Notes from the field: evolving the holy daze

Notes from the field: evolving the holy daze

We went out with some friends last night. The conversation turned to the holidays…. and excess consumption. In Ayurveda excess consumption of anything creates ama. Ama = toxic crap that blocks the flow of consciousness.

  • If the excess is in food it begets physical ama.
  • If its excess is in stimulation it begets mental ama.
  • Because excess is out of sync with the moral code (see aparigraha or thou shalt not statements), it exacerbates emotional ama.
  • And the emotional ama begets the ama-generating cycle.

Ama gets stored in our tissue and creates horror in the short term (cellulite… lymphatic clogging… weakened immunity…. negative thinking… less than intimate relationships…). Of course, ama creates a more wicked horror in the long term (see degenerative diseases: heart problems, weight gain, auto immune issues, diabetes, cancer).

The list goes on. Ama sucks. Actually it blocks. It blocks the life force. Blocked lifeforce = no bliss.

So anyway, my friend said she heard the audio I posted last year at this time… the conference call I had with my parents and siblings and posted on the internet.

In Nov. 2011, I  spurred a conversation that went something like: what do we love about how we celebrate? What is outdated? How do we want to feel when we're together? How can create that experience? What needs to get ditched? What is going on with the whole presents/consumption thing? And the too much food thing we do every year? And the too much wine thing?

My friend said it sounded incredibly awkward.

It was incredibly awkward. And I posted it on the internet. I exposed us all being totally awkward together. Dealing with all of the stuff that would probably arise in a conversation you would have with your family if all dared to show up exactly as you are… and lean into what is out of sync. Together.

A year ago I hesitated over posting that audio. Those that know me well know that hesitation isn't my strong suit. The audio didn't make us look good enough, or progressive enough. It was just awkward. But I posted it anyway. The reason? I knew for some of you it would help you realize that you could be brave and have the same conversation. And it wouldn't be perfect. Or fun. Or easy. But it would be evolution.

Last night I shared with my friend what has shifted. It got her thinking about having the same conversation with her mom.

Both sides of my family are giving to Heifer International instead of buying stuff. Yes, the little ones will still indulged by the grandparents with stuff we all want in their lives. We'll give a few little things from our hearts, but the bulk of gifting spending (investing) is going to enable other families to have water (we're buying low-tech wells) and food (honeybees for nutrients and income). Our conversations are less awkward. We'll planning better ways of spending time together. The evolutionary conversation is becoming more natural for us as an extended family. We're making better choices as a group. What a skill! What a tradition! How we can come together is what we‘re passing on!

A member from my Living Ayurveda Course commented on a call we had yesterday that the Friday after Thanksgiving her family all had “the grumps”. Everyone had flown in from everywhere. So excited to see each other. An excessive 36 hours rendered them grumpy and disconnected. For her to observe it was striking. Night and day. Totally preventable. She is brave and aware and has the tools to create more awake gatherings for her family.

I talked too last week with a yogini who has been taking courses with me for 5 years. She reported how highly functional her family's holiday was. She said it was striking. How much had changed. How much as a family they had shifted. How connected, authentic, and grounded the time together was. How natural it all seemed for it to go that way.

So, all of that is to say… you can be brave.
You can be the change you want to see.
You can have the awkward conversations… they get easier.
You can have an ama-free holiday season.

I‘ve made it easy for you.

Join the Evolve YOUR Winter Traditions e-Course. And take care of your holiday gifting at the same time. When you join, you get it and get to give it to 5 other families. How powerful. How evolutionary.

It works.
We start Dec. 1.
Now is the time to sign up.

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Cate Stillman
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