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The Most Important VISA to Use This Holiday Season

Winter Pine Branch

This wonderful guest post from Evita Ochel at Evolving Beings was originally published on my blog last holiday season.  I felt a strong wish to share it with you once again due to its timely, helpful, and enduring message.

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.


Evita OchelAbout 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.

If this article spoke to you, please consider sharing the link with your friends.  Thanks for your support!  With love, Sandra



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  1. HI,
    As a Christian, for me the holiday is about the birth of Jesus and I try to make that my focus. Scripture talks about the wisemen bringing gifts to the child, and thus the tradition of gift-giving to those we love. I feel sad that
    our culture has allowed this whole thing to become about shopping, baking, stressing out, over-eating, over-drinking, etc. Thanks for putting things into
    perspective with your timely article!

    • Hi Ruth,

      You are most welcome and it is a pleasure to share here again on Sandra’s site 🙂

      When we keep things mindful, conscious and from the heart there can definitely be an endearing part to the holidays.

      Wonderful that you know your call at this time and keep your focus on what speaks to you the most!

  2. Evita,

    Thank you for these deep words that really give pause for thought and fuel for transformation. I do remember how much hurt came during my childhood holidays due to speech. But we can erase the past, and create new and genuine moments of holiday joy when we chose to live with awareness in the ways outlined in your post. All my love to you, Sandra

    • Dear Sandra

      It is SUCH a pleasure to share my energy in your peace and tranquil space here. You know I just LOVE the energy on your site and so it is a joy to be a part of it again 🙂

      And you are so right, we can indeed erase the past, and focus on being and the beings that we are in this moment. And if something doesn’t feel right in terms of how we think, feel or act, may we choose, especially the holidays to not mask our pain, but allow ourselves a space for healing.

      Love, light and warm hugs 🙂

  3. I love you both! I loved this article the first time around, still love it today:) A wonderful reflection that when we open our hearts and allow our truth to guide us, we may experience exactly as we wish: spirit enlivening and life enriching–regardless of external circumstances. We may model transparency to others as we choose to live our truth; as Evita mentions, we may birth new ideas, and allow this newness to transform anything “old” that no longer fits..
    This sums it up so well and is my wish for you: “Let us just remember that the holidays have as their foundation love, compassion, kindness, relaxation and fun.”….

    • And dear Joy, I know I can speak for Sandra when I say and we love you too!!!!

      One of the best gifts I ever got in my life was being able to spend the holidays with you!!!! You mirror being in the moment, being mindful and not being hypnotized by any “should’s” so well – it was one of the most refreshing holidays to date!!!!

      Thank you, and wishing you all that, which you share with the world so generously 🙂

  4. I’d pass up presents for presence. (so so sorry for that one).

    Holidays have a way of turning us on automatic, as bright lights, seasonal tunes and heavy foods inundate us from all sides.

    The good news is that it’s also an opportunity to be present under the most extreme circumstances. Think of it as cross training in the mountains where air is thin. It will be harder but the benefits can be huge.

    • Hello Jerry!

      I love that idea “presence for presents”!

      And you are so right, holidays do have a way of removing so much of our mindfulness and bringing us into a robotic mode of things we think we have to or need to do. May we instead remember to be mindful at this time, and always. It makes life so much easier and more fulfilling 🙂

  5. Very nice words and a wonderful way to think about VISA

    Thank you for sharing these great words from Evita again…well, worth it

    • Hello Patricia 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by and your comment. And for sharing in the energy of this space.

      Wishing you peace of mind, joy, health and vitality this holiday season and always!

  6. Evita – great points. Unfortunately, most retailers are probably not counting on this kind of VISA and could show up to this post in mass protest:) They would say

    V – view great gifts
    I – intend on spending more
    S – say it with your gifts and
    A – act now before the sale’s over.

    • Hi Vishnu,

      Thank you so much – and thank you for stopping by and your comment.

      And you are right… this is not the message the retailers are interested in hearing, but the acronym explanation you used instead. Well, the good news as always is that as everyone is in their personal journey of awakening and at their own pace. Those who are interested in the retailers’ VISA will use it, and those of us who are interested in a different kind of life will use the VISA I share above…or some other option altogether that resonates with them at the present time 🙂

    • You really made me laugh out loud!

  7. I remember this from last year! It made a big impression on me then, and now I am grateful for the reminder of it during this holiday season. Thanks.

    • Dear Galen,

      Thank you so much for the valuable and kind feedback. Blessings to you today and always for all that your heart and soul desire!

  8. Hi Everyone,

    It really touches my heart to hear that some of you remember this post from last year and value it so highly. Evita is such an excellent writer, but equally important her words run deep.

  9. Holiday seasons are here to bring smiles to our faces and remarkable memories.Your article is really great it also gives us what to use in our extreme circumstances.remarkable article Sandra.

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