I have often heard it said, at the end of a meditation session, that the real challenge is not so much in being mindful during the session, but it’s being mindful when you get off your mat and head back into society and the ‘real life’. It’s so true… I mean, of course, it can be challenging enough being mindful in the meditation session, but what good is it if we, the moment we get up, lose the mindful connection and simply go back to our usual selves?

I guess I am reminded of this, because I am staying with my family for two weeks, and I am trying to find a balance of taking the space I need, keeping the routines that are important for me, but also being social and more flexible than usual.

So, this morning, my routine went a bit haywire. I’m not blaming anyone! I’m just stating it as it is, and because I noticed how quickly routines can get thrown when you are in a new environment. So though I am writing here now, I haven’t done my morning meditation yet, and I can feel that I am just feeling a little bit more scattered and not really sure what I want to write or where I am going with this. 

The meditation gives me grounding, and inspiration also. It helps me connect with my intuition. So couldn’t I just stop and do my meditation now? Yes, I guess I could, but the flow is already different and so it won’t be the same. I think I might get breakfast after this, and then do my meditation. It’s all up in the air haha 😅

I think I might try to shorten some of my morning routines in the days to come. Maybe do a shorter meditation, so that I can still do it before I write. Maybe write shorter blog posts, so that I can still do it, but don’t feel that it’s taking up too much time. And then take some ‘work time’ after breakfast to catch up on other things.

That’s the tricky thing too, or it can be tricky. Because I work for myself and have so much freedom and flexibility, it can be very tempting to just not do very much – when you are suddenly surrounded my family who wants to spend time with you, and sure, we are almost on holidays, right? So I might as well finish up early, or have a longer lunch break etc. I am very fortunate to be able to do a lot of those things, but I also really need to stay disciplined and take the time I need for work, and ask my family to respect that. They are usually good about it, but we all need a reminder once in a while 😊

I will be taking some actual time off next week and the week after that, but I want to wrap up work in a way that I feel I am fully able to take that time off! Cos that can be the other ‘challenge’ around all this flexibility! That when you finally take some actual time off, it can be hard to fully switch off 🙈 It’s a balance… And making compromises is kinda part of Christmas and family get-togethers, however, it doesn’t have to be compromises that completely kill your soul and joy. As I wrote about earlier (here), I think it’s good to take some time to decide on what’s most important for you. So, for me, it might be that I really really need my own space in the morning to do my journaling. I can probably be flexible on other things and adjust depending on the days, but I really really need that in the morning for me to be able to be fully present and part of the festivities. 

So take some time to find out if there are things for you that are non-negotiable, and to see if there are other things that you are more flexible on. It can be good to be somewhat prepared for these situations, but sometimes it’s just a trial and error situation and you try something out, only to find out that that didn’t work for you. That’s fine too.

The really important thing, for me anyways, has been communication and to continue to communicate openly and honestly, and really try to take the time to understand each other. It’s not always easy when many people get together, and old patterns and behaviours gets triggered, but for me – I want to be fully present with my family this year. And that means speaking up when things doesn’t feel right, and having some of those tough conversations to clarify where we are at. And in order for me to do that, I need some me-time too. 💕

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