And… we’re off!!

Hello brave friend!

And…we’re off!! 

I can almost hear the starting pistol fire as we wrap up Thanksgiving and head into the holidays. For years it almost felt like I put my folk down after the last bite of pie and a sense of frenzied panic would set in. I remember talking about Black Friday shopping, racing to get in line after eating so one could get the best deal on a flat screen tv or the latest must have toy. I was never one to brave the masses on Black Friday, but I remember watching the chaos on the news, while the broadcaster narrated a tale of shoving, grabbing and mayhem. 

I may not have participated in the mad rush to the mall the weekend after Thanksgiving, but I vividly remember the tightness in my chest as I made LONG lists of things to get done. I recall all the things I tackled in my quest to feel the joyful spirit of the holidays. For many years I would pick an annual gift to make for all my friends and neighbors. One year it was essential oil scented sea salt scrub, another year I made flavored vodka… infused with peppermint, or rosemary & cranberry or cinnamon whiskey. I made bloody mary mix and powdered hot chocolate mix from scratch and put them in glass jars with beautiful labels I designed and printed myself. I would lay awake at night thinking about my clever gifts, the location of our Christmas card photo shoot, the tree decorations and how we would make time to volunteer at the local gift drive. 

I look back at that woman, the woman I was trying desperately to be. The woman who wanted to make everyone feel special and valued, the woman who made holiday magic and wove love with silver tinsel. I look back at her and I ache for all that she was trying to create, all she longed for, everything she wanted for herself and for others. 

I’m not sure if it’s the gift of age and reflection, or perhaps the exhaustion of trying so hard all the time. Over time I have grown into a new woman who views the ‘bang’ of the starter’s pistol in an entirely different way and I no longer feels a weight in my chest as I clear the Thanksgiving table. The shift started when I took a long look at what all those things were meant to accomplish. When I was honest, I was able to see the true longing was for the joy of sharing connection, the delight of a special gift and the pride of making something beautiful to give. It’s not just what I wanted for others, it’s the experience of sharing it that I was yearning for.

Now that I know how I want to feel, that all the racing and planning was to create something on the inside for those I love, I approach it all a bit differently. Instead of working for days by myself to make something to give, I invite all my loved ones to share an evening of creating together! We’ve made gingerbread houses, and wreaths, experimented with recipes … we play games and we LAUGH! I buy tickets to the local holiday concert and text my besties saying, “Who’s in?!” I took a few years off sending Christmas cards because I needed to. This year I’m back to it, because I have space and I’m ready! I do what feels good and what fills my heart. It’s everything I was trying to create with my perfection and none of the weary emptiness.

I’ve let go of trying to make the experience and instead I choose to live it. 

I am delighted to offer this week’s Mindful Mini, a joyful invitation to choose to live the experiences rather than try to create them. Resist feeling like the race pistol has already sounded and you need to keep pace. Let go of thinking joy can be made by delivering a perfect homemade gift and instead invite laughter in time shared together. Take a moment to close your eyes and think about how you want to feel in these coming months and then commit to living those experiences. Release expectation, suspend disbelief and invite laughter, love and the joy of being together. It takes some practice and deep breathing to let go of years of conditioning, but trust me when I tell you it’s worth it and YOU are so worth it!

Yours in heart,
Kelly Driscoll

About Kelly Lynn

Kelly Lynn Coaching & Consulting

I empower districts to transform culture and educators to transform their lives so they are connected, fulfilled and aligned with purpose. With over thirty years experience in education and education administration, I specialize in supporting Social Emotional Learning (SEL), balance and a culture of wellness. It is my MISSION to bring joy back to education!

Contact Kelly Lynn

Recent Posts

subscribe to my weekly mindful mini!

A quick — but effective — mindfulness exercise will be delivered directly to your inbox each week for FREE!

subscribe to my weekly mindful mini!

A quick — but effective — mindfulness exercise will be delivered directly to your inbox each week for FREE!