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S3E42 TRANSCRIPT: ----more----
Yucca: Welcome back to the Wonder Science-Based Paganism. I'm one of your hosts, Yucca,
Mark: And I'm the other one, Mark.
Yucca: and today we're talking about surviving the holidays as a pagan.
Yucca: Yes. So welcome to December . Here we are. There's, there's a lot to go into with this, and later on in the month we're gonna come back and talk about the different traditions and projects and things that you can do.
But today we're gonna start with the, the kind. The, the more secular approach to the holidays and all of the family expectations and all of that cultural stuff that's going on. They kind of, everybody shares regardless of whether they're Pagan or Christian or whatever they are.
Mark: Yeah, exactly. One of the things that is very weird about the mainstream culture is that it, it seems to load nearly all of its holiday festivity into a five week period or six week period at the end of the year, when historically there would've been. Celebrations around the course of the year, you know, harvest holidays and, and so forth.
And there would've been. You know, several days taken out to celebrate those things. And so it seems as though with all of this ology compressed to this very short period of time, it can just be very overwhelming for people and it can give them a sense of never quite doing it well enough,
Mark: right? That that feeling of the obligation to make it perfect and that it never is quite
Yucca: right? It's supposed to be special. It's supposed to be this magical, but, but, but, but, but, but yeah.
Yucca: And whenever I hear people talk about it, There's almost always this underlying, there's this exhaustion behind it, right? There's this, there's an excitement about it and there's so many wonderful things, but people just seem so exhausted just because of what you were talking about.
Trying to get all of that in, take a whole year's jolliness, and stick it into those few months or few weeks, excuse me, not months.
Mark: Yes. And I think, you know, some of that is this sort of set of unfair expectations that we put on people to, you know, to create this. Event
Mark: set of events. But I also think that there's other stressors that go into that, into that mix. You know, it's like you're gonna have to deal with your family more if you, if you do that, you know, for most people it's like, okay, I'm gonna have to deal with my family more.
Well, there are usually, for most people, there are stressors around that.
Yucca: Right. Even if you, even if you dearly, dearly love your family, there's all of those dynamics I find getting back together with my siblings. You know, we're adults. We've been adults for decades, but instantly it's like we're children again with this. Same, you know, picking on each other and all of the ridiculousness, you know, and, and we have a, a pretty decent relationship.
But that's even with a decent relationship that, you know, there's still all of that, all of those emotions.
Mark: Sure, sure. And I think that, you know, with parents particularly, you know, parents will treat you like a child for your whole life. Un unless they're really pretty together, parents
Mark: figure out that you've, you've finally grown up.
Yucca: but it's hard that all kind of blurs together. Right. You know, it was yesterday. They were changing your diapers.
Mark: Right, right. And you know, this brings, you know, it brings you into engagement with philosophies of parenting, right? Because maybe the grandparents just want to indulge, indulge, indulge, indulge. And you as a parent have to put some breaks on that and say, no, I'm sorry. You know, candy for breakfast doesn't work.
Yucca: Or enforcing that the kids get to have boundaries. The kid gets to say no, you know, or things like that, you know,
Mark: Yes, you do not.
Yucca: particular thing is that
Mark: do not have to hug Weird Uncle Ralph
Yucca: Yeah. So, and then, you know, on top of that, in, at least here in the Northern hemisphere, the weather has changed. We're in a colder time of year.
People are indoors. There tends to be more illness, and we're not even taking into account, you know, covid or anything like that, but just people are, there's, people aren't always feeling good this time of year, and we're encouraged to be eating all of these sweets and foods that we normally wouldn't eat.
And so, We're putting ourselves in these, yeah, more alcohol. We're just in a more vulnerable place emotionally and physically and asking so much of ourselves at the same time and so much of others,
Mark: Right. Right. And that Then, oh,
Yucca: buy everything. We're being asked to buy everything and be told about how it won't be magical without it, and you need this and you need that, and you're getting tricked by, by companies that spend millions and millions of dollars to get your attention.
