As an empath, the holidays can create a lot of pressure, and a real opportunity to create boundaries. The collective energy of all the “shoulds” is pretty intense and, for me, like no other time of year.
Every year I feel like I’ve not done enough, I’m too late, I’m failing as a business owner, as a family member. Every year I think I’ll get a handle on all of it, I’ll do better, I’ll ignore those feelings and say a big fuck you to all the things I think I should be doing. Or I’ll start preparing in September! or July! All of the things for holiday sales should be done before Thanksgiving and they just aren’t. Ever. (not that that's true, just the feeling)
I dislike the culture of “buying things” to just buy things and give things, of Black Friday sales and Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday and how can I capitalize on the income I might get from people wanting to buy things. I hate that it’s a reminder that maybe all I’m doing is contributing to more “stuff” and more voices saying “buy my things so I can survive” when a lot of people also feel frustrated and overwhelmed and opt for an amazon gift card instead because, why not, everyone can find something on amazon. (I totally buy things on amazon, no judging, just saying, before you buy a gift for buying sake, maybe think twice)
So many artists and creators are trying to take advantage of a busy season that can put money in their bank accounts to just pay bills and survive, while spending too many hours in the studio and not enough hours just… being. Being with family and friends and enjoying the time off, being in tune with the seasonal change and going in to hibernation mode. The pressure to just make as much as possible in hopes that this will be the best season yet is crazy making.
A few little requests - if you know an empath, remind them that the feelings they are feeling might not be theirs. If you know an artist who is potentially going in to overdrive and you’re unaffected by all the busy and overwhelm, take them some chocolate, give them a hug, stop by their holiday fair to just say hi and give them support, offer to get them food or let them go to the bathroom if they’re stuck in a booth. If you really feel the need to buy a random gift for someone, think about supporting an artist or a small business. Buying something from an artist is like giving them a gift too, buying a random gift from a big chain store just feeds the beast.
The next few weeks are going to be even more intense. We all need reminders to take a deep breath, a nap, a long bath and a break from everyone telling us what we should be doing. If you can’t make space for any of those things, at least try to create a boundary, a bubble, a safe turtle shell around your energy that can help protect you from the shoulds, the pressures and expectations of the world around you.