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    • #14106
      Jenny Livingston

      As we enter the holiday season, there are so many things I look forward to: good food, family gatherings, my daughter’s Christmas program and dance recital, and more. While these things can be enjoyable, they can also be scary because “holiday season” also means something else… cold and flu season!  I’m always nervous attending activities where there are a lot of other people in attendance. I become hyper aware of every cough, sniffle or sneeze. It seems like my winters are entirely spent weighing the risks and benefits of going out in public. While I look forward to attending festive events, I always worry that I’ll catch a virus or something!

      Can you relate to these feelings? What do you do to stay healthy during the holiday season?

    • #14111
      Paul met Debbie

      Yes, I can surely relate. I was always careful not to be too close to people having a cold or flu. Earlier in my life I felt there was some room left to be negotiated and take some calculated risks. I could survive a cold without too many consequences. Nowadays, I think my lung function does not allow for this anymore and I try my best to avoid infection.

      That means, in the holiday season, the four months starting with December, my wife Debbie and I limit our family events to almost zero. No group meetings, no birthday visits if large groups are involved. Only an occasional visit to one family member at a time and only if everyone is healthy and showing no signs of a cold etc. No attending concerts either. And the creativity and awareness workshops we give are paused also.

      We use that time as a retreat for ourselves, we read a lot, paint, make and listen to music, brush up on the creativity and inspiration. We love to be at home. And then, in April, we come out of our little den like a couple of bears having finished winter sleep. Actually, it makes for a very enjoyable contrast with the sunny months. We don’t miss these holiday family gatherings too much, there are enough possibilities to stay in contact in a meaningful way and many of these gatherings are pretty superficial anyway (the larger the group, the shallower real contact) with a lot of small talk, stories and mind-stuff in which we are not so much interested anyway. From April to November, we enjoy being together with family and friends again in short and quiet visits, just to see each other and share that aliveness. Pupils attend our workshops also in small groups. If some one has a cold, he/she is not allowed to attend and can catch up on another occasion. If you are clear and consistent about this, no one seems to have any problem at all with it.

      But in the end, life is not in the forms, it is not in physical sharing – it’s every where and no where at the same time (“neverywhere”). To be whole and feel together and connected, you don’t need anything phenomenal, it is omni-present without any doing. If anytime, the holidays are perfect for diving into that wisdom deeply.

      We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season – and be careful out there!
      Paul & Debbie

    • #14115
      Jenny Livingston

      @jpaul as always, this was such a thoughtful and insightful post. Thank you so much! I wish you the best during this holiday season and in the year to come!

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