Mark: Yeah. And that of, I mean, the, the financial stresses, you know, that's a whole other level of stressor that, you know, that happens with
Yucca: And this year particular, right? That's something that happens every year, but there's a lot of challenges right now with all of that, just, you know, on a global level.
Mark: Right, right. Yeah. So there's all that. And then if you were of an a. Religion. Then there's the layer of, okay, well how do I then live in a a way that I find fulfilling and meaningful? And not run a ground on somebody else's judgments. Right. Whether it's that you're weird or that you're evil , it's, you know, because either of those are pretty, yeah.
Either of those are pretty unpleasant to wear, honestly. And so that's this sort of brew that the holidays is, right? It's all those kinds of things. The long list of. Tasks that have to be done and the decorating and the the buying and the just everything. Plus. You know, wanting to be as a non theist pig and wanting to say, you know, actually it's the winter solstice for me.
That's, that's what I consider most meaningful. And here's what I'm gonna do to carve out some time to observe that on top of Christmas or Hanukkah or, you know, whatever, whatever more mainstream holidays you may be going to celebrate.
Yucca: And I wanna pause this here for a second and say, it might sound like we're sounding a lot like wrenches right now. We are both Mark and I adore the holidays, and this time of year we're just starting with the, okay, how are we gonna address the, the self care and the balancing? And again, next week we're gonna get into here's some fantastic traditions and things you can do.
But, but that we do really need to look at it from lots of different angles, right? And underst. , there is stress and we do need to take care of ourselves during this time period, as well as the, the more joyous side of it all.
Mark: That's right because the hope, of course, is that we come out of the holidays feeling fed, right, feeling energized by all of the, the festivity that we've had. Even if it's tiring we can catch up on sleep, but you know, to feel as though we've had these meaningful kind of golden moments in the course of, of going through the holidays.
That's, that's really the goal. And in order for that to happen, you gotta take care of yourself in the meantime. Otherwise, the current of the holidays will just sweep you along and That's a very out of control feeling, and it's not good for you.
Yucca: Yeah, so why don't we start with the kind of commercialism side, right? How, what are some strategies that people can have to be more aware of that and more intentional with it?
Mark: Okay, well the first strategy that I think is really important is to broaden the definition of gift. Because capitalism obviously wants to sell you a product. They wanna sell you a thing in a box. and that thing is made of resources that were carved out of the earth and may very likely end up in a landfill in not too short order.
Mark: So it may not be the most, it may not be the, the, the best choice to choose a thing in a box. Now let me, let me put a caveat in. When it comes to children, you know, to to smaller children, my philosophy is let them have the equivalent of the, the secular winter solstice, holiday, the Christmas, because they will feel terribly deprived and terribly sad.
If they don't have that experience, that doesn't mean they have to be mountain with gifts, but, I, I believe that in the case of children, you give them
Yucca: of it. Yeah.
Mark: And you give them things in a box.
Yucca: Yeah, we do both. We'll talk more about this, but my family, we do, we do both Solstice and Christmas as separate holidays.
Mark: right? Right. So, broadening the definition of what constitutes a gift means experiences. Experiences can be gifts. And that can be. Tickets to a concert. It can be a date night. It can be you know, we're gonna go dancing in this particular place. It can be you know, let's just go get coffee and talk for two hours.
When do we ever get a chance to do that? It can be, let's go for a hike. There are lot, and, and many of those things don't have to cost much or any money depending on your relationship with the person. It can be. How about a massage or there are just, there are a lot of different things that you can do that will be in many ways, more memorable for people and don't involve the purchase of a thing in a box.
Mark: So broadening the definition of what constitutes a gift, I think is really important. In some cases, broadening in some cases, a gift can be something like, here's three hours of free childcare, right? I'm gonna, I'm, I'll watch the kids. You, you go and do whatever you want to do. Believe me, that's a very, very welcome gift for a lot of people.
