DevaTree Blog

This Season, I Refuse to…

Posted By Tamika on Dec 12, 2017

The holidays can be beautiful and bright, cozy and just right.

But they can also bring up a lot of stress and confusion.

The intensity and emotion can pull us off track.

In order to give a full “yes” to the season, it’s helpful to have an idea of what we’re also saying “no” to.

The moment we acknowledge our limits—even to ourselves—a new superpower is born.

We’ve asked the DevaTree team to share their holiday “no-way’s.” So instead of a gift guide or how-to list, here’s our beloved “I refuse to” list. 

Do you have an “I refuse to…” this season? We’d love to hear about it, in the comments below.

We stand with you as you make space for what feeds your sweet soul!

You are so loved,

The DevaTree Team

Gabby - Director, 200hr Jamaica 
My holiday season involves traveling out of town for various family gatherings, which can be quite tiring. This year, I refuse to overextend and deplete myself by traveling out of obligation. I intend to spend time with people that fill me with joy, and also to give my body rest when I need it. Merry Christmas to me is what I'm saying!

Misty - 200-hr Team
The holiday season brings my family together, including people I don’t see often. This year I refuse to become anxious when connecting with family. I choose to greet everyone with an open and loving heart, and remember we’re all doing the best we can. I’ll embrace the time with my family and surround each and every person with the light of my soul and love in my heart.

Tamika - Co-Founder
As a single woman without kids, I refuse to let the pressure of the picture-perfect family (which doesn’t exist anyway) make me feel less magical this holiday season. Christmas can bring up my nostalgia for the past, especially when I think of my mother being gone. She was the glue and heart of our big traditional family—her legacy runs deep. She taught me that a heart is big enough to hold all kinds of families—traditional, unconventional, foster, extended, fur-babies etc—it’s the love that matters. This season, I intend to cherish the gifts of love in front of me, honouring the old and making room for the new. 

Carolyn - Co-Founder
This year I refuse to get caught up in a buying frenzy. The fast pace of holiday shopping makes me feel agitated and over-stimulated. I’ve picked up a few special presents so far but I’ve also started to make some homemade gifts for my family and friends. My kids made bath bombs for everyone last year and I can’t wait to see the results of the recent DIY projects that are underway. This season, I intend to make thoughtful purchases, and keep my nervous system calm.

Brenda Dowell - Senior Faculty
This year, I refuse to get caught up in guilt for having a non-traditional holiday season. I will not be home for Christmas and I intend to fully enjoy time with friends, regardless of other’s expectations or judgement. I am a wild adventurous spirit, and this year I will fully celebrate this embodiment.

Lotus - Director, Yoga for Longevity
I refuse to make cards this year. I’ve always loved making cards for the holiday season, but other years I've had more time. Ironically, even when I had more time, I’d often only get to the concept and design stage. They never got sent, which made me sad. To feel better, I'd tell myself that I’ll make New Year cards, cards for the Chinese new year, etc—which didn’t happen either! This year I refuse to get anxious and pressured about making cards. I’m going to send out store bought cards. Better late than never!

Catherine - 200-hr Team
This season, I refuse to get caught up in the media hype about all the things that are wrong in this world. Darkness does exist, but so does the light. There's so much beauty in this world. I choose to turn my attention to the way snow glistens on moonlit nights, and to the dance of colours in the flames of the fireplace. I’ll savour the cozy warmth of being wrapped in my favourite blanket, and toast the vastness of the universe with millions of stars on a crisp, clear night. The world will still have its shadows, but my focus will be on the light. 

Bija - Director, Down Dogs & Doshas
This holiday season, I refuse to allow old patterns and family dynamics to leave me feeling depleted and frustrated with myself for not using my voice. I will stand in my wild woman power with respect and honouring, while creating new meaningful moments with my chosen tribe. I will consume and serve healthy, clean foods with grace and love, and enter the new year feeling fulfilled, strong, and vibrating with vitality! This will be a time of releasing "shoulds" and bringing on the deliciousness of shedding what does not serve my highest good.

