Surely you've noticed that this is the time of year for major stress -- people are stressing about how little time they have to do things, how much they have to do, family stresses, job stresses, and the list goes on and on. It has been building over the last couple of weeks and is its full throes these days.
I noticed how bad it had gotten when I was picking up a prescription today. The woman who normally waits on me with a cheerful smile was not smiling today. Her shoulders drooped with an unseen burden, her brows were furrowed with worry, and there was a definite frown pulling at the corner of her lips. I asked how she was doing, and she replied that she was feeling the holiday stress -- her father was coming in (she had paid for the airline ticket), she had four kids at home, her shopping wasn't done, and she alluded to some financial stresses as well. I wished her well, but wondered if there wasn't more I could do.
Of course, we can't always rescue those who overextend themselves or create their own stresses. This would deny them the opportunity to learn some important lessons. However, we can offer them our peace, our serenity, our sense of groundedness and calm.
For us empaths, it is vitally important that we avoid going into retreat mode or defensive mode. Resisting the waves of emotions coming our way doesn't help. Resistance is a form of fear, and fear acts as an attractive force. It also keeps us from focusing on maintaining our own sense of centeredness.
Rather, a good offense is the best defense. Adopt the internal Buddha pose, which you have seen as one hand lifted up, palm facing outward, in a sign of peace. This allows the emotions to pass safely by, rather than glomming onto us and overload our sensitivities. As we internally lift that hand of peace upward, we are also sending outward our sense of calm during these hectic times.
That is the best gift we can give during this holiday season.