Yucca: is. I will wash the kids and wash your dishes if you want. Extra. You know, a bow on top there. Yeah.
Mark: Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, these are things that are tremendously kind when someone, you know, opens an envelope or you can put the, a little gift certificate for whatever it is in a box, right, and wrap it, and all that kind of stuff. People will gen generally be very warmed by the fact that you want to put personal attention and time into your relationship with them. Excuse me
Yucca: things that you create. I mean, one of my favorite gifts I ever got was a,
Yucca: I mean, brother-in-law wrote us a poem and it was just so thoughtful, and you can tell that he really worked on it. And it, you know, I, I have it up. I don't put a lot of things on the wall. I've got it up on the wall because it just has stayed with me for all of these years, just how amazing it was,
Mark: How lovely. Yeah, and people are creative in all kinds of ways. I mean, the handmade gift. Not to be confused with the Handmaid's Tale, the hand hyphen made gift is a wonderful thing. You know, whether, whether it's a piece of writing or a piece of music or a compilation CD of music that you think the person would like or a Or, or something from, from a local artist,
Mark: because I mean, to me there is a categorical difference between an artwork that was created by a local artist that is trying to sustain themselves through their art and something that was manufactured in a factory in China.
Mark: They're, they're just, they're not the same. You know, supporting your local producers of beautiful objects, right? That's a wonderful thing. If, if, if the kind of person that you want to make a gift for is the sort of person that appreciates that kind of thing, then by all means, you know, do that. And I should say, now, I, I mentioned kind of the, the first part of my formula earlier, which is about making sure that children have.
Gift receiving experience. What we do is we don't do gifts as adults.
Mark: We really don't. I mean, when, when we need something, we, we get it.
Mark: and so what we have done in the past is we put up a, we put up a yule tree, a mid-winter tree and decorated and all that great stuff, and we put treasures underneath.
Mark: Things that we have that we just love, that are really cool. Like I have an antique uranium glass slipper that that phosphorouses under ultraviolet light because it's uranium glass, right? They used to make that and it's just this very beautiful little thing. So it's one of the things that goes under the tree and it gives us a sense of kind of wealth.
You know, look, look at the cool things that are in our life. You know, objects from nature to appreciate, you know, antlers and bones and skulls and abalone shells and, you know, all these wonderful things. So we, we don't do the gift thing for adults. And we might make an exception once in a while if there's something that seems like particularly needed or wanted on the part of some adult that we love.
But the amount of stress that is taken off of you by not having to buy a thing for this long list of recipients. Is profound. It will make a huge difference in your experience of the holidays.
Yucca: Yeah, it really does. And I, I wanted to add on a little bit with what you were saying. You talked about the different types of gifts and then also for the children. You know, giving them the, the traditional kind of box gifts, but that's something that you can do both of, and as time goes on, the ratio of which kind of gift they're getting as they're becoming teenagers, as they're growing into adulthood, it shifts what, what you're doing with them,
Yucca: And so then it's just a natural thing and it's not, it's never. Being deprived. It's about just what this is really about, is about the, the love for each other and the gratitude and the giving and the, you know, to use the to be stereotypical, the spirit of giving, right. It really is. Right. And, and being about that and not the, the object right now there is also, there are a lot of, of practical things that this time of year.
You know, coming out of harvest, being about to go into the, to these very cold times of year when there's not a lot coming out of the garden, there's not a lot being produced, of being ready for the cold to come. So there's, there's some practical part about, you know, the giving the socks, the, that sort of thing that just.
To being prepared materially for what's to come there. There's an element of that as well, which I think is important just to keep in mind that that's one way that we do show love is to make sure, hey, you've got, you've got your warm socks for the year, right?
Mark: Yeah. You're, you're, you're gonna be comfortable.
