The holiday season is upon us! Which means… stress! Frustration! Family arguments! But, does it really have to be that way? Nope! In today’s video, I share 6 LOA strategies that will not only help you survive the holiday season, but actually enjoy it.
Coaching Call #341 is out! The topic of this week’s call is: Why Does She Feel That She Doesn’t Belong Here?
This caller feels that she hasn’t fully committed herself to being here – not fully committed to being who she really is. All her life, she’s felt like she’s had one foot in this world, and one foot out of it. This feeling of not really being here has, from a very young age, manifested itself into illnesses including panic attacks, anxiety, body image issues and emotional issues. She knows that life is a game, and that we choose to come here and play, but what she doesn’t understand is at what point did she make the choice to not really commit to being here, in the incarnation of herself. And, the reason she wants to understand this is, because, now, she’s ready to made a change and create a better reality for herself.
Is there a difference between who we really are, and who we are on this earth? What decisions did she make regarding her starting point after being born? Can she release the fears that have been with her all her life and create the reality she wants?
The holiday season is upon us and with that comes a ton of stress. So, what I’ve got for you today are 6 strategies, LOA strategies on how to survive the holidays. So, your very own LOA holiday survival guide.
I’ve got 6 strategies to help you overcome the holidays, or help you survive the holidays. This can be a very stressful time of year – what with family coming in, which means that we’re going to be triggered in ways that we’re not normally triggered. Maybe these are things that only our family members can bring out in us that nobody else does, which is infinitely valuable, but also infinitely frustrating and annoying. So, here are my 6 strategies for helping you to survive the holidays.
#1 You’re going to be triggered
The first strategy is really to understand that you’re going to be triggered. You are going to be triggered. You’re getting together with your family, and even if everything goes super smooth, there’s going to be one or two things, possibly a lot more, that are going to trigger you. Maybe in a big way, maybe in a very subtle way, depending on how much you’ve cleaned up, but your family always has a way of getting to those little corners, pushing those buttons that you didn’t even know that you had, and in a way that other people can’t.
So, you have to accept the fact that you’re going to get triggered. Now, what helps a lot is if you know how to work with those triggers, when you know how to work with your energy. When you’re able to then actually put a pin in it, take a look at it and get the benefit from figuring out what was actually being triggered within you. Maybe your passive aggressive aunt said something to you, or the grandmother, or the family friend, or the kids; whatever, and they’ve made you feel bad in some way. You want to be able to take a look at that and actually understand what it is that this was really about. Understanding the trigger is just a representation, it’s not really about the person that said something. It’s not even really about what they said – it’s what it caused you to have a reaction to. That’s the real trigger. What are you really reacting to? And that requires a little bit of soul searching; a little bit of sitting with it. And of course, all of the techniques that I teach in how to actually shift that energy so that you can get the benefit from those triggers. But, even if you don’t, if you just acknowledge the fact that this isn’t really about them, and it’s not really about your relationship with them; it’s about what that moment is evoking in you. And, you just ask yourself, when you have a quiet moment, you feel into the feeling that you really felt, you’re going to get more data, which is going to give you more clarity on what this is really about. And, often times, that clarity can be enough to create a shift.
So, understand you’re going to be triggered, don’t be afraid of it, expect it to a certain degree, and don’t fall apart because of it. Understand that it’s a representation of something deeper. This is how you take responsibility – not blame – responsibility for your own energy during the holidays. And, if you can do that, you are going to survive – not just survive it, but actually thrive during the holidays.
