Always Well Within

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The Most Important VISA to Put to Use this Holiday Season

This is a special guest post from Evita Ochel at Evolving Beings.

The winter holidays are right around the corner, and this can leave many of us scrambling and rushing, emotionally exhausted, experiencing more stress than perhaps at any other time of the year.

One of the main reasons that this happens, is that modern society has carved out a very particular “pattern” of what the holidays are supposed to be all about. Mainly shopping, eating, drinking and more shopping.

While some may find this cycle amusing, most move through it unconsciously, fulfilling surface level desires, rather than attaining a deeper meaning and inner peace from their thoughts, words and actions.

The Buddha taught the Eightfold Path for releasing oneself from misery, suffering or dissatisfaction. Out of the 8 tenets, there are 4 that I find can be especially helpful to be extra conscious of around the holidays.

They are, having the right View, Intention, Speech and Action.

And thus this Holiday Season, I invite you to put a different kind of VISA to use – the most important VISA.

V – View

Take time this holiday season, to reflect on your views about this holiday. Our views, are shaped by our beliefs. Our beliefs are shaped by our past experiences, which were shaped by the thoughts and views we chose to have about them – consciously or unconsciously.

Allow yourself this holiday season to birth new views. Start with all the things that surround the holidays, like your views on gift giving, shopping, the meals you will make or eat, the company you will be with, the traditions you have always held, religious beliefs, and the list goes on.

Give yourself this holiday season, perhaps the best gift ever, by freeing yourself from unconscious, conditioned views that are holding you back today and limiting your true happiness. This can help set you free from doing things simply out of obligation or expectation. It can also expand your being, and broaden your views and understanding of yourself.

I – Intention

When it comes to intention, while this is normally the major piece of how we attract things into our life, there is a deeper role for it in our lives.

What is the intention behind everything that you do during the holidays?

Why do you buy gifts? Is it because that is what everyone else seems to be doing? Is it to be nice? To fit in? To have people like you?

Asking ourselves questions like that about each aspect of the holidays, begins to help us understand why we do what we do, and understand ourselves better. When we leave the unconscious habits behind, we begin to operate on a more conscious, peace and happiness filled level.

Thus, be honest with yourself and find out what your true intention is behind all the aspects of the holidays, and at the same time, set new, conscious intentions for each of your words and actions that truly come from the heart.

S – Speech

The holidays see many of us gather with family, friends and coworkers. And while this can be a great delight and joyous part of the season, it can also be a very stressful and emotionally draining time. Why is that?

The main reason is, what people choose to talk about. At family gatherings, all too often old hurts are brought up, family members pick on each other or criticize the way holiday traditions are handled. With friends or coworkers, talk can center around gossip.

This holiday season, be mindful of all that you choose to say. The holidays can be a beautiful time to share stories, memories and feelings about each other. But we have to make sure that all those are rooted in love, compassion and kindness. If not, may we remember the wise saying, that if we have nothing good to say, let us not speak at all.

A – Action

Finally, aside from putting the right views, intention and speech to use, may we also not forget about all of our actions.

So many people in our world today, still make the holidays all about the actions of shopping and cooking, generating a lot of stress for both themselves and their loved ones.

Consciously re-examine your actions this holiday season. Ask yourself what really matters. We shop aimlessly, often out of obligation, trying to fill deeper voids within, only to be confronted with the consequences when the bills come to get paid.

This holiday season, release yourself from pain and suffering, by taking time and investing in conscious, heart-centered actions that really matter.

Instead of exchanging gifts, consider volunteering as a family at a homeless shelter. Instead of overeating, consider giving away some of the food to someone else in need. Instead of drinking alcohol, consider engaging in conversations with others, that are deep and meaningful for expanding the soul.


In the end, only you know best what the holidays are all about for you and how you would like to spend them. Let us just remember that the holidays have as their foundation love, compassion, kindness, relaxation and fun.

If your holidays have lost any of that, or have added in things like stress, worry, anxiety or fear, I invite you this holiday season to re-examine this time of year and your approach to it. Use the VISA that really matters where deep peace, meaning and happiness are concerned, paying it forward to others, with no bills in return.


About the author: Evita Ochel, B.Sc., B.Ed., CHN – is the founder and editor of – an online publication featuring various topics on spirituality and metaphysics.

She teaches consciousness expansion and heart-centered living to help people attain deep meaning, peace and happiness in their life. You can sign up for her RSS feed or follow Evita Ochel on Twitter.

Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, please share the links with others.  Thanks so much!  Sandra


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  1. Evita,
    Now this is surely a different kind of VISA than most are used to!!

    Have I used my Visa (the one in my wallet) this holiday season? I have. Although it has primarily been about creating experiences in meaningful ways. I believe this fits closely with the more important VISA that you so beautifully described here today.

    As I read here, though, I’m also drawn into ways I can even more deeply integrate this VISA into my days this holiday season (and beyond). And that’s what makes what you have shared so wonderful – it has me thinking of little tweaks I can make to be more in line with what truly feels right in my heart…

    • Hi Lance,

      Lance – your honesty and authenticity as you travel the path of life always shines so brightly. Yes, many of us can and will use that “other” VISA, but as you so well pointed out, it can be for experiences that are rooted in love and one’s which add to the growth of our being.