Mark: Yeah, that's, that's a, that's a great thought. In Iceland, it's traditional to give books for Christmas, and Christmas Day is a day of sitting around in warm socks, drinking hot chocolate and reading books.
Yucca: Oh, wonderful.
Yucca: Cuddling with kiddies too. I, if they've got cats, right? Cat cuddling.
Mark: Yeah. You know, those kinds of traditions they make for some very warm memories. They really do make for some super nice times. And having downtime like that in the holidays is another thing that's really important. When we talk about when we talk about self-care that's certainly one thing to be considering is when am I doing nothing?
Mark: know, it's, it's, it's hard to imagine that it's possible, but you gotta do nothing sometimes.
Yucca: Or at least. Have nobody else's mind in yours. Cause we've really lost solitude, especially in the last decade or so as, as the social media and smartphones and all of that stuff has just kind of invaded into our personal lives. So there's so little time that we're ever simply alone with ourselves, and I think that that's essential, right?
I think we're social animals. We need to be around other people as well, but, , but especially in the dark of the year,
Yucca: to be alone a little bit is, is just vitally important,
Mark: I, I completely agree. And ironically, the inverse is true as well because you, it's a time for gathering with loved ones and for, you know, celebrating the fact that we have people that love us in our lives and, and all that good kind of stuff. But you can go overboard with that. People, people, especially introverted people, or neurodiverse people who get overwhelmed by too much social stimulus really need their, their alone time.
And so it's important to, to plan for that and make sure it happens.
Yucca: Yeah. And thinking about both, it's kind of like in the dark of the year. We we're celebrating the light as well. I mean, that's a lot of what the Christmas tree with the lights on it is about, is bringing that light into the dark. But we're recognizing and seeing both. It's a celebration of both. So I think that that's one way to look at it with the, with the family, but with self as well.
Right. Solitude and company.
Mark: So wanted to talk a little bit about a couple of other gifty sorts of ideas. There's always food, know, baked goods. I mean, an incredible gift would be, you know, cook dinner for people and bring it to their house, you know, the week before. Before the big event, you know, something, you know, just when things are going super crazy, you know, give people a meal that they don't have to think about. You know, just, just being aware of what people's needs are and, you know, thinking about your own, you know, your own. You know, where are the places where you get really exhausted and you think, oh God, I wish I didn't have to do X. Well, if somebody else did X for you, wouldn't that be amazing?
Yucca: Mm-hmm. right.
Mark: Yeah. So, I really encourage that, that the incorporation of that, that personal touch into gifting Either through experiences or through handmade things or through which includes baking and cooking and all that good kind of stuff. And then also because there is there's a guilt factor in in. Commercial acquisition as well. Just really being mindful, you know, of where things come from, who you're buying from. There are, you know, there are tons of Etsy stores, there are tons of indigenous sort of. Internet based stores that you can order things from, you know, figure out who you really want to be giving your money to.
Is it some international conglomerate with shareholders, or is it, you know, just somebody who's trying to, trying to get by?
Wonderful. Well, why don't we, why don't we talk about the second part of this which is the family gatherings or the social gatherings. Maybe not necessarily family, but maybe the office gatherings or whatever it is because it's a big one, right? There's a big one in terms of whether you are of the same religion or not, but also just dealing.
The various personalities when people are in this kind of heightened place to begin with.
Mark: And I, I think a great place to start with that is the recognition that in those circumstances, everybody is under a certain amount of stress,
Mark: except possibly the most garous extrovert, the. Pretty much everybody else is feeling some level of what are people gonna think of me? You know, how this is the office party.
How is my boss thinking of me? You know, there's, there's weird Uncle Ralph his weird opinions. How am I going to avoid getting reigned into a long conversation with him? All those, all those things, right? So under having a little compassion for the other people in the room is very helpful in, in my experience.
It is, it is so challenging for us as people, and this is a weird thing to really get that the other people around us are fully fleshed out human beings with internal lives and, you know, their, their own.
