Make it a SMART Holiday – Resources to help you thrive – by Amber Starr

Christel HughesAnimal Kingdom, Healing, Love, Mother Earth

The winter twilight twinkles through the branches of the trees outside. Sitting with your favorite cup of tea, you relax and sink deep into the chair. The smell of baked apples fills the air. It’s cold outside, but in here you are warm and cozy as you soak up this moment of peace and joy.

Then, suddenly, there is a crash from the kitchen. You hear crying. The dog comes dashing into the house, covered in slushy mud. The phone starts ringing. And as you get up from the chair, preparing yourself for what’s next, the to-do list in your hand appears to be growing before your very eyes.

Ah yes, the holidays. The “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. So much to love and enjoy. So much to endure and overcome.

A couple of months of expectations, attachments, desires, cold weather, stuffy air, little to no exercise, and party food can wreak havoc on our state of being. It’s no wonder we are left feeling less than radiant and a bit burned-out.

However, here at the Academy for the Soul, we know it doesn’t need to be this way. We have the knowledge and resources to turn it all around. We have the power to embody grace and ease and to delight in the radiance of holiday peace and joy.

Peace begins within. Yes, but how do we best develop this inner peace? How do we stay on track when the world seems filled with chaos, demands, and distractions?

Well, let’s be SMART about this.

Keep it Simple. Take a Moment. Pay Attention. Get Real. Stay in Touch.

  • Taking a Moment. Too often we overcomplicate things. We may dismiss the ease of tradition in the pursuit of novelty. Or we may be so stuck in what we’ve always done that we obsess and lose the fun. When we push and try too hard it can wear on our spirit, and it shows. The people around us want us to be happy and whole, not frazzled and on edge. So, give yourself permission to take the more relaxed route. Make the go-to casserole you can effortlessly prepare. Go ahead and change it up a bit, if you feel inspired. But, most importantly, be glad and satisfied with the freedom of simplicity.

  • Keeping it Simple. We need time and space to recharge. Science has revealed that our cells are affected by a force that is both outside of us and within us. This life force energy is drawn into the body through the chakra energy centers and nourishes us on a very deep level, supporting the physical functions and vitality we need to be our very best. Time taken to refresh the chakra is time well spent. Time taken to connect with and understand the chakra is a supremely wise investment.

    We tend to react to life from habit when we neglect our energetic system. Our thoughts and feelings can be overpowering, taking us out before we even know what hit us. Being aware of our energetic system allows self-mastery and empowerment to flourish. Even just five minutes (look for our five minute audio gift HERE) spent caring for the chakra goes a really long way.

    Elevate your spirit. Clear your mind. Illuminate your Being. Sounds pretty good, huh? Experience this and more by gaining an in-depth awareness of the chakra, our amazing energetic allies. Resources to get you started are right HERE.

  • Paying Attention. Notice when you are feeling a strong reaction to someone or something. Notice when you get triggered. Allow yourself the space to be the observer of you and your surroundings. Pay attention to how your body feels and the thoughts running through your head. Our energetic system can get a bit grimy over time. Thought patterns, limiting beliefs, and traumas cloud our view and experience. We lose a sense of what is actually our own and we’ll even subscribe to what we’ve taken on from others.

    So practice paying attention and asking questions. Be curious. “Is this thought, feeling, or belief even mine in the first place?”, “What assumptions am I making about this person or situation?”, “What is the ultimate lesson for me here?” Do this with intention and you will find that your attention moves you further and further into ease and grace. Do this with love and compassion and you will discover who you really are.

  • Getting Real. What are the holidays actually about anyway? Well, it differs for everyone, but gathering in communion with one another, giving and receiving, and celebrating the gift of life on Earth are common threads. We are celebrating our divine connection to spirit, as well as our utter humanness.

    The graciousness of peace and joy beckon us to show up as our very best. And yet we all have aspects of ourselves that are not in harmony with our whole being. We all carry around personas that judge, condemn, and generalize. And when we can get real and recognize this about ourselves, we gain greater compassion and acceptance of others as well. We’re all in this humanity thing together. So keep it real and keep it in love.

  • Staying in Touch. unnel vision enables us to be efficient human machines. We can put our minds to something and everything else falls away. Therein lies the challenge. When we focus solely on outcomes, we forget the finer aspects of the big WHY. We forget to stop and smell the roses, or to look our loved ones in the eyes.

    This is how staying in touch is a SMART choice. Stay in touch by being present, by holding a loved one’s hand, writing little notes of appreciation, or by simply smiling at someone. Relationships are the greatest catalysts for growth and a splendid spice of life. We need one another to achieve our highest potential. The big WHY is not very big if there is no one to share it with. Take steps every day to stay in touch and you will be all the better for having done so.

So now what? Take these insights, apply them to your life, and thrive. Be SMART this year and the effort will be well worth it. Educate yourself with Christel’s Your Radiant Chakras program available right HERE. It is a pay whatever you wish opportunity to gain in-depth awareness and discover what is unique about your energy centers.

Make use of the five minute audio gift to refresh and renew the chakra. Be pleased with yourself for taking matters into your own divine hands. The important thing is to practice when it doesn’t count. Get to know your energy, nurture it, and strengthen your foundation when things feel smooth and easy. If you do this, you’ll have the experience and knowhow when life hits the inevitable bumps in the road. You’ll be SMART with this precious life. You will embody grace and ease. You will delight in the radiance of peace and joy…through the holidays and beyond.

About the Author:

Specializing in Creative Collaboration, Amber Starr, Academy for the Soul Certified Intuitive Strategist, uses innovation and purpose to develop conscious marketing and copywriting resources, as well as tools and methods to support others in attuning with the healing energies of the Earth. With a passion for the present and an enthusiastic eye towards the future, Amber farms and learns with family and friends, and eagerly envisions cooperate approaches to life together as Divine beings on Earth. For more information, or to contact Amber, you can reach her at