I love what Spiritual Teacher, Ram Dass has to say on the matter of family — “If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.”
The holiday season is filled with whimsical splendour, warmth, and laughter. But it can also trigger old emotional wounds that resurface right at the dinner table.
Family relationships can be our greatest teachers, and used as a barometer to test our personal growth.
Like that distant cousin of yours that lives in an 80′s time machine, and enjoys using you’re not-so-finest moments as a conversation piece with the family.
Or how about that lovely sister-in-law of yours that constantly grills you about your personal life.
It can be a rather fun-filled, button-pushing kinda holiday, pulling you right back to old memories and stunting your growth if you’re not armed with love, forgiveness, and grace.
So what do you do when the family member that you love so dearly blurts out something that triggers you deeply, and you can almost feel the steam rising to the surface?
Here are 5 practical, spiritual tips for an open hearted, harmonious holiday:
1) Allow people to be who they are.
This is one of the wisest, most loving things that you can possibly do for yourself and the other person. Acknowledge that this person is on their own path, having their own experience. It doesn’t, in any way have to match yours, nor should it affect you in any way. Give them the full forum to express themselves without restriction, and you’ll be amazed at how freeing this will be for both of you.
2) Your job is not to fix people, it’s to love them.
We are often compelled to fix someone when they say or do something that is not in keeping with the way we like things to be. Sometimes we don’t realize that it’s not our job. Our job is to simply love them for who they are. No one enjoys being evaluated, and one of the best gifts that we can give someone is acceptance.
3) Preserve your peace by putting a lid on it.
Sometimes it’s just best to put a lid on it and not say anything at all. Wisdom is knowing that there is a time and a place, and not every comment requires a rapid-fire response. A reaction riddled with anger only adds to the fire of the situation and completely robs you of your power and your peace.
4) Refrain from taking things personally.
When judgments are made, it’s easy to become overly sensitive, and take yourself way too seriously. By learning not to take things so personally, it becomes less about you, and more about shifting the attention to what’s really important – a moment to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.
5) Humour, and lots of it!
Be silly, please! Laughter is contagious. No one enjoys being around a party-pooper. Be engaging, pull out a joke or two. A good belly laugh can heal a rather, tense situation and become one heck of a peace treaty. Smile, allow yourself to have fun, and more importantly, savor the moment.
Let this be your guide, and you’ll not only survive, but thrive this holiday season.
Now over to you, have you got any techniques that you’d like to share with the rest of us on how to squash family conflict with grace over the holiday season?
OR, need advice?
Do share your heartfelt thoughts and Comments with the community on the blog, and I’ll be sure to Reply.
As always, I’d love to hear from you!
The word alone can make people cringe.
Let’s face it, no one likes their cushy, comfortable life, or routine being shaken up.
To be honest, the thought of change makes my hidden OCD-tendencies rear an ugly head on occasion.
We all like to feel like we’ve got a hold of things, that we’ve got things under control.
Predictable feels safe, reliable, measurable, and secure. However, sometimes change is necessary for your evolution where you’re being pushed to expand.
I’ve been through several changes in my life and every single time I felt some form of discomfort because it’s natural to feel that way. The reality is, if you’re not feeling occasional discomfort, you’re just not growing or living for that matter.
Here are a couple of Universal signs to be mindful of when change is imminent in your life:
1) Loss of enthusiasm.
There are always moments when people plateau and lose enthusiasm however, there is a threshold point of no return where you just lose that loving feeling. When this happens it’s a clear indication that it’s time to switch things up. One of the quickest ways of changing the dance so to speak, is by changing your every day routine in order to adjust. Try taking another route into the office, get up earlier, go to bed earlier, switch your workout routine etc. By making these small incremental changes, you will strengthen your adaptability muscles for bigger changes.
2) You’re experiencing an inordinate amount of resistance.
Life has it’s fair share of struggles, that’s just how we grow. However, I’m talking about an inordinate amount of resistance, like when weird stuff starts happening that just doesn’t make sense. The kind that feels like you’re trying to squeeze a square into a circle. At some point, you have to make peace with the truth of the moment, surrender, go back to the drawing board and have a look at the blueprint and see if you need to take a different approach or path. It’s the small changes that can make the biggest difference.
3) You’re not growing.
When you feel stagnated, constricted, and under-utilized.
When you feel this deep yearning to unleash something within yourself (even if you don’t know what that is). We are all designed to creatively express ourselves fully and serve humanity in various forms. These are indicators that suggest it’s time to expand, and that it’s time to make a change, even if you don’t know how.
Change can be scary for many however, if you are willing to take the first step and make a decision, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that will open up to you.
Now your turn:
Do you feel like you need a change in your life?
If so, do share your heartfelt thoughts with the community on the blog so that we can support you.
Change my dear friends is certain and necessary for your soul’s evolution.
Embrace it, stay open and allow life to miraculously unfold to higher levels.
I once worked with a client that had a turbulent relationship for many years.
While speaking with her, we brought up the dynamics of her parents, as this often forms our beliefs about partnership on an unconscious level.
It was revealed that her mother was overly giving to her father in the sense of martyrdom; to the point of neglecting her own needs, which often left her feeling resentful and her father stifled. Her mother had manifested in the form of her husband.
Through her inner work, she realized that this unconscious programming of her mother/father relationship dynamic had become her marriage.
It was illusionary and co-dependant in nature, and not a real, romantic partnership of two whole people, loving and supporting each other.
We often re-create and manifest these types of relationships in our lives unconsciously, out of no fault of our own due to past conditioning because it feels familiar.
This can create an unstable foundation, which is fear based, and often leads to a lot of pain and suffering because the relationship is defined by how it feeds the wounded self.
In extreme cases, this could also affect one’s health and have a spiral affect in other areas of a person’s life.
The whole person is full of love, and gives unconditionally with no hidden agenda. They love, just because. This is divine love.
When we have the courage to examine our relationships from an internal standpoint, it will reveal if our relationships are authentic and true.
Brokenness attracts co-dependant, illusionary, relationships where both people are seeking love outside of themselves.
This can often lead to unhealthy attachments that requires either healing or cord-cutting at some point in order for both individuals to learn, grow and evolve.
True love is the opposite, it wants to give wholeheartedly with no demands. There are no expectations, because each person is whole.
The relationship is equal, complements one another and ultimately integrates into divine union.
Relationships are probably one of our greatest divine assignments in life in learning how to love and accept ourselves in totality.
While there are no mistakes, only lessons in life, I believe that the key to attracting healthy relationships is by becoming whole yourself which means loving, accepting and integrating all parts of yourself.
And when two whole people come together, that’s where the magic happens.
Does this post resonate with your heart?
I’d love to hear from you!
Please share your heartfelt thoughts on the blog with the rest of the community and I’ll be sure to reply.
To loving, healthy relationships.