Mark: Their own journey, their own aspirations and their own internal voices that nag at them and all that kind of stuff.
There's a, there's a term for that, that realization called Saunder which when I heard that, I was glad that there was a word for it, because I think it's really important that people have that experience of others. It makes them more compassionate and more humane. Sa, S O N D E R.
Yucca: Mm. Okay.
Mark: And I'm not sure what language it's in.
The, so that, that's a place to start is understanding that everybody may be a little bit on edge, a little bit keyed up because they're. At, at some level, when you're doing social engagement, there's a performance aspect to it, right? know, I, I wanna make sure I'm acting appropriately. I wanna make sure I'm, you know, not displeasing the people around me, all that kind of stuff.
Yucca: Right. Reading everything correctly and Yeah. And responding and, and, and just being compassionate for those people. Yeah. And for yourself too, right? Yeah.
Mark: Yeah, so, so now you've got these social engagements that you've gotta go to. Well, how do you take care of yourself, especially as someone who practices aio paganism or non theist paganism, or some other variety of naturalistic earth honoring path. You know, as someone who is an outlier.
Philosophically and spiritually, how do you kind of stand in the truth of yourself while at the same time not picking fights with others that may have strong opinions about that? And I guess my first answer to that is that if their opinions are strong enough, you don't.
Mark: You, you, there's no point in, in, you know, trying to win an argument with some rabidly, right wing, evangelical Christian who just wants to tell you that you're going to hell.
Yucca: Right. So the, so the first step is, is this something that you're going to engage with or not? Right? And in many cases, you may simply choose not to, but in the situation, in the event that you do choose to, right? Then thinking about before you go into that, how are you going to prepare and how are you going to respond for it? You know, you, you might choose something like doing some sort of, you know, shielding ritual before you go in, maybe doing some. Premeditation on role playing of likely scenarios that are gonna come up. Practice, practice some of your deflection techniques or expressions that you're going to use. If it is, if you've decided that it's really valuable and worth it to you to be there for whatever that reason is, right?
Cause it's not our. Job here to be telling you what you should or shouldn't do. We're not, you, right? We have no idea what it feels like to be you or the shoes that you're in, but we're just encouraging you to think about how to protect yourself in that situation and still get the, what you're trying to get out of it.
But no, at the end of the day, you're, you can't control anybody else, right? You cannot control the outcome. You can work on trying to get the outcome you want, but know that you're not, you can't control.
Yucca: Right? And if you're gonna go into this situation, you've gotta be prepared for that possibility.
Mark: Yes. So part of thinking about that, how you're gonna protect yourself is how disclosive do I want to be with this particular group of people. It's your office party, for example. If the subject comes up, you may wanna say, well, my family celebrates the winter solstice. You don't need to go any further than that. You have a right to have your religious beliefs in the workplace, just like everybody else does. But, so you may want to sort of express this is, you know, this, this is what me and my family do. And then there may be questions, well, how does that work? And what's that about? And you can explain as much as you're comfortable with in
Yucca: Or not, you don't.
Mark: or not. Yes, exactly.
Yucca: And here's the thing, depending on how you feel about it, you don't, you don't owe them that. You also don't owe them the truth. Right.
Mark: true too.
Yucca: That's, that's up to you. If you don't feel like that's something you wanna get into, oh, wonder how was your Christmas? Oh, great. You don't need to say, oh, actually I don't practice, you know, I don't believe in Christmas or
Mark: I don't
Yucca: like that.
Yucca: You know, you don't owe 'em anything, it's fine. It's however you wanna handle that.
Mark: Yep. Yep, that's true. And that's, that's an example of where, of where, you know, being literally truthful can actually be a lot more harmful than, you know, applying the, the, the social lubricant of the little white lie. That just lets things keep clicking along smoothly. And of course we have to be very judicious about deciding when those things apply, but it bears saying that A lot of people would be a lot lonelier if they were fully candid about everything in their lives. with everybody around them.
