There it is, as soon as November 1st hits, Holiday madness arrives. The planning, the cards, the gifts – the internal and incessant to do list and the external and extreme please do invites.

And somehow people are finding time this year to scrutinize Starbucks cup design! Every cell in our body screams “stop the insanity”.

And . . we can.

Teacher and Guru Natalie Goldberg says “Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath.” So as holiday stress mounts, we need to fortify our connections.

Bundle up, collect leaves, go outside and watch the sun go down at 5pm, remember we are part of a much bigger landscape. The earth provides for us. So as we are deluged with red cup materialism, don’t forget to appreciate the natural abundance that surrounds us.

Connecting to our breath may sound like new age hyperbole but it truly means remembering what amazing capable machines we are. The science of carbon dioxide, the bio mechanics of lung capacity, we are all little miracles that are worthy of holiday proportion celebrations every day.

Of course reality beckons and let’s face it we love the Peppermint Lattes no matter if vessel says Merry Christmas or not! We don’t want to judge or condemn any of the rituals that are supposed to bring joy. We just want to approach them with more strength than stress. Holidays can be an articulation of how you and you alone want to create memories.

Change the story, SHiFT the perspective!

Just like on the bike, the resistance doesn’t hold us back, it inspires us. The other day in class, when the instructor said “one turn to the right”, there was an audible “OH YEAH” heard from a rider. Not a groan or grunt, but an outburst of excitement.

Lets find that SHiFT as we approach the holidays. A gift to be able to climb the mountain, and to see another holiday season before us.


Written by SHiFT Instructor and Guest Blogger Emily Webster. Catch her leaderboard-free class on Wednesday in Gulford at 9:15.