      The holidays are an interesting time indeed, especially I feel now, as more and more of us awaken to really look through them, and see them from all the different angels of our being.

      Wishing you love-filled days always – thank you so very much for your comment 🙂

  2. Hi Evita,
    This is a beautiful post. It’s great how you encourage self-reflection. So many go through the day moving robotically. We follow holiday expectations without questioning it. This hurts our spirit. Great job on inspiring us to get realigned with our true selves. Thanks.


    • Hi Dandy,

      Thank you so much Dandy, for taking the time to share your comment and feedback.

      I really like how you pointed out that this hurts our spirit, as I too, truly believe it does, leading to further disconnection and knowing who we truly are.

  3. A clever re-purposing of a common word. Turning a credit card into a lesson in intentional living is powerful. After reading this post it will be hard to pull out that card and not be reminded of your points.

    Now, if you can figure out how to do the same for Master Card !

    • Hi Bob,

      Well Bob, I have to say, your comment gave me such a deep, good laugh today – thank you!

      And you gave me a great challenge and idea to work around that Master Card…. just maybe, I will have something on that too 😉

      In the end, if these words or ideas trigger a thought at some later time, especially when one is out and about, and caught in the hustle of the season, that would be a gift in itself – and not to me, but to each and everyone of us, as we infuse more conscious love into this world for all.

  4. ~ Bern ~

    V: We can have the vision to follow a radiant and glowing path that is our Excitement. That which resonates glows within our hearts. It is a realm where all we truly see talks to us. This makes everyday a Holiday.

    I: Maybe we can shift our attention and intention away from buying things, and instead, we can begin offering gifts, or we can expand upon and improve the brilliance of our friends by inserting new symbols and information that can improve upon their stories and well being, so that we can truly Live. Therefore, the gift can be life its self. The celebration of Living. Buying makes one feel as if there is a cost to giving. We can use our choice of words wisely. They too are intended gifts.

    S: Our speech and words can be entangled in the past….or we can use speech to describe the freshness that our momentary senses can perceive. If someone says something….describe then the stimulation that is provided to you by the object of your attention. By expressing how the scene moves us, everything becomes scenic and festive.

    A: Actions are like an Act in a Play. Does one want to live in a drama, a comedy, an action thriller, or in a Inspirational Indie film. Our actions or behaviour can then move us then towards the fulfillment of our intended productions. Our actions then feel good if they are in alignment with our intentions. If something feels off, then our actions are not in alignment with how we would like to experience Life.

    Our visa’s can take us towards the direction of our dreams, or they can bury our dreams by putting our souls in debt.

    • Hi Bern,

      Fabulous addition to this discussion here – thank you so very much!

      Yes, may we make life itself a gift! And I love your thoughts about how we can play out our own lives, choosing the backdrop or the scene for this particular lifetime.

      And what a powerful line to end off with – may we be truly conscious of the impact we have on our own lives…. dreams or debt, evolution or de-evolution, light or darkness…. each one is a choice we choose based on which VISA’s we use and how .

      • ~ Bern ~

        I am thinking of switching to Discover. Here’s a motto or slogan they can use. Beneath every purchase is a doorway to Self Discovery. Oh no, i hope they don’t come looking for me to work in their sweat shops.

  5. Evita,

    Evita, You are such an excellent writer, thinker, and spiritual guide. It’s a great joy to have you as a guest author on Always Well Within. Thank you so much.

    I find it both clever and profound to link such a deep and meaningful message with a simple action we so often take without conscious thought – using our VISA. As Bob said, using our VISA will now become a reminder to do so with our eyes and heart wide open.

    As luck would have it, the internet has been down all morning so this was my first chance to say hello and offer my heartfelt thanks for the wisdom and insight you have shared with us.

    I am also moved by all the uplifting comments. Thanks so much.

    • Hi Sandra

      My gratitude and thanks goes out to you Sandra, for having me in your beautiful space here today! It is truly an honor to be invited here as a guest and share with your readers some personal insights and ideas.

      I thank you so much for your very meaningful feedback. It is so very much appreciated.

      I have personally done a lot of soul searching over the past few holiday seasons and today count myself in the minority of how I approach this or any other holiday – but this does not hinder me in any way. I need to live and be authentic to myself first and foremost, not anyone else’s rules and paradigms – and if that happens to inspire others, it is perhaps one of the biggest and best gifts I can ever give and receive.

  6. Evita, I’m not a Christmas guy. My focus has always been on family and kindness, but the disconnectedness around me usually does my head in. Internally I’m mindful, externally I find that I’m role playing. I like your approach to the holiday season, and I agree with your foundations. I’d like the only gift to be love, it’s what I share with you.

    • Hi Simon,

      Thank you for sharing how you feel and experience the winter holiday season. It is always interesting to hear other people’s perspectives, as I think we so often think that “everybody” is doing or thinking the same thing, but we really aren’t.