Yucca: Mm-hmm. And so, you know, we've been talking about the context of an office party, but that may also be the same, but you have the same things to think about with the family gathering whether you're the one organizing that or the one attending it, or, you know, And again, maybe it's not just one gathering.
Maybe you've got three gatherings and you're going to the in-laws and yours and all, and then all of the different sides, you know? So this is something I would encourage kind of sitting down, like literally sitting down and just having a little strategy party with yourself, right? If you do journaling or something like that, it's a wonderful time just to maybe make some, just write down some of the.
Possibilities and the strategies that you wanna have and what, what are your values and, and what do you hope to get out of it, and what do you wanna protect yourself from? And, and just be, go into it being aware because once when you're aware, you have a, a better chance of being able to respond in a way that you want to respond when you're not caught off guard.
Mark: right. Yeah. And the other thing to remember is that. And this is something that may not leap immediately to mind for people that come out of traditions like Christianity that require that you only be a Christian and not anything else, naturalistic, paganism is not like that. You can go through all of the rituals of, of a Christian Christmas gathering and no harm, no foul.
You haven't offended anybody or betrayed yourself or hurt yourself or anything.
Yucca: Yeah, there's
Mark: You can.
Yucca: gonna be mad at you about it.
Mark: That's right. You, you can, you can have and still do all of your own celebrations and rituals on the solstice or as close to the solstice as works for you. And there's nothing wrong with that. So there's nothing hypocritical about it.
So you don't necessarily need to, you know, lead the, the prayer to Jesus. But you can bow your head and just sort of be there. That all that's up to you. And it's, it's perfectly okay to play along in order not to create conflict.
Yucca: Yeah. As long as that feels good to you, right? If it, if, if that doesn't feel good to you, then you don't need to be, you don't need to put yourself in this, that situation, right? So,
Mark: Yeah. And, and that really is important to say because there are, I mean, I know there are a lot of people for whom it's like, I couldn't not go to my parents' Christmas. Gathering. Right? I couldn't not go to that. Even though they know that they really need to betray themselves deeply to be there. And when confronted with that kind of a paradox you really need to think seriously about whether you're gonna go.
Mark: You know, it might, it might actually be the, the better part of Valor to just say, I, I can't come this year. I, it just, it doesn't feel like it would be right for me.
Mark: And you don't have to go into any more detail than that.
Yucca: And here's the 10 of cookies that I baked for you,
Yucca: Or whatever, whatever it is that might smooth it out.
Yucca: Yeah, so we actually last year we did a, a full episode specifically on this. So if this is something that people are, are kind of wanting more of definitely check out our episode from last year on, on this.
Mark: was that a year ago?
Yucca: It was a year ago. Yep.
Mark: Oh man.
Yucca: right. We would've talked about this early December maybe, maybe even late November. So it just flies. But why don't we transition now to some of the things that we can do during this. Time period in preparing for the holidays, throughout the holidays in terms of self care.
Right. And again, we'll get later into some of the traditions and stuff that you, we can do the specific holiday celebrations. But but is there something that you would suggest to start with Mark?
Mark: Well, I start with the body.
Mark: I mean there's all the psychological stuff that we, that we go through at this time of the year, and there are all the techniques that we have for working with the psyche, but getting enough sleep,
Mark: eating, eating some semblance of a decent diet, even if it's a little heavier in sugar than it usually is, it's sugar and fat.
Don't worry about that so much, but make sure you're getting protein. Make sure you're getting a vegetable
Yucca: whatever it is that, you know, works for your
Mark: for you. Yeah, exactly.
And get that sleep. Be aware of how much you're drinking.
Mark: Because it seems like all of these gatherings in, in many cases, there's, there's alcohol going on. So if you do drink, just really be aware of, of how much you're drinking and if it starts to feel like that's not what you wanna be doing pair it back.
