahoo.com), or purchase yourself the Dragonfly Theology Bundle.  You may also want to “refresh yourself before you wreck your Self” with my Advent Series, here on this blog.  Whatever it takes to get you back to the Light, back to connection, back to hope, peace, joy, and love this holiday season, I hope you will find it, and if I can help you at all, please know that I’ll do my best…..