      The gift of love is a most precious gift – thank you for sharing it with me and the world.

  7. This is a great post– the acronym will be easy to remember. I have cut waaaaaay back this year on my holiday stressors. Not so many presents, not so many decorations, the Christmas party got moved to July, and my cards will go out by Chinese New Year.

    So I’m using your version of VISA for the holidays. Makes me think of the commercial — What’s in YOUR wallet?!

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Galen,

      It is great to hear about the changes you are making, for you to get the most peace and happiness in your life. I like your idea of moving the party for example to July – we should be able to celebrate any time we want with family and friends in love-filled ways, not just wait for one day or so, when society says we should.

      Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate your comment.

  8. Great guest post. I think every christian should read this. I am grateful for the new way of dealing with this Christmas season. Sakyamuni Buddha’s eightfold path is helpful. I especially like the VISA acronym to make it easier for non-Buddhists to remember these important steps.

    • Hi Gary

      Thank you so much for your comment and feedback. It is so wonderful to hear that this way of looking at celebrating, and approaching this season and even the teachings of the Buddha, resonates with you.

  9. RichHartford

    Hello Evita,

    I enjoyed this article a lot. You have shown through the use of V.I.S.A that the holiday season is more about reflection of ourselves and spiritual beliefs. It is also a time to share our time with our family and friends.

    It is not a time to enhance our culture of greed, materialism and individualism.

    Thanks a for writing an article on reminding people about that.

    Happy holidays!!!


    • Hello Rich,

      It is a pleasure to hear your sentiments Rich and I like how you have summarized the message. We are always left with our free choice of what we will choose when it comes to celebrating the holidays or anything else for that matter, but if we want to experience internal peace and happiness, then we need to reflect indeed on what all this means to us.

  10. Hi Sandra and Evita,
    I love your guest, Sandra, what a lovely soul to share your space.

    Evita, I love the play on words, and flipping the meaning toward something so positive.
    I’m not particularly a holiday-type-of gal, and try to remain conscious independent of the time of year or a particular holiday, but I’m mindful that for so many people, it’s an important time of year.

    This year I give you love, Evita and Sandra. For others, they get love, too! I also crafted some greetings using pen&ink and water color instead of buying yet more “stuff,” which was quite fun.

    I appreciate that you touched on words, and how our words can impact others. I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end of that spectrum, and you’re so right.

    Much love to you both!

    • Hello Lori,

      What a pleasure to see you here 🙂

      Thank you for adding in your thoughts and experiences about the holidays. I think your personal example again shows for so many, that there is no one view or one way of celebrating or approaching this season. There are many people who are seeing beyond it, and carving out a new path with their hearts and souls.

      Thank you also for the genuine gift of love that you have shared with us!

  11. Evita,
    How’s it going in CA? During the last few years my mom had many people taking care of her in the nursing facility. The entire staff found her to be a joy. However, my sister who lives nearby told me of one person, Dana, who took the time to curl my mom’s hair, apply blush and clip on her earrings everyday.

    She also told me, Dana, has four boys and is a single mom. As a mother of four with a helping husband life was difficult as a mother. I know Dana doesn’t get paid much over minimum wage.

    Today we sent her a check for purchasing something extra for herself and family. We
    stopped putting up Christmas decorations years ago. Two years ago we told our adult children we wouldn’t be gifting them anymore and asked that they stop gifting us. This puts love in the fore front.

    The best way I know to influence others is to lead by example. Like Simon I would like the holidays to be about love. We can all use an overabundance of that! Love to you and Sandra.

  12. Hi Tess,

    What a magnificent and touching example! My goodness Tess, your gesture says so much about what we as humans are capable of, when we act from a heart-centered approach – a place of pure love.

    Thank you for sharing also your personal choices when it comes to celebrating the holidays, and I agree too that this is a perfect time to show our overabundance of love! It comes with no bills, no debts and is always available to all, making none feel less worthy, or less well off.

    As for California, it is great, thank you for asking 🙂

  13. Hi Sandra .. good to see Evita here .. life at this time of year should be care and concern for others .. peace and blessings surrounding us all .. radiating our love for others .. with thoughts and a snowy hug! to everyone .. Hilary

    • Hi Hilary,

      Beautifully put Hilary – when we radiate love, care and concern for others and for ourselves, our world transforms into a beautiful and magical place. And that can take place at this time, and always.

      We can create a beautiful world of love every day 🙂

  14. “View, Intention, Speech and Action” … beautiful, empowering, and so true!

  15. Excellent post. I think it is so sad that the suicide rate goes up so dramatically during the holiday season. People get so out of mindfulness and get swept up in everything else, and it can be overwhelming.

    I don’t really celebrate any holidays, but this post is applicable to any day, not just a holiday. Thanks so much.

    • Hi Joshua

      Yes, I think too many of us get so wrapped up in expectations and idealistic views of how the holidays “should be” that a lot of unhappiness and dissatisfaction sets in. We forget who we are, what life is all about and then act in various unconscious ways.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and feedback – I really appreciate it 🙂

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