December 21, 2023  by Linda Wattier
December 21, 2023  by Linda Wattier

Like many women at this time of year, are you busy making holiday magic for everyone?

It’s a wonderful time of year, yes?

Unless you’re exhausted from all the magic-making, caregiving, and emotional labor. Or, maybe you’re lonely because certain people are missing, and your memories make you sad.

Let me share one of my memories with you. Don’t worry, it’s not sad. It’s not even about the holidays. But if you stay with me, you’ll understand why I wanted to share.

In October 2016, after an intense year of caring for my husband through six months of chemotherapy followed by his recovery from a broken back, I took myself on a solo beach retreat.

I craved physical, mental, and emotional renewal. I needed to rest and reconnect with my true self and zest for life.

Being immersed in nature and solitude is my favorite spiritual practice.

So, every morning for a week, I rose just before dawn to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. (My photo below is from that time.) I spent every day close to the sea, either journaling, meditating, or taking long walks on the beach.

The vastness of the sea and sky. The roaring surf, warm sun, and salty wind. The sacred solitude.

They all comforted and healed me. After a few days, it felt like coming home — like remembering who I really am and where I come from.

On the fifth day, while sitting in meditation, the sound of the surf and watching the waves must have lulled me to sleep.

I remember coming back into my body with the most fantastic feeling. It was a combination of deep relaxation, belonging, quiet joy, and radiant, pulsating aliveness.

It’s hard to describe, but I’ll never forget it.

What IS That Radiant Aliveness?

Over the years, I’ve experienced similar episodes, some while alone in nature and some in less ideal circumstances.

Eventually, I came to the realization that I want to share with you today:

That feeling by the ocean I tried to describe is Love. Love with a capital L. It’s what I now think of as Holy Love.

(I don’t think the word holy should be dedicated only to religious use. It’s such a beautiful word, meaning “held in high regard and worthy of reverence.”)

We usually think of Love as an emotion we experience or a bond we share with someone close to us. But Love is so much more than that. It’s the source energy of everything and the essence of your being.

It’s right there inside of you. It’s dynamic and alive — the most potent, extraordinary force in the universe.

You can access it at any moment by slowing down, taking time for stillness, and tuning into the vitality of your heart.

To begin, I highly recommend the HeartMath Institute’s Heart-Focused Breathing® Technique. The technique is as powerful as it is simple and can be used anytime you want to create greater relaxation or more energy.

Heart-Focused Breathing™

1. Heart Focus: Focus your attention on your heart area. Breathe a little deeper than usual, in for 5 or 6 seconds and out for 5 or 6 seconds. You may find that placing your hand over your heart helps you maintain your focus there.

2. Heart Breathing: Now imagine while breathing that you’re doing it through your heart. Picture yourself slowly breathing in and slowly breathing out through your heart area.

(Maintaining your focus and breathing through the heart area leads you naturally into a state of ease. Then, when you’re ready to proceed with the rest of your day, you’ll do so with more energy and resilience for future challenges.)

If you become still more often and look inward, you will understand that, as Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön wrote, “You are the sky — everything else, it’s just the weather.”

This is my holiday wish for you:

During all the hubbub of the season, along with everything you do for everyone else, may you give yourself pockets of stillness, tune into your heart space, and be drenched in the light and Love of your own being.

The Heart Math Experience | It's free!

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Although most of us are so busy right now, it’s important to nourish yourself and treat yourself with the Love and kindness you deserve.

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The XX Brain | Amazon

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Photos by: Linda Wattier

About Linda Wattier

Founder and Bold Wellbeing Coach at How She Thrives. I help women over fifty design their most authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling experience of midlife and beyond.

How to Thrive in Midlife and Beyond

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