Let Go of Guilt and Let in Joy!

Life is about choices.

I know sometimes it can seem as though circumstances and life events take away our ability to choose. It can seem as if events are happening “to” us and we feel powerless in the moment. I understand because I’ve been there, too.

For me, this used to happen a lot around the holidays. I was governed by an internal voice that constantly harped at me about traditions, expectations, and perfectionism. This voice created the perfect internal holiday storm. By the end of the holiday season I was exhausted, ill, and definitely not full of goodwill and cheer.

It hit me one year that I DO get to choose how to experience the holidays. I DO get to choose how I want to show up and want kind of person I want to be. I DO get to choose happiness and joy for me.

It’s not selfish. If I am relaxed and not in a hurried tizzy, I am more patient with the people around me. I create more fun and joy in the lives of others because I am at ease and feel sparkly on the inside. Let go of any guilt and give yourself permission to choose what’s best for you this season.

And by not listening to the holiday stories of excess, overbooked schedules, and lack of sleep to get it all done, we do get to choose.

Today I want to encourage you to choose to experience this holiday season in a way that makes you happy and joyful.

It is possible to choose joy, ease and comfort over stress and anxiety. Here are a few tips to help you make an internal shift and see joy come to life in your daily experience this holiday season.

1.    Use meditation to quiet the chatter. When you’re busy or feeling anxious, it can be hard to quiet your thoughts. Often, without realizing it, you are focused on something from the past, or a story that pops up again and again that says things aren’t going to work, or that problems are going to show up at any minute.  I’ve even found that silently saying the word “ease” releases an internal pressure valve.

2.   Embrace the word “no” so you can say yes to what really matters to you. Be picky with how you choose to spend your time. There’s only so much of you to go around. What really matters to you this holiday season? Only say “yes” to events and people that make your heart sing. If there is something that you don’t want to do but foresee a challenge declining, have a practice session with a trusted friend or even a pet (I will sometimes practice my presentations in front of my dogs). This year you’ll say yesto the things that are meaningful and fun and gracefully pass on the commitments that no longer fit.

3.    Commit to getting 8 hours of sleep. Many people dip into their daily sleep allotment to try to gain a few extra hours each day during the holidays. Sleep is vital for health, wellbeing, and proper brain functioning. Instead of skimping on your sleep, evaluate your to-do list as to what’s “absolutely necessary” and what’s “nice but not crucial.” Let go of what you can so you can take care of yourself.

Choose Joy.

Choose Ease.

Choose Comfort.

Make yourself and your well-being a priority this holiday season. Your loved ones will thank you.

I created something to help all of us! It’s the 12 Days of Wellness. Starting on December 1st, you’ll receive a daily email from me with a tip to help you stay healthy, centered and feeling great.

Some of the gifts you’ll receive include:

·      Tips to make your bedroom a tranquil sanctuary so you can truly relax
·      A speedy holiday morning workout to energize you for the day ahead
·      Tips to maintaining a healthy weight so you continue to feel great
·      Self-care ideas to remind you that your happiness matters

To your ease and joy,


Carolyn S. Barnes, CHC, LMT

Carolyn is an integrative health coach, speaker, Reiki Master and the author of Return to Ease: Gently Reconnect with Your Body’s Natural Mobility and Joy.

She writes and speaks from a personal place–her own journey of healing from various health issues (including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and obesity) and opening to her inner wisdom. Her mission at Return to Ease is to help women who want to experience natural weight management and reconnect with their personal power and true essence. This integrative process of reconnection allows her clients to align their hearts, minds, and bodies while creating a more sacred life filled with health, ease, and joy.

Carolyn received her coaching training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She specializes in helping women who struggle with emotional/stress eating lose weight, gain control,  and experience ease with food and their lives. As a result, her clients experience a newfound appreciation of their bodies, no longer obsess over food, and witness an amazing transformation of more ease and joy in their lives.

To learn more about Carolyn, apply to be a coaching client, order a copy of her book, or book Reiki session, please visit her website.


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