The holidays are officially here and with them come an abundance of beautiful moments punctuated by no shortage of difficult ones.
Visits from family members that you wouldn't choose as friends, long lines full of grumpy shoppers, extra financial stress and obligatory holiday parties can drown out the holiday cheer pretty quickly.
The yoga teachings offer us guidance in four keys to retaining our peace of mind.
Patanjali's Yoga Sutra I:33 is translated as: "By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness."
When we use the proper key in the proper lock we retain our peace of mind.
If we forget our keys we experience anger, judgment, hate, jealousy, distrust and a host of other uncomfortable feelings needlessly.
It is important to feel our uncomfortable feelings when they arise but we don't need to invite them to stay or make them stronger. When we keep Patanjali's teaching in mind we have the keys to creating our own happiness and peace of mind.
This holiday season, use friendliness when you find jolly merrymakers annoying. Try compassion toward the Scrooge's. Pull out delight for those that are spending extra time volunteering in homeless shelters and donating gifts to needy families.
Last, but not least, when you find yourself in a situation with someone on whom the keys of friendliness, compassion, and delight are not working break out the key of disregard.