Cindy Hoard

Inspirational Author and Psychologist

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The Holidays are Full of…
Opportunities to pause and reflect on the many amazing aspects of the holiday season. Delicious food; celebrations; making memories; decorations; annual rituals or customs; reflection on experiences from the past year; quality time with friends and loved ones; musings on gratitude; expressions of love and kindness. The greater simplicity we bring to each of these may increase our appreciation and joy for such wonderful moments.

What brought you great pleasure?
You might consider specific people involved. It could be a particular ritual or activity. What sensations did you notice in your body at such times?

In my family, decorating the Christmas tree was always a very special time. My dad who was quite poor growing up, really made a point of the rituals for tree trimming time. It had to be a time when everyone in the family was present. There was a special dinner with all devices and television turned off, with Christmas music playing from one source. Making sure every individual participated in the decorating. Finally, meticulously putting the icicles on one at a time so they hung freely from any other branches or items was the grand finale!

What experience filled you with deep heartfelt gratitude?
We have talked about gratitude in many different ways. Sometimes what seems like something quite insignificant has really had an impact on us for any number of reasons, including unexpected insights. You may have felt caught off guard and surprised, but something deep inside of you was filled with amazement.

What made for some especially fun times?
Fun and silliness definitely have a place in all of this and that can be almost as important as more serious insights. Incorporating playfulness whenever possible ups the chances of increased joy and excitement.

When did you have instants of meaningful contemplation, reflection, enlightenment and/or inspiration?
Hopefully you have discovered that these can be brief experiences and not dependent on hours of meditation, journaling, or reflection practices. Sometimes if you are not aware and present in the moment, they can run right by you. The more often you practice being present in the moment, the more often you will feel breaths of fresh air.

What gift did you most enjoy giving?
Who was the lucky recipient? What was the actual item and what special meaning did it have for the recipient, as well as for you as the giving person? What values were embedded in the gift?

What is the best self-care you did for yourself this holiday season?
What did you choose to do? What do you want to build in for self-care in the future? There are endless ways to explore taking care of yourself. Let me know if you would like some suggestions for resources.

I am eager to hear about your peak moments during this time.

I send blessings for belated Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, and Happy New Year.

Cindy