Hints for Getting through the Holidays, Choice.

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The holidays bring up so much stuff for so many.  Thanksgiving used to be my least fave holiday.  In my memory someone was always yelling; I hated the food and the memory of this holiday became one of YUCK!  Then Marc (my boyfriend then and now my hubby) said to me “We should make Thanksgiving at my house.” It would be a great way for our families to meet.  And I was thrown back to my old memories of not liking the holiday.  As I shared my less than happy memories, I remember Marc saying to me “we can shift or change how we experience this holiday and set the tone if you are open (gotta love when my own words come back to me).  And once you’ve had my turkey, you’ll love the food.”  I was in love and coming from Marc it sounded great.  So I agreed.  That was 13 years ago.  I remember being up at 530am with Marc that day.  We were sitting on his kitchen floor in our pjs spraying windex on the linoleum and scrubbing it with paper towels (someone told us this got rid of scuff marks) and laughing.  That day it became my favorite holiday.  The tone was set.  We’ve hosted almost all Thanksgivings since that year and I still love it including the food. 

I don’t want you to think we live in a glass house of perfection. Far from the truth.  Marc and I chose how we would receive the day.  We still had the energy, moods and choices of as many as 15 other people (depending on the year).  Some people complain out of habit, others are quiet and moody at times, some spend lots of time looking at their phone.  We cannot control any of it and we don’t even try.  We CHOOSE to let it roll and love and accept them and focus on the joy we feel in preparing for the holiday.  Funny thing is at some point everyone is laughing and having a good time. 

What I take with me as I approach all holidays and everyday comes from the same thing Marc reminded me of that day.  Choice.  Choosing how I approach my time with family, friends, peers, and even clients.  It sounds so simple and it isn’t always.  Our family knows our stuff, knows how to push our buttons, but each of us chooses the reaction of our buttons being pushed. 

So how do I go into the holidays for my own best possible outcome? Here is what I do.  Give it a try and choose the tone with your loved ones. I even use these tools as I shop for the food to cook as well as gift buying:

1) Meditate: Even if it is only 5 minutes, the quiet moments keep me balanced. 

2) Take a walk or go to yoga: Before and after the holiday together time allows me  time to release.

3) Breathe: Before I speak or should I say REACT, the breath provides a pause allowing more cognitive thought to take place then an emotion-filled reaction.

4) Smile: Sharing my smile helps others to do the same, it is contagious

5) Be in the right now: I don’t get in my head and think about other situations, previous wounds, the past , etc. Being present right now allows me to enjoy the moment and find the silly things to laugh about and I LOOOVE to laugh

6) Laugh: When I allow myself to enjoy and be silly, I laugh a lot and it feels great.  It is also contagious.

As we move through this holiday season, try something new…conscious choice and ENJOY!!!

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Lovingly Lotus

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