As I thought about what I should write about this evening, I felt overwhelmed with providing the right message for this Holiday Season. What I realized is that there is no right or wrong message when it’s coming from my authentic self. I am practicing living an authentic life. I recently completed a week-long healing retreat that transformed my life and helped me to realized who I really am – I am spirit embodied. I learned so many things during this retreat that I could never put it all in one blog post. So, I decided to start with writing about feelings over the Holiday Season. As the Holiday Season approaches, many of us have mixed emotions. Some of you feel free while others feel trapped in the negative feelings that surround them this time of the year. I’m going to share information that I’ve learned over the last month. I hope it helps you have a holiday season where you can truly be YOU.
Let’s complete an exercise. Take a moment and take a three deep breathes. Place your hand(s) over your heart. Think about the upcoming Holiday Season. How does your body respond to your thoughts about being around family, spending money, hosting dinners, missing a love one who is no longer with you or being alone? Does your body have any of the following sensations?
Next, focus on how you are feeling at this moment. How often do you take out the time to notice how you are feeling? Here are some feeling categories to help you figure out what you are feeling:
Here is a link to a wheel that displays feelings that you may use to determine how you are feeling throughout your day: Feeling Wheel There are several guided visualizations on-line to help you narrow down you feeling. Here is a link on how to work through uncomfortable feelings: https://www.hoffmaninstitute.org/uncomfortable-feelings/
Now that you know how you feel about the Holidays, let’s think about how you want to feel over the Holidays. Do you want to feel relaxed, loved, connected, peace, gratitude, fulfilled, happiness, joy, excited, content, appreciative, accepting, compassion, safe, engaged, caring or present? “What do you dread most about the Holidays”? Do you dread family expectations, phony people, sadness for those who are no longer with you, thoughts of divorce, family not being together, hectic, trying to decide where to go for dinner, spending money you don’t really have, needing to please others, uncomfortable around certain family members or parties?
Now that you know how you want to feel and what gets in the way of you feeling the way you want, create a wish list of how YOU would like your Holiday Season to be. Here are some examples to help get you started: I wish for forgiveness, fun, love, non-judgment, no arguments, no hurt feelings, no discussions of pass hurts, no complaining, joy, participation, bonding and no gossiping. Review your wish list. How many of those items require others to behave a certain way? Are you expecting others to behave a certain way based on your expectations without you having told them what you expect of them. Hmmm, just let that settle. How often do we do that in our lives with our significant others, our children, friends and family? You are setting yourself up for disappointment when you put expectations on others to bring you want you want. We can’t control others, but we can control ourselves. Let’s learn some ways you can have the Holiday Season you want and when things don’t go as planned you can still be alright with it.
Tips on How to be Your Authentic Self This Holiday Season
- Stop trying to Please Everyone
- Recognize Your Limitations
- Set Boundaries
Let people know in advance what you expect i.e. No use of telephones at the dinner table; You can only go to one house on the actual Holiday but can visit the other house either the day before or after; You will not be purchasing gifts this year; I can’t do this, but I can do that
- Give Yourself a Gift – Treat Yourself
Do something YOU want to do. i.e. Go Spend the Weekend at a Bed & Breakfast; Go to a Restaurant Out of Town; Go Dancing; Spend a Day at the Spa; Have a Night with Friends; Have a Slumber Party; Have a Game Night or Go to a Broadway Play; Go to a Comedy Show;
- Love Yourself
- Be Your Authentic Self
- Speak Up (It’s ok to say NO)
- Listen to Your Body (Rest/Slow Down)
- Be Resilient/Get Centered
Way(s) to get centered – Meditation, Prayer, Hand Over Heart, Breathe, Walk in Nature, Exercise, Yoga, Talk to a Friend, Volunteer
- Let Go of Expectations of Others
- Practice Compassion
Please let us know how you plan on being your authentic self this Holiday Season.