Many people believe that holidays are a time to do whatever they want. This is certainly true, however holidays also provide a reminder of a deeper and often forgotten personal and spiritual freedom, a reminder that even though life can pose significant challenges, you can be free at all times, and with the realisation of freedom every day becomes a Holy Day.
As relating to everyday life, freedom means doing whatever you want for yourself and for others, while observing a loving and lawful attitude. A lawful attitude is very simple because it is based in love. It means respecting the life, liberty and property of other human beings. And this mutual respect forms the foundation of freedom in material life.
In spiritual life freedom means abiding in awareness unconditioned by thoughts. Awareness is essentially free of thought. It doesn't depend on any thought for its existence, whereas thoughts and emotions depend on awareness for their existence. This is the freedom of being able to put aside thinking in the same way that a craftsman lays aside a tool. Yet the capacity to pick up or put down a tool doesn't make one a skilled craftsman. Nor does the capacity to stop thinking make one a skilled thinker. On Holy Days you also have the opportunity to examine the mind and it's capacity for generating fear, anxiety and conflict when it is not used skilfully.
Love and freedom are inversely proportional to fear and anxiety. Fear indicates that you are losing sight of love. Anxiety indicates that you are losing sight of freedom. Many people falsely believe that fear is a necessary protective reaction. This is not so. Real protective and defensive reactions happen so quickly that you don't have time to think or fear.
Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.
Anxiety is a symptom of learned powerlessness, of conditioned helplessness in the face of fear. It is a feedback loop consisting of a stimulus that evokes fear followed by a sense of helplessness to resolve or avoid the situation. After many such feedback cycles the undercurrent of anxiety will remain with you in many if not all situations. In other words, if you can't fix or flee a situation and you are forced to remain in the situation then you will develop anxiety. Yet you might unknowingly have the power to be free by gaining insights, learning new skills, changing how you think, making different choices, and taking responsibility.
What good is a holiday if anxiety goes with you? Unfortunately many people return from holidays more tired and stressed than when they left.
So what is the key difference between a holiday and a Holy Day? A holiday is a Holy Day whose meaning has been lost. A Holy Day is any day lived without fear, without coersion, a day lived in loving freedom, unconditioned by dysfunctional thoughts. Imagine a day where every thought, word and action is a meditation, and a gift of grace. Holy Days remind us that peace, love and freedom are ever present. I wish you now and at all times, Happy Holy Days!