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14 Comment(s)

Kristy Stewart on December 12, 2017
It was great I really got a lot out of this
Tamika on December 12, 2017
Glad this worked for you, Kristy. Happy holidays to you and yours!
Carol McKay on December 12, 2017
I began 2017 by notifying the people in my world that I would not be buying any gifts for birthdays or Christmas this year (the exception is the kids in my world). If I want or need something, I buy it myself. I am not a shopper and I limit new acquisitions. I feel I have too many possessions as it is. The real turn-off is a friend who 'puts in her order' to her parents and brother for bday and Cmas gifts. She has the money to buy the items herself, but likes to say "My parents bought this for me". Gift-giving has lost its zest for me. I celebrated my birthday yesterday and had no grandiose expectations. It was wonderful. I got well-intentioned bday wishes from my peeps. One good friend has actually forgotten my birthday, but because my thoughts of my day have turned inward (I spent my day with myself and my kids) I am not angry or hurt. I just hope that when she realizes she forgot, she won't feel like crap. Not my intention. All is good.
Tamika on December 12, 2017
Carol, I love your clarity about what's right for you, and what your focus is. It feels like gestures of clarity by leaders like you are changing this world. Happy belated birthday, sister!
Helen Valks on December 12, 2017
I am embracing the reality of What Is this season. Our children have extended families so We are embracing that this year and having Christmas with them on the 27th. I am holding the intention of keeping gift giving down but I do love to give them all gifts. I am going to hold in my heart that Christmas will unfold as it will letting go of expectations. This is our first Christmas without Oma. Another shift in reality. Christmas will be when we go to midnight Mass and all our children are here together.Nothing else matters.
Tamika on December 12, 2017
So much wisdom, Helen. Thinking of you and your family, and Oma with you in Spirit. XO
Bija on December 12, 2017
Wow--what amazing words of heartfelt wisdom. I will remind myself to keep re-reading all of these beautiful "refuse to"s this season when I feel like I am getting caught up in "have to"s. I love you Devatree branches!!
Carolyn Jyoti on December 12, 2017
Beautiful Bija! We LOVE you wise wild woman. Thank you for your wisdom. xox
Mary on December 12, 2017
Today, my holiday anxiety triggered by someone who is celebrating the holidays in a much different manner than I'm choosing to and I stumbled as I tried to explain my "refusal" to participate in the traditional picture of what Christmas looks like. I am a single mother, whose parents have both passed and I am not connected to my remaining siblings. Plus, this year, my two amazing children are spending the 24th and 25th with their Dad and his new partner. There have been a lot of moments these past few weeks (Mercury in Retrograde to boot) where I've had to look closely at the truth of how I feel about these upcoming holidays. I may be alone this Christmas, and I'm exploring what that might look/feel like for for me, amidst the perpetual hype. Perhaps time in solitude is the course of action that is truest to myself. I'm grateful to a dear friend, who recommended this article for me to ponder. Thank you beautiful Ladies, I wish you all the very best of the holidays, however they may unfold for you.
Tamika on December 16, 2017
Mary, thank you for sharing your truth. I hear you and I'm with you. Navigating this season can be incredibly challenging, especially when circumstances have changed and we have to find a new way forward. My friend Roy did a fantastic interview about coping with the holidays and I'll share the link here—also for anyone reading these comments. I'll pin the interview to the top of my page until after the holidays. Much love to you, Tamika
Catherine Tansley on December 15, 2017
This holiday season I refuse to do things solely because of tradition. My plan is to check in with how I feel and let my inner compass help me decide what traditions to keep, which ones to let go of and what new ones I choose to add. And, I will not feel guilty about my choices. (Or, at least I will really try!)
Tamika on December 16, 2017
Let your inner compass light the way! I love that, Catherine. Your clarity, strength, and honesty is beautiful to witness. xOM
Lotus - Mandara on December 17, 2017
Love the photo of the faculty with the Christmasy items and to the photographer who is OF the picture. Travelling vicariously with you all on this holiday season. All love.
Tamika on December 18, 2017
Thank you for being YOU, Lotus! xoxo

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