As I sit here writing this article at 9:00 P.M. my mind is constantly overwhelmed with thoughts about the upcoming holidays. It begins to think about pumpkins and scarecrows.  Without warning, my mind switches to candy and now I am thinking about what kind of treats my son will bring home for Halloween….. “Oh no!”, my mind yells out in horror, “will my son pick out a costume this year that he totally loves  only to hate it moments before he actually walks  out the door and leaves for trick-or-treat…..”
…..There goes that mind again taking control when suddenly my thoughts go right into Thanksgiving, family and making dinner for 20 people…”Let’s see, what food should I prepare this year for my clan? Everyone loved the rib roast with the garlic and sage spices. It was a wonderful alternative to my traditional succulent Turkeyfaire. Wait, I have to make sure that I make enough mashed potatoes for everyone this year since the glazed yams were a flop. And what was that dish that my niece made? I really have to get that recipe again before…”
…it can’t be Christmas already. I am not ready!. “Wait a minute, what did you say?”… “whose house will the Christmas feast be at this year…It better not be at my house, I just did Thanksgiving”…..”Ok, Ok, Ok we will have New Years at our house again but next year…
Finally I yell “STOPPPPP!!!!!! What is going on here?”  It’s only 9:01PM and I have lost all touch with reality. I have become so obsessed with what I have to do that I am no longer in the present moment. I am no longer in the” NOW”. I have allowed my mind, my ego or “Pain Body” as Echart Tolle likes to call it to rule my consciousness. My mind is running me. This will never do.
I must quickly regain control of my senses and my mind. I truly know that the purpose of my mind is to be the servant of my Intentions and not the master of my intentions. Deep down inside I know that what I think about I bring about, where I place my intentions on is the very thing that manifests in my life. Every time that I have allowed my mind to take control over my present reality and steal mypresent moment I am telling my  mind that it is O.K. for it to be in charge.
Well it is not OK to be trapped in my minds eye constantly reliving events over and over again. It’s not OK to be separated from my Higher Power because my negative thoughts have nothing better to do than create chaos with my emotions.
 Finally, the moment comes and I realize that when I am fully present in the “NOW”, I can break the false power that I have given to my mind.
Thankfully I begin to relax by imagining a giant oversized old fashioned scale like the ones used in courtrooms. It represents my life. On the left there is one pile of sand that represents all of my thoughts of Love, Beauty, God, Relationship, Prosperity, Grace, Goodness, Creativity, Perfect Health and Happiness. On the right is a pile of sand represents my fears, anxiety, lack, impatience, stress, anger, ego, control, imperfections, doubts and so on. It has become very clear to me that to regain dominion over my mind over the holidays I must change my thinking now. I must replace my old thinking with thoughts and ideas that have a loving power that I can believe in. The power of my “thinking and believing” is what manifests my reality.
It is totally up to me which side I place that grain of sand on. If I have thoughts that I believe in that create a warm and loving world filled with goodness and light then I have empowered myself and the world around me to be a better place.
Every time that I allow a negative, unconscious or painful thought to enter my mind I am allowing another tiny pebble of sand to be placed in the wrong side of the scale. Every thought and experience of doubt, fear, regret, unkind word, resentment, anger and greed continues to add more pebbles of sand to the wrong side. Before I know it, my scale has moved so much that my unloving thoughts completely put me out of balance.
That is what seems to happen to so many people during the Holidays. We have forgotten how to be the good gatekeepers of our thoughts and beliefs. I have noticed that if we do not stand awake and fully present at the gates of our thinking we are lulled into a false belief of how the world should be and forget that we truly are the creators of our realities.
During this time of the year the pressure is far greater to be happy and meet everyone’s demands and expectations. We still only have the same 24 hours in a day. We can never change that. What we can change is the power we give our thoughts and how we react to world around us. We get to choose how we want to live our lives and we get to choose how much joy and happiness we will allow into our world.
 There are many powerful tools and practices that I have found extremely useful in helping me break my old patterns of thinking that no longer serve me.
The power of Meditation helps me quiet down my mind so that I can hear the quiet still voice of Spirit. Learning to practice stillness makes me more receptive to listening to Divine Inspiration.
Echart Tolle says learn to be the observer of your thoughts. From Western religion I have learned the power of Gratitude, Forgiveness and Non-Judgment. And from the Eastern traditions I have learned how to balance my energy with my body.
So, as the Holidays approach I now remind myself of what I must do. For me to have a Holiday experience that I really, really want I need to be more present and live in the “NOW” as often as I can. I get to choice which thoughts I give power to. I really only want to entertain thoughts of LOVE, GRATITUDE, FUN and SPIRIT so that my life will be blessed to overflowing ……. I can live with that.
OK Let’s bring on the Holidays. I am ready and in the Now.
Rev Arpad Petrass