Every year around mid-November, it begins. It creeps upon me so slowly that I don’t even realize it’s happening. Like a frog being boiled alive in water, the temperature increasing ever so slightly.

Holiday energy.

Buzziness, wanting to jump out of my skin, the feeling that I should be doing something, waking up at night with the feeling I’ve forgotten or am avoiding something, and the persistent feeling of being caught up in an exaggerated, larger than life energy… Holiday energy. My teacher reminded me that I felt this way last year, and the year before– as do many healers and energy sensitives – because dis-resonant energy is really high now.

Have you ever met someone who represents their self in a certain way but is actually something else? Something doesn’t quite add up, and that feeling is off-putting, persistent. It won’t go away in their presence. If so, you’ve sensed dis-resonance. Dis-resonance generates itchy, anxious feeling energy. Now multiply that times 3 million. For a few months. Welcome to the holidays, at least in America.

It’s an itchy, buzzy, weird feeling time.

Where’s the disconnect? To begin with, there is a huge gap between the original intention of the holidays – holy, inspired days of connection to our deeper source of Light, Hope and Truth- and what they have become: overly commercial and fraught with anxiety. For many, the holidays bring the pressure to perform, to participate in social obligations and rituals that feel empty, materialistic or meaningless, with people (family) we feel ambivalent about. ‘Tis the season of obligations and shoulds, forced smiles, obligation and forced cheer. We’re supposed to enjoy and be uplifted by what we’re participating in…many don’t. All of this circulates dis-resonance, a generalized energy of being off or not quite right.

What to do?

A cardinal rule of energy is that when we ignore the messages of our deeper self, we make our self vulnerable to picking up unwanted crap.  If our Soul does not want to be around certain people, does not like living in a certain place, if we don’t like celebrating in a certain way, but we are doing those very things anyway, we will feel anywhere from shitty to downright awful.

Kind of undercuts cheer, joy and love for human-kind right?

It’s time to get right with our Divine Self. To put the holy back in the holidays.

I started with Thanksgiving. Feeling the historical deception of, and socially enforced gratitude associated with this holiday, I began by renaming it. I couldn’t decide between Thanks-presence or Peace-giving, so I chose both. This meant everything I did on this day would be grounded in presence and bring peace to me. If an activity didn’t give me either, I didn’t do it. To kick off the first annual Thanks-presence/Peace-giving Day, I opted for a sunrise hike. Because Spirit reciprocates intention, Divine Orchestration occurred when, even though I unknowingly chose one of the most popular sunrise hikes in Honolulu, Google Maps directed us to a trail that allowed us to walk totally on our own, in absolute peace and presence (when we reached the top, we were greeted by at least a hundred people who hadn’t).

When I noticed a “feel-good” Christmas movie didn’t feel good at all, that it had the dis-resonant effect of making me more tuned into the general collective energy, I turned it off. When playing Scrabble made me feel slightly nauseated it was because I didn’t want to be playing it so I stopped (feeling any kind of shitty means you don’t want to be doing that thing). Being intentional shifts everything.

Onto the big one. When my teacher asked me to think about Christmas and feel into my body, and my belly hurt, I realized how much I was dreading the whole thing. I used to love Christmas. But years of feeling the gap between what it is supposed to be and what it is, and now, 80-degree tropical weather making it easier to attempt to ignore, well, the energies have become even more dis-resonant for me.

At the risk of becoming a Grinch, I needed to perform some holiday energy alchemy.

I began by renaming Christmas “Tree Day”. The pagans really worshipped only one thing: nature. Christmas’ origin was simply a day celebrating trees. I love trees. What else could I make personally meaningful? As I flipped through some holiday traditions in my mind, several things jumped out: I like wreaths a lot. I like stuffing stockings (but no oranges). I don’t like poinsettias. Gifts: mixed feelings.

As a child I loved giving gifts; only in my adult years have I begun to resent the social pressure around it. I’ve decided to restore gift-giving to its rightful place: as packages of hope. Legends and stories continuously explore the idea of any gift given as one of hope and light during this darkest time of the year. Instead of buying, now I am intending. Still, I don’t love poinsettias. Never have. That’s okay.

Researching wreaths, hanging wreaths on doors dated back to the Romans. Wreaths symbolized victory, the Sun God Apollo, and Light. The Sun symbolizes the self, and it feels cheery and expansive having a wreath on my door.  Different types of trees have different meanings, too. When I went to buy a tree, I chose a Douglas Fir, for its aromatherapeutic fragrance and symbolic ties to Truth (it is an upright, straight tree). The spry man helping me load my car, seeing my cart with a wreath, tree, and a few hibiscus flowers for festive measure said “Hey, it’s Miss Christmas!” The irony of this was not lost on me.

I decided to decorate the wreath with intention and symbolism, too– an homage to the natural world I appreciate. On it I placed starfish (Divine Love, celestial guidance, regeneration), sea shells (gifts from the unconscious, wisdom), feathers (inspiration, synchronicity), driftwood and a weathered bone (death/rebirth) pine cones (enlightenment), juniper berries (magic, healing).

I’m making the holidays mine again. I’m taking back Tree Day.

This New Moon in Sagittarius is a perfect time to examine the rituals, practices and beliefs that give you meaning. Do they? Or are you unhappily going along with the program, or being avoidant -and feeling like crap?

This New Moon joins Jupiter in Sag, and exactly squares sensitive Neptune in Pisces. This big energy is like the waves we’re experiencing at the North Shore here now- exaggerated. It’s easy to get caught up in a wave of big energy right now. Little irritants expand. It’s easy to turn a minor issue into an emotional full feature dramatic film. Be the witness (Neptune), watch the rise and fall of the waves and pull inward. Notice how easily big weird energy shifts into expansive calm once you recognize it as simply energy.

Because we are in the holidays, the more inward you go right now, the better you’ll fare. Here are some ideas for more gracefully surfing the holiday energy (from mid-November to early January):

-Be very intentional about your experience. Once I began intentionally interacting with the holidays, making it mine, the energy began to shift- and it bothers me much less. Research the symbolism and origins of your favorite aspects of Christmas. Develop your own relationship to the holidays, as a preventative against feeling yucky, resentful, anxious and weird.

-Remember that your happiness & joy is the greatest gift you can give to One (You) and All.  No one is cosmically “rewarded” for self-sacrifice and deferring to others, unless that’s their evolutionary growing edge. Be honest with yourself about this, for you. Look at how habits of self-sacrifice serves no one.

-That said, try not to make yourself do things you don’t want to do… BUT when you do, acknowledge it and let it go quickly. We will all do things for others’ sake during the holidays. That’s a reality of being human. When you start to feel petulant, resentful, cranky, it’s a sign to back off and do for you.

-Figure out what you enjoy and be selfish about it. Be more selfish about what brings you joy and pleasure, not less. Will you allow YOU to give YOU what YOU most want for Christmas?

-Be more inward. Be less social. Listen to music, read books. Lay down. Take breaks. I’ve been really enjoying taking my time in the bathroom, just hanging out with myself. No kidding. (I’m loving the Japanese toilets we have in so many places here, with their heated seats and peaceful water features). If I’m out in a busy, public place I’ll usually find a way to hang out in the bathroom for a bit to re-ground.

-Acknowledge that there are big energies out there right now –and they are affecting you! You can’t control it. You can’t cancel the holidays, and their feelings of dis-resonance. But you can be intentional, and by taking exquisite and self-aware care of your self, shift your experience incrementally.