The holiday season is marketed as a magical time. But let’s be real, who is it really magical for?

Between all of the decorating, the lists, the shopping,  the wrapping, the meal prepping, and don’t forget planning of those magical moments, there’s not a ton of space left for you.

I’ll be the first to admit I can be a grinch sometimes. I get turned off by the forced holiday spirit, the fakeness (is that a word?), the consumerism, the Pinterest mom crafts, the religious/secular fights. I don’t know how it got that way for me. I’m a kind and generous person. You’d think the season of giving would be my jam.

I think I got taken over by my “shoulds.” Like, a good mom should be doing holiday crafts with her kids. A good mom should take her kids to see Santa. A good adult should have meaningful gifts purchased for all of the nieces and nephews, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, all beautifully wrapped and ready to go plus gifts for teachers and other caregivers. A good adult should have her home perfectly adorned with lights and decorations that show how much of the holiday cheer. A good adult should make cookies and cut them into shapes like trees and stars and reindeer. A good adult should have her act together early enough to create a beautiful card with pictures of her happy family and a witty greeting addressed and mailed early in December. And that’s where I lose it because I really do want to communicate with my friends and loved ones to tell you how much I love and appreciate you. I guess I just don’t like the idea of being told what I should do so I either reject it or do it resentfully.

Confession time: I wish I could be filled with the holiday spirit.

I want to be swept up in it and have some crazy amazing epiphany like in the movies. I don’t need be greeted by the ghosts of Christmas past in order to learn kindness and I don’t need to be visited by a guardian angel to know it’s a wonderful life. So I’m going to focus on giving. I’m going to share the biggest and best thing I’ve learned that has truly helped improve my life: Mindfulness.

I’m not kidding or exaggerating when I say it’s the singular thing that has had the most positive impact on who I am and how I interact with the world around me. So as my gift to you, I am going to give from my heart, my favorite mindfulness activities, the ones that have had the most impact on how I show up in the world. Maybe some of them will resonate with you.

So this holiday season, I invite you on a journey to experience twelve days of mindfulness. Each day you’ll use a different tool to be present in the moment at least once in your day. By the end you’ll have a full toolbox of techniques you can draw upon in the future. I like to describe mindfulness tools like karate. You learn the theory and the moves in case you ever need to use them in self-defense. With mindfulness, you learn the theory and the tools and you have access to them when you need them, when you’re stressed or anxious or want to be more present in the moment. And the practice is the gift.

Have fun with it! Try them on and see which ones feel good to you. If you miss a day, don’t worry, just start up again the next day.

This is my gift to you. Sign up to receive this free guide and start to receive your 12 days of mindfulness as soon as they are released. Enjoy!

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