#2 Pre-pave the experience
So, the second tip that I have for you is to pre-pave the experience. And, what that means (pre-paving means) is, you take some time before you go over to your family’s house, or before they come to your house, whatever the situation is, and really spend some time thinking about it in a positive way. See it going well. Because, what you’re almost certainly doing, especially if you’re feeling a sense of dread of any kind about the holidays, is you are picturing it happening, but you’re picturing it happening in a negative way. You might not be conscious of that, you might not be doing that on purpose at all; you’re probably not doing it on purpose – why would you? You might not even be conscious of it, but if you’re feeling that dread, that’s letting you know that you are focusing on your future in a way that is negative. You’re seeing it going badly. “Oh, I bet that person’s going to do that again. And, Auntie whatever isn’t going to bring the pie. And, they’re going to say this, and they’re going to attack each other.” And, you’re already pre-paving that experience. You’re locking yourself into a reality that’s not going to go well. And, what you want to do is: Choose a reality that does go well. So, give yourself some time before you go in, and actually see it going well, and feel it going well. And of course, if in the course of doing that you start to notice that you can’t seem to see it going well, then that’s something that you need to address. Like, why not? What’s the problem?
So, take some time beforehand. This is such a simple and easy thing to do and most people skip this step, and it’s so important, and it’s so helpful, and it’s so effective. That doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get triggered – remember point # 1 – you’re probably still going to get triggered, but it means that you’re actually doing your best to line up with an energy where things are smooth and they go well, rather than a reality where things are not going to go well for sure because that’s what you focused upon.
So, take a little bit of time before you go into that environment with your family, and see it going really well, until you ideally get to a place where you’re actually looking forward to it because you’re seeing it going so well that now you’re exciting. And that’s when you know you’ve got it.
The third tip I have for you is to simplify! Stop holding to traditions that you don’t give a crap about, that maybe nobody in your family gives a crap about. Or maybe, one person in your family gives a crap about, but they’re not the ones doing all the work. They’re the ones maybe saying, “We have to do this, and we have to do that.” Why do we have to do this and that? You can question it. I’ve gotten rid of tons of holiday traditions that were really well steeped in my family because we just kind of realized that they didn’t make any sense to us anymore. We didn’t really care about them, and they just created a ton of work.
So, if you can stop doing those things, maybe family traditions, maybe some religion traditions that you don’t really hold to anymore, maybe just some things that you decided that you have to do because, well, that’s just what you have to do at the holidays. For example: “If I invite people over to my house, I have to clean every last bit of the house, even the things that no-one’s going to see, because, otherwise, it’s not acceptable.” If you have that belief, maybe think about letting that shit go and doing what’s absolutely necessary, so that you feel comfortable. But maybe not making – the attic has to be clean, even though no-one’s going to go up there – a pre-requisite to being able to allow people into your house and feel comfortable about it.
Take a look at these things – what are you doing that you don’t want to do. Stop doing the shit that you don’t want to do! Boil it down to the things that are truly important to you and your family, and just do that. You’ll have a much easier time; you’ll have a much less stressful time, which means that it’s also going to be a lot easier for you to be calm and happy, and a happy shiny puppy during the holiday season.
#4 Notice when you’re feeling bad
# 4 is – this goes along with # 1 – notice when you’re not feeling good. Notice when something doesn’t make you feel good, and don’t just put up with it. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean scream down your family member. It means you have to take a moment to sit with it, and go into it, and finally realize what is it about, and then react to it in a way that is appropriate. We’ll talk about that in step #5. But, react to it in a way that is appropriate, which means, sometimes, you might need to just leave the room for a minute, calm down, and figure out what is really going on here. Sometimes, you’re going to need to set a boundary – we’ll talk about that in a second. Sometimes, you’re going to need to walk away – that’s going to be step #6. Sometimes, you might need to address it; you might need to confront.
So, I’m going to use a really, really extreme example here that probably isn’t that extreme, depending on what family you have. But, let’s say that, you’re sitting around, you’ve had a beautiful dinner, you’re all having a great time. And then the weird uncle you have makes some racist remark. Your first inclination might be to go: “Just let it go because he doesn’t know any better. There’s nothing to be done, and I don’t want to ruin this good time for everyone. Even though he just ruined the good time for everyone by making a racist remark, and making everybody uncomfortable.” And, maybe in that moment you actually want to say, “Hey listen! You know, if you’re going to be here amongst us, in this house, we don’t speak that way.” That would be setting a boundary, for example, which is step #5.