You know, tell people, and you can facilitate that for yourself by bringing something to drink for yourself to a gathering. Right? There's wonderful like. Sparkling cranberry ciders and pomegranate ciders and things like that. There are some really delicious things now and I'm gonna put in a plug for my, my local brewery, Lagunitas Brewing Company, which has a great beer called a n a, which is it's, or I P n A.
It's like an ipa, but it's na, which is no alcohol. And it's delicious. It actually tastes like a beer, but it doesn't have any alcohol in it. So, it's worth checking that out if you need to. So, you know, enough said about that. If you don't drink, this can be a very challenging time of the year. So, take care of yourself.
If you go to meetings, go to meetings do the things that you need to do in order to keep all that in.
Yucca: right. And just a little tip with our bodies, if you can get a little bit of sun early in the morning, that just, just even if it's a couple of minutes where you're outside and you. Kind of turn your face towards the sun. It really does make a big difference in terms of resetting your clock and, and kind of helping you out with that, with the sleep patterns and just getting your body to be doing the things that it needs to be doing at the right time, because this time of year it can be really.
Really tricky on our bodies and our rhythms as and as we have the lights on all the time and later on, and when is it dark and when is it not? And, and our, we are, first and foremost, we are physical creatures, right? We are animals with, you know, millions and millions of years of adaptation to a certain environment, which we are not living.
Yucca: We, we are animals in captivity, right? We're, we're. And so just trying to be aware of that a little bit is a, is a good start.
Yucca: So, yeah.
Mark: that brings us to the, the psychological things that we can do in order to support ourselves and. To me, the number one thing there, if you're taking care of your, your physical self, the number one thing there is to go back to that first principle of, of naturalistic paganism, which is pay attention, right?
If there's snowfall, watch the snowfall for 15 minutes. Listen to the rain on the roof, crack the window open so that you can smell the smell of the rain.
Mark: Go for a walk in the snow. Notice what birds are around, if any. Just, you know, notice what phase the moon is in.
Mark: There's so many. There are so many simple things that we can do to keep ourselves re-grounded in the fact that, okay, I'm on a, I'm on a physical planet that's going through a physical set of processes and all this culture stuff is fantastic, but I'm still just on a physical planet doing physical processes and it's all gonna work out.
Yucca: Speaking of the moon December has the mites, which is one of the biggest meteor. There's two really big meteor showers a year. And if you get clear skies pretty much for the rest of the month even if you don't get it on the night that it's peaking, you've got some good chances to see some really beautiful meteors.
So if you get a chance just to be out there and, and right now, Mars and Jupiter are both really bright up in the sky. Even if you're in a city, those are, are probably gonna pierce through that light pollution and just be really beautiful. Just to take a moment and just take a look,
Mark: Yeah. Yeah. So other psychological things and it, I, I put this in the psychological category, even though it's a physical thing. Take a shower.
Mark: Especially if you go through any kind of a stressful experience, take a shower, there is something about, and there's literally something physical about it. It's not just the sensations all over your body that create more of a grounded sense of being in your physical self.
There, there is a way that splashing water creates negative ions that tend to kind of ground out the the, the kind of zazi feeling, the jed feeling that you can get from having From having social interactions or being in a crowded store or any of those kinds of things. So that's really a go-to as far as I'm concerned.
Yucca: I don't know about the ions, but I know that it, that for me, the rush, the sound of the rushing water and that just being able to control those, that that sensory input is just, is really amazing. Like, I'll do a shower and then a bath, right first the shower to kind of wash it to like to, to do like, okay, the feeling like I'm washing it all away and then, The bath of just getting to just feel like melting into that water and
Mark: Soaking in the heat.
Yucca: And I, I like to actually run to be in the tub while it's filling, so it has that, that sound, that rushing waterfall sound and it's filling up. And that's one of the favorite things that we do in. In the holidays because I don't have a tub where I live. We don't actually have hot water either, so we, we just heat our water up on the stove to like do dishes or something like that.
But we go into town to my mother-in-law's. She's got the big bath tub with water heater and it's like, oh yeah, we can do some nice relaxing for a long time.
Mark: nice. Very nice.
Yucca: yeah. That's a wonderful thing about the holidays, but there's other things too. Like a shower is a really wonderful one. But if you don't have access to that, right, there are other types of things that you can do that feel like you are transitioning, that you're switching between these.
You know, you're getting away from some of that stress. You're letting go. I mean, there's the shaking, there's the dancing, there's the stepping into a ritual space, and we've talked a lot about this on, on the podcast. And you can do things like going into a, the dark room, right? Turning all the lights off, and then things like that.
Mark: right, right. Coming back to yourself psychologically is very important at this kind of time because it is so easy to get to be what we call ungrounded. You know, it's easy to get your thoughts spinning if you're dealing with family. It's easy to get all the old messages from the family going again, right about ways that they criticize you or that they don't respect you sufficiently, or that they haven't recognized how you've changed.
Yucca: And all the things they do that are just so annoying that drive you crazy. Yeah.
Yucca: All those things that you feel about them.
Mark: so all that stuff can be going in your mind, and if you just let it keep going, then you can become increasingly stressed and more and more kind of separated from yourself. So. Sit down and just breathe for five minutes. It doesn't have to be a super long time.
Yucca: Off. Take the, the earbuds out of your ears.
Mark: yeah. Get, get away from the gadgetry for a minute and just, you know, the other thing that I find is very, very helpful, and this sounds. Like, sort of brute force magic making. But get a big rock you know, a rock that weighs 15, 20 pounds. Sit it in your lap, sit on the ground, or sit on the floor and just sit cross-legged if that's comfortable for you, and just sit that rock in your lap. And.
Yucca: just ground with it.
Mark: Just wait.
Yucca: Wait. Yeah.
Mark: Yeah. You'll, you'll be amazed at what a difference it makes, just feeling that gravity pulling you back to the earth. And it, it clears the, clears all the spinning stuff out. It's, it's it's a powerful technique.
Yucca: Mm. Yeah. Love that one.
Mark: S. I I discovered that, or, or innovated it or whatever it was. My, my former wife was in a really kind of panicky space. She had I don't even remember what the circumstance was, but she was in this very hypermanic. Very anxious space and you know, was telling me about all the reasons that she felt that and that this was so, and she wasn't a pagan.
And so I said, well, you know, we. We, we do stuff with things like that. So have a seat, you know, sit on the ground. And I put this big rock in her lap and she immediately began kind of to giggle. It was like, . That's great. That's so great. And sure enough, you know, given 10 minutes or so, her consciousness had really sort of changed.
But yeah, so that's why I keep a big rock around.
Yucca: It's great. Yeah, so this, this really can be such a lovely time of year and a really, really meaningful time of year and, and, You know, getting ready, ending out this year and getting ready for a new one and, and all of that. And so it's just a time that can also, you know, can be stressful. And so it's a good time to be aware and just really be present with ourselves and, and really honest with ourselves about what it is that, that we need, what's feeding us what's not.
And thinking about. You know, what do we value and what obligations do we or do we not have and, and how to handle that. So, yeah.
Mark: And if there are things that we feel obligated to do that we really don't want to do, are there alternatives? Is, is there some other way to get at that? You know, is it possible to. I don't know. I, I, I don't know what the example is. If, if the holiday meal with the family is a nightmare, maybe a restaurant, you know, there, there are, there are other ways of coming at this.
If, if it's
Yucca: Yeah. Just some creative thinking about it.
Yucca: Yeah. So. So we hope that you all have a wonderful intentional holiday season
Mark: Yes. And may cramps come, but not take you away in his bag this evening. Because in, in, in Bavaria it's Crumps knocked. So, hope that you don't get whipped with Bert's twigs too much or hauled away in his bag.
Yucca: That's great. All right, well thank you everybody. We will see you next week.