I recently watched a holiday movie where the Mother was pleading with her children about behaving in the “Christmas Spirit.” I often find this time of year to be filled with ironies and dichotomies. It seems people either fully embrace the holidays or completely detest them; there doesn’t appear to be any middle ground. Perhaps some of this extremism is due to the expectations we often have of how things are “supposed’ to be this time of year, thus explaining the “Christmas Spirit” sentiment.

Instead of approaching each day with equanimity, we seem to give specific holidays a certain power over us, influencing how we feel or choose to behave. We become attached to these ideas and imaginings that we have been socialized with, generation after generation. It’s in these attachments that we lose our objectivity and our connection to the present moment. In this disconnect, we reactively either run away or submerse ourselves into ideations. And then, just as quickly as the season passes, our expectations and illusions fade. We return to expecting less, wanting more and going about our day to day. Our emotions no longer captive to the calendar, until the next holiday approaches, Valentine’s Day…

Perhaps if we focused more on acceptance rather than expectation, more on allowing rather than denying, more on gratitude, rather than cynicism, we can regain the power over our emotions and over our choices, and every day, can be met with equanimity and opportunity to tell a different story. One that reflects a spirit of truth, love and compassion, every day of the year. 


  • Iman L. Khan, LMHC, LPC

    Mindfulness and Performance Coach, Psychotherapist, Lover of Learning

    Iman is a Mindfulness and Performance Coach, Psychotherapist and Mediator. She has a private practice called Blooming Minds in Wisconsin and New York, with over 22 years of experience working with individuals, organizations, artists and athletes in the field of mind/body wellness, leadership development, performance, organizational change and administration. She is a published author, contributing to the book: Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens; Mindfulness in Nature. She is also a certified trainer & facilitator in Leadership Development, supporting professionals and educational organizations in emotional intelligence skill development and self-awareness for positive leadership practices. She is a presenter and speaker, delivering evidence based workshops and seminars, both locally and nationally, promoting health and emotional well-being for children and adults. She is creator and facilitator of a series of workshops called, People Get Ready and Train Your Brain, for executives, adults and children; applying current brain research in learning, emotions, and mindfulness. She is a Mother to three children and in her spare time a professional singer/performer; believing you can pursue your passions.