#5 Set boundaries
You’re going to have to start to learn setting some boundaries. And family challenge us to do that in a way that nobody else does. They will step all over our boundaries in a way that nobody else will. Even when we’ve gotten great at setting boundaries, often our family can still slide in under the radar a little bit, and show us where we still have gaps that we might need to address.
So, it is perfectly alright for you to set a boundary. But I want to point out to you that there’s a big difference between setting a boundary and trying to control others. And often, we swap into control. Which, like with the racist uncle, you don’t want to start talking to him about how racist he is, and how he shouldn’t have those views. Because quite frankly, that’s going to end up in a fight and you’re just trying to change his mind, which you’re not going to do from that point of view anyway. You’re not going to change somebody’s mind by attacking them or shaming them. It just doesn’t work! Try it! It really, really doesn’t work! But what you can do is set a boundary, which means, the difference between control and boundary is: Control is – “You don’t get to do that.” Boundary is – “You don’t get to do that and still play with me. So, if you want to be in my house, if you want to play with me, if you want to have conversations with me, then don’t do that. If you want to continue doing that, that’s great, but then, it’s not going to be with me. In this house we don’t do that.”
And, you can say that nicely, but you want to say it firmly because you really want to set a boundary. And, when you’re setting a boundary, you have to be clear on what that boundary is, so this is where we go back to step #4, where you have to get clear on what it is that’s really bothering you. What is it that you really want in that situation; what’s the outcome? And, that requires a little bit of soul searching. “What boundary do I really want to set? What is really bothering me here? Is it bothering me that he’s racist and that people like that shouldn’t exist?” Which, that’s a control issue; you’re not going to be able to change who he is. But what you can do is – change the interaction that you will allow in your home or in your playground. Which also means that if you’re at somebody else’s house, and you can’t set the rules in that house, but you can say, “Look, if you want me to stay, then here’s what’s going to need to happen.” Which gives them the opportunity to say no. But it also means that if somebody doesn’t want to respect your boundary, and you’re in a situation where you’ve come to an impasse, then you can walk away.
#6 Remember: You can always walk away
You can always walk away. If you’re in your own home, you can go to the next room, you can walk around the block; you can walk away from that situation. If you’re being triggered and you don’t know how to react, and you don’t know what’s going on and you feel the chaos of that, walk away; walk away for a few minutes. Take yourself away from the situation; get a breather, take a beat and kind of listen to what’s really going on. Or, put a pin in it and say, “I will deal with this later, because right now’s not convenient for me.” That’s ok too. You can mentally walk away, you can check out, or you can physically walk away. If you’re at someone’s house, do not put convention or politeness above how you feel. Just walk away from that person. Walk away from that situation; even if you don’t walk away from them forever, in that moment you walk way. Give yourself permission to always make that an option if it really comes down to it where you just can’t seem to do this, and you’re really uncomfortable. Rather than holding yourself in a position where you’re really uncomfortable, take care of yourself and walk away so that you can, at least, feel a bit better.
But always remember that if you pre-pave your experience beforehand you’re going to iron out a lot of things. If you understand the value of a trigger, you’re not going to be personally offended by having been triggered. So, it’s going to be a lot easier to deal with. If you take a moment to just step away and figure out what’s really going on, then you can set the boundary that you really want to set. If you’re not already forcing yourself to do a bunch of stuff that you don’t really want to do, you’re also not going to be as resentful to begin with, which means, it’s not going to be as easy to trigger you. And, it’s going to be much easier for you to have a good time. And, if it really is impossible, or if somebody’s being a real dick, and you just don’t want to put up with it, you can always walk away. If you can’t make yourself feel good in the moment, walk away until you can.
I know that this was all about surviving some of the negatives, but remember that #2, step #2 was to pre-pave the experience. So let’s do that together for a second as I wish you a wonderful, an incredibly productive, but also, incredibly relaxing, and lovely, and love-filled holiday season that you cannot just survive, but actually enjoy.
I wish you all the best, all the love – I’ve got one more video for you this year, it’s coming up next week. And, until then, I wish you, just smooshy, smooshy, smooshy hugs, and thank you for bringing your light to the world.