As I was chatting with one of the most optimistic, passionate lovers of life I know, from her mouth came the words: “Now begins the Annual Sh*tshow.  Between Thanksgiving and December 31st, everyone will meet their match.”

Huh. And Yes. And WHY?

Reality First: Most of us will find ourselves at dinner tables with family members who are ninja button pushers, children who are over-sugared and under-slept, and life partners who fail to read into our soul’s code to understand our angst without us saying a word.

And, as with all moments, we have choice.

Why do we enter with the prefabricated idea that we’ll have to bite our tongues to tolerate Aunt Millie’s political references and Grandpa Joe’s religious intolerance? Why do we worry about finding the most sensational gifts and “getting it perfect?” (whatever “it” is).  And as importantly… What’s the cost?

You do your own math, but I think we can agree the cost falls in the “HIGH” category.

And we WANT to have amazing experiences, connection, and growth with our loved ones. So what can we do?

4 Tips:

  1. Commit to Authenticity:  So many of our interactions feel like a selfie… a beautiful but manufactured presentation intended to reinforce an idealized image of the roles we believe we are expected to play. Yes… wear that outfit you feeling stunning in, but also adorn yourself with the self confidence to BE YOU UNABASHEDLY.
  2. Give yourself what you crave: The holiday season encounters its first kink when our interactions are preheated with expectation, and perfection and ego are baked into our self-presentation. All of this roots to an unconscious need to be accepted, loved, or respected. Actively giving yourself this gift is both juicy and resilient. This is a moment by moment practice.
  3. Lead With Love:  While we might be the lone advocate for “you be you and I’ll be me” around the turkey or lentil stew, what if you led by this example?   Because really…. Who cares if Aunt Millie has arcane ideas on gun control?  She’d give you the shawl off her back if you needed it, and she isn’t going to change. She’s 85 for Goddess’ Sake.  Just hug her.
  4. Be Present: That perfect gift you killed yourself finding for your daughter or son?  It’s probably the wrong color and even if it’s a squeal in delight smashing success, they will be unable to name it when the next holiday rolls around. They will; however, remember if you were present, connected, and engaged.

By the way – I find a practice of  20 minutes of meditation makes all dinner table discussions more fluid.

My Love & Gratitude,

Laura

 

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