Tips for the Holidays – Family and Presence

Thanksgiving family

Credit: Flickr.com/Louish Pixel

“If you have been doing inner work for some time, a visit with your family is an excellent opportunity to discover how well you have done. You will easily identify the areas where you have made significant progress. You will also see where your weaknesses still lie…

The relationship with your parents is not only the primordial relationship hat sets the tone for all subsequent relationships, it is also a good test for your degree of Presence. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.

Many who are on a path of awakening choose to avoid contact with their parents or family members. This can be helpful, if the intentions are truly good and not a pattern of avoidance.

As you spend time with your family, don’t expect that you will be the perfect embodiment of all you have learned and integrated. You will be put to the test day after day, moment by moment. This is normal. You will gain the most from this experience if you don’t take it too seriously, if you don’t create impossible standards for your conduct of behavior, if you try so hard to be Present and Still that you behave like a robot, if you withdraw into a cocoon of self-protection, or if you blame your family members for every little imperfect act from the past that harmed you in some way.

Instead, and above all, choose to relax, reduce your expectations for what may or may not happen, expect little skirmishes, disagreements, moments of humility or failure, and the distance you may feel with your family as a whole, knowing that you are trying to move beyond the ego patterns that have been impediments to your soul and that they care less about ego and Presence and even Truth.

Love and accept them where they’re at. Have compassion for their pain. Be observant while being engaged as guilelessly as possible. Watch yourself and your reactions, out of curiosity, not judgment or blame, but for the benefit of learning how and where you’re really at in your spiritual evolution.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

 

To read the full article follow this link.

 

* Stressed For the Holidays

Want more stress in your life? These are my lucky 13 tips guaranteed to make you stressed out and miserable in time for the Holidays.

holiday stress

Rosemarie Gearhart via Getty Images

  1. Strive for perfection in everything you do. Have faith that the smallest imperfection or oversight results in complete and utter failure.
  2. Always compare yourself to others. Look for where you don’t measure up and remind yourself daily.
  3. Surround yourself with negative people. Aggressive people who constantly criticize you, are a great way to focus on your failings and keep you miserable.
  4. Aim to spend at least 20% more than your income. A must for the Holiday season!
  5. Shop at peak times. Always wait to the day before the holiday to buy food. In supermarkets hold your ground in the “less than 10 items” line!stressful holiday shopping
  6. Remember your failures. Keep a failures log. Frequently go over your many occasions of incompetence.
  7. Breathe in “I feel grumpy”
    Breathe out “I feel tense”
    Breathe in “I am stupid”
    Breathe out “I fail at everything I do”
  8. Win at all costs, especially when you are in the wrong. Remember there is never justification for compromise. Bully and ridicule the other person in defeat until they admit fault.
  9. With your partner, make up a list of each other’s bad habits. Pin a weekly wall chart up to see who can add up the most irritating things about the other person. Go over the list on anniversaries and birthdays.
  10. Avoid vacations. If you do go away, do your duty and visit relatives. Always make sure the office can reach you quickly. Take your computer, cell and your admin’s home telephone number – in case you don’t hear from her or there’s no wifi.work stress
  11. Always over promise and under deliver. Say yes to everything. Commit yourself to impossible time lines. Of course, remember to do it all by yourself.
  12. Suffer in silence. Gain the maximum stress from a problem by trying to deal with it entirely on your own and always keep your worries to yourself.
  13. Dismiss other people’s offers of help. Show the world how independent you are. This is especially worthwhile when you are unwell. Always show up to work with a virus! The more unwell you feel, the more stoic you must be. Success is in complete physical and mental breakdown… and spreading the joy with colleagues.

To find happiness, review the above and do the opposite.

* 5 Tips for Finding Your Middle Ground in the Holidays

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for feeling gratitude and sharing with loved ones … and it can also bring a lot of stress and unresolved family issues. Here are 5 tips that may help you find balance over the Holidays.
Val x

Find Your Middle Ground

One of the biggest stress makers during the Holidays is when you spend an extended length of time with your family. Here are 5 tips for finding your Middle Ground … and feeling more balanced this year.

Let’s face it, spending 24-7 with anyone can be stressful, so here is some wisdom to help you make it through this year with less drama, tears and opening of old wounds.

perfect thanksgiving family

1. Lower your expectations. This isn’t the movies, this is real life. And life has its ups and downs! We may put a lot of work into the decorations, food and the family setting to make it look perfect, but it can it really be like in the movies? Accept that there will be emotional baggage being brought into the house and through the Holidays. When we recognize that, we can think about how we want to handle it –…

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Surviving the Holidays

One of the biggest stress makers during the Holidays is when you spend an extended length of time with your family. Here are 5 tips for finding your Middle Ground … and feeling more balance this year.

perfect thanksgiving family

Let’s face it, spending 24-7 with anyone can be stressful, so here is some wisdom to help you make it through this year with less drama, tears and opening of old wounds.

1. Lower your expectations. This isn’t the movies, this is real life. And life has its ups and downs! We may put a lot of work into the decorations, food and the family setting to make it look perfect, but it can it really be like in the movies? Accept that there will be emotional baggage being brought into the house and through the Holidays. When we recognize that, we can think about how we want to handle it – before we get triggered. So reset your expectations and accept the reality that things don’t always go the way you planned them or hoped for.

2. Let it go. Have you ever noticed that you end up having the same argument or rehashing old sore points year after year? It’s time to let it go. This is not the time to get into an argument wishing your mother would not interfere in the kitchen. She will. Let her. It’s what she has always done, so be kind and let her feel useful.  This year resolve not to get sucked in. If your brother, sister, cousin, father, daughter or son  has a tried and true aggravating behavior … take a moment and ask yourself. Can I let this go this year? Is this truly a battle worth fighting?…. What’s more important to us as a family?

3. Be smart and be present with what you are saying and doing. Don’t over indulge as a way to escape. You can’t control other people, but you can control your own attitude and behaviors. If you want this year to be more peaceful and loving,  then take action that comes from kindness rather than being right or getting back at people! Whenever you notice you are being judgmental and critical, then take a deep breath … and choose to be kind. Resolve not to add fuel to the fire but to be the peacemaker.

take time out

4. Take a time out. If you find yourself starting to feel resentful or lashing out in your head, give yourself permission to have down time. Leave the room, take a walk, have a bath, take a nap, meditate or hit a yoga class. You need to unwind and recharge – and that’s okay. Encourage others to do the same. We all need a break from being “on” 24-7. Remember that laughter and deep breathing release dopamine and serotonin in our bloodstream and make us feel good.  Direct that pent up energy in a positive way and let it move through you!

5. Appreciate. Make a list of the positive reasons to spend the holiday with your family. There must be a reason, you show up every year! – And the family does too! Pull out the list whenever you hit a rocky moment. One thing about families is that you’ve got a long history with them, and unlike your friends, you have no choice.

On the other hand your family are just that – yours. Be grateful for them. Without them you may not be here …. and you would definitely not be the person you are today.

Resolve to let gratitude in, keep your heart open and be present.

p.s. Refer to the guide on practicing being present by clicking here.