You know that time is coming, right? When you load up the car and make your way... back home. Maybe it's down the street or an hour's drive or just a Skype session away.
Whatever the stitch, the holidays often mean returning back to old dynamics, to people who knew us way back when - you know, before we were as aware, conscious and amazing as we are now. And often walking back into these old dynamics can unleash a shit storm within ourselves -- as well as externally -- that can make the holidays the least wonderful time of year.
Well, not anymore.
There are three ways you can make this year the year it all goes differently. The year you have a genuine smile on your face as you walk through that door, pick up the phone or open Skype. This is the year the holidays and home aren't a struggle, but a welcome experience.
Think I'm dreaming? Try out the three tips below and see for yourself!
1. Set your intention.
As cheesy as it might sound, expectation and intention is everything. We literally get what we expect. So prior to your holiday interactions, get really clear about the kind of holiday experience you desire. It can be as simple as "I desire to have the best holiday I've ever had!" In fact, sometimes just keeping the intention that simple can allow the Universe to surprise you with an amazing holiday that you previously could not even fathom. If you have serious negative expectations about what is possible for the holidays, do some journaling about your negative expectations and then write out what would be ideal for you. Let yourself feel how good it would feel to enjoy every minute of your holiday time. Simmer in those feel-good emotions and then let yourself return to them before and during your holiday. In serious negative expectation cases, it's highly advisable to have some kind of balancing session - counseling, energy medicine, etc. prior to the interaction so that you are clear and grounded and less likely to be in a state of stress.
2. Have tools you can use handy.
YouTube access during the holidays could inevitably be your saving grace (thank god yet again for smartphones). Check out the Cortices tapping here and use it to stay balanced en route to or before seeing/talking with family. Triggered? Tap Cortices several times in a row with a focus on connecting to your Higher Power and staying balanced. Really, super, freakin' triggered? Try this general balancing session (it's only eight minutes long -- so go lock yourself in the family bathroom and use it!). Taking deep breaths anytime you feel irritated or annoyed will help move the energy through. Breathe deeply by inhaling through the nose and exhaling out the mouth to move and release tension. In fact, deep breathing contributes to 70 percent of our body's ability to heal itself! Keep some Calms Forte handy for natural anxiety relief and drink three to four liters of water each day to keep your system moving, grounded and balanced.
3. Limit alcohol and refined sugar intake.
I know, I know -- isn't that exactly what the holidays are all about -- indulgence? Well, not if you want to have an enjoyable time in dynamics that are typically highly charged. It doesn't mean you can't imbibe or snack at all -- but keep it moderate. Both alcohol and sugar can elevate tensions and bring old wounds to the surface that are unnecessary to discuss while in the midst of the holidays. If you really want to talk to your mom about why she dressed you in floral prints for most of your childhood and gave you a bowl haircut which resulted in a hideous stage that lasted all the way through your teen years (don't worry mom - I'm saving that conversation for the New Year), save that for a private, sacred time when both of you are stimulant-free and can discuss more thoroughly your demands for therapy reimbursement for said traumas.
The best part in all of this is remembering that you get to choose how you experience your life. It's true you can't control crazy Aunt Laura or your cousin Larry's inability to hold an intelligent conversation -- but you can control how you react to what happens around you.
The tools above will set you up for massive success this holiday season and who knows, you just might find yourself humming the tune to "it's the most wonderful time of the year!"
For more from Heather Strang, visit here.