Everyone asks, “How is it the holidays already?!?!” We all feel it: the anticipation of an approaching new year, combined with the anxiety of closing another, all while coordinating complete chaos with your family. There is something about ending the year, planning to start fresh and managing your family all at the same time, that sends us into a holiDAZE tailspin. When we reflect on this past year, we can recognize that collectively, there was a high stress level. Reality is, the news, politics, domestic and foreign attacks, as well as a string of natural disasters, have left all of our hearts a little heavier than normal. This year in particular, you have the opportunity to approach the holidays with more perspective. Having observed the turmoil of this year, we have a deeper realization of what matters in life. With this broadened perspective, you can establish a plan to engage as your ideal self this holiday season. A plan provides a new approach, sets intentions, and prepares us a little more for the difficult times to come. This year, consider creating a plan to show up lovingly, accept love from the important people in your life, and create a protective shield around your heart and feelings.
For many of us, simply showing up and being present for a holiday celebration is a big deal. We all have different situations and relationships with our family and friends that determine our attitudes about the holidays. Some are undoubtedly better than others, but there is a commonality that it all comes down to: love. Love comes in so many forms - some of which are not always healthy and certainly not easy. The joy of the season, as well as the conflict, is usually centered around the desire to love, and the desire for love. This also feeds a desire for tolerance, acceptance, and communication. This is so much of what we are seeing at a larger scale in our country during both the positive and negative times. Unfortunately, when people seek out certain expressions of love in places where they’re impossible to get, all while failing to give love to themselves, the demons of loneliness, paranoia, cynicism, and anger can manifest in those people. This can lead to selfish and seemingly evil actions. This brings all the more reason to show up differently this year. Don’t seek out a specific expression of love in a place you know it doesn’t exist. Instead, accept the unique love that each person and space has for you, and if there is no healthy love, walk away. Fill that void with self love, or affection from a healthier space. And in turn, give love freely to those who might be struggling. Showing up consciously can bring the healthy, positive, co-creative love that we need in our micro-communities and ultimately affect change at a global level.
So, what should be different? You stop right here, right now and commit to showing up with an abundance of love, recognizing where people are in their lives. Engage and be present in conversation. Offer a positive perspective from a loving heart, but do not enable. Enabling is not love and it often requires you to lower your standards. Love in a way that pushes yourself and those around you upward towards positivity. This also includes gift giving. The pretentiousness and competition that comes with holiday gift giving is not loving. Instead, give with intention, inspiration and a conscious heart that is inspired by positive love. Giving a gift that brings awareness or skill to someone’s life has a much higher value and impact than a material item that simply has a high price tag. Money does not define love. So remain grounded in your heart, and the right words, gifts and actions will pour from your soul.
Some of this is easier said than done. You can show up as your best self until your sister insults your cooking, and old patterns of resentment and anger are triggered so quickly, it’s as if you’ve been hit by a paintball gun. The paint is all over you, and you can’t hide it. Your face is flushed, there’s a frog in your throat and you want to throw cranberry sauce in her face. Again, this is where we need to pause. Instead of waiting for these moments to occur this year (you know it’s going to happen because someone can’t keep their mouth shut!), you will put on an invisible bubble, built from your newfound perspective. This big, clear bubble will cover you and protect you. If someone gets too close and tries to hit you, they are going to bounce right off of that bubble. They don’t know it’s there until they hit it, because your heart has remained open and loving. This bubble is comprised of confidence, self-love, acceptance, a humble attitude, and a dