Emptying Yourself This Holiday Season

A New Christmas Practice

emptyingTen years ago, during my studies for a theological degree at a Catholic university, a very interesting word became a part of my vocabulary. Its meaning was well-known to me – emptying – but the beauty of the word made me pay way more attention. “Kenosis” came to have special meaning for the many years following. To this day it is something that has become a habit, even though there are times that I must admit to resisting.

The word, as described by an online source,  means “In Christian theology, kenosis (Greek: κένωσις, kénōsis, lit. emptiness) is the ‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will.” Anyone who reads this blog with any frequency will know that we do not proselytize. What we do is to lay a buffet of ideas, thoughts, perspectives and even stories and invite you our readers to come and take whatever you want or need. If nothing interests you, that too is okay. This conversation on emptying is a post-series one, as we ended an emptiness series last month, but it is also relevant to the holiday season. I will explain how in a bit.

Emptying Versus Emptiness

Kenosis is unlike the emptiness discussed in the series as then we were covering the issues of:

christmasAs I have stated on my Facebook page, debates about the reason or meaning of the (Christmas) season is not one that I am going to engage in. In last week’s roundup post, my current understanding and how Christmas is lived out in my life was clearly stated: “In my books, Christmas is way more about fostering that spirit of welcome, helping others to give birth to their best selves, giving and sharing.” Read the full post here and share your thoughts in the comments below it.

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Now days away from Christmas, the question and challenges of self-emptying arose. I wondered about all the people who observe the season as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus – to whatever degree that they do. I also wondered about the people who will not be with their families, however large or small, this Christmas. After all, it is a time like no other that highlights the joys of being in the cradle of family. The commercialization of Christmas has been debated forever. I am not necessarily joining in on that. It is hard though not to consider how many celebrating, shopping, decorating and making meals have or will stop to think that Jesus was more about emptying himself to the will of his Source and not filling up on the luxuries of his time.

Self-Emptying – A Daily Practice

If you are one of the millions who has a “reason for the season,” my question to you is – “Does that reason include emptying yourself of stuff, negative thoughts, greed of any kind, and feelings of hatred?” As I write this, my thoughts are focussed on my life and how I have celebrated the last few Christmases and how this one will be observed. Will I be emptying myself and being in the service of what is sacred to me?

Self-emptying is not just something we do once and forget about it. The idea of letting go, which is another way of speaking of emptying, is a subject important to us here that we have a section dedicated to it. Check it out for the collection of posts and infographics we have on letting go, emptying and living life to the fullest.

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emptyingThat is exactly what emptying does actually – allow you to fill up on life. While shopping, decorating, giving and receiving gifts at Christmas are wonderful activities that brings much pleasure to both you and those receiving your generosity, if done with a heart that is self-serving and/or caught up with worrying about the bills after Christmas  – what is the point?

So, my challenge to you this year, over the next few days and beyond – whether you are Christian or hold some other belief – try emptying yourself of all the:

  1. “Must do’s” because it’s Christmas
  2. “Have to get” because it’s on sale
  3. “House has to be totally renovated before family comes over so they see we are doing okay!”
  4. “Will serve only the best meats and delicacies for dinner to impress everyone that we are bountiful”
  5. “That outfit is a must if they are to see my beauty!”

emptyingHow about doing as some interpret Jesus to have done and emptying yourself of the need to bedazzle others this holiday season? Withdraw your luminosity (brightness, brilliance, greatness) from grandiose public display and instead let your Light shine within and serve to brighten the life of others either gathered around your table or as you meet them along the way this Christmas?

Could you do that? How do you see yourself doing that in practical terms? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below and do consider joining this community to take part in conversations not had here, as well as receive my monthly newsletter that includes an affirmation poster. Be sure to also follow me on Twitter as well as like my Facebook page and receive more posts, inspiration and thought-provoking quotes throughout the day.

Be blessed and be a blessing this and everyday!


Claudette P. Esterine

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39 thoughts on “Emptying Yourself This Holiday Season

  1. This is definitely something hard to do. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for visiting! 🙂

  2. I like the idea of emptying. I think it’s so important to open ourselves up to something greater!

    1. Ms Claudette

      I would have to agree with you on that! 🙂 Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  3. I think it’s important to do this. Emptying yourself, so you can welcome the new year with a new outlook. Cheers!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Absolutely! Cheers! 🙂

  4. It makes me emotional while reading your post. I’m teary eye on the part where it says losing someone you love.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Not our intention to make you cry but if it heals or helps you in whatever we, we are happy that you visited it! Thanks so much. 🙂

  5. Agree… its very important to emptying ourselves this holiday season. Start new!

    1. Ms Claudette

      New Year, new You! 🙂

  6. Letting go of someone or something that hurts us is a great achievement for me, ‘coz its not really easy lo let go but I should do. Thanks for sharing this awesome post.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome! I do hope you have success in as you continue to “let go.”

  7. I think this is a wonderful idea, to let ourselves shine from within during the holiday season. Every year it’s kind of like we get a reboot and this is the perfect time to work on ourselves 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      It absolutely is the perfect time to do some inner work – home for the holidays, steal a few minutes or hours to yourself to do the work. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  8. I guess I liken this to living in the moment and finding total joy in everything you do in every day. I’m definitely trying to do this over the season this year.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Please keep us posted on how that works for you, Liz. 🙂

  9. i have never considered that emptying yourself allows you to fill up on life. i love that. i think a lot of people could use some emptying during this time of year where we are constantly told to fill up with more

    1. Ms Claudette

      Well I am most certainly glad to have provided some food for thought. Namaste 🙂

  10. Elizabeth O.

    This is very well said. It would definitely be nice to do some emptying this season, at least before the New Year comes so we can welcome it with a brand new perspective!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, it would be nice to empty ourselves of much of what did not “work” in 2015 in order to fill up with what just might in 2016. Thanks for dropping by Elizabeth! 🙂

  11. I love your challenge to us, it makes me motive this coming Christmas, I will do your challenge.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Please let me know how it goes for you! Namaste. 🙂

  12. With Christ we are emptied of negativity and filled with Joy more easily. Joy to you this season…it’s a choice…a calling..a gift. 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      Not everyone is a Christian so there must be other ways others have been “emptying” themselves. Thanks for visiting.

      1. Oh yes I agree. I was speaking for myself.:)

  13. I like the philosophy behind this post. Sometimes it is painful for me to let go but I feel that it is often the best thing to do to empty away your negativity.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am glad that it resonated with you Ana! 🙂

  14. I like the letting go part. We need to let go of things that are hurting us.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Absolutely Tara, absolutely – no matter who or what it is.

  15. dltolley

    I find the best way – for me – to empty myself of negativity is to go out and serve someone. It’s hard to be thinking of oneself when one is already filled with thoughts of others! 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      Amen Diane, amen! When I was at my lowest of low, I sunk further as I wallowed in self pity. As soon as I got my Behind moving and went out to serve – that’s when my spirit lifted! 🙂

  16. I don’t think your site likes me because this is the second time I wrote what I considered a great post and it just disappeared. I will attempt to recreate this…LOLROTF….I was saying that I practice emptying myself of negative thoughts on a very regular basis. Sometimes some things can take more effort than some BUT this is a philosophy that I live by and will continue to live by it. You may have figured that out however by my favourite statements #keepitmoving and #movingrightalong. Nobody is going to keep me in that pla ce…I made a promise to myself a long time ago…So people, thoughts…as long as they are negative, I stay away from them.

    1. Ms Claudette

      LOL! When you write mini-novels it will shut down! That’s why you and I get along so well – virtually, from a distance – because that is a lesson that I commit to everyday, staying away from stress and those who bring it. Thanks for recreating your mini-novel!!! LOL

  17. shoppingduck

    Great explanation of emptying. It is really hard to do at the holiday season!

    1. Ms Claudette

      It is especially hard but not impossible…baby steps, perhaps?

  18. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I really need to get better about letting go. I think it would be good for me.

    1. Ms Claudette

      It is good for all of us! 🙂 Check out our letting go section for some guides if you need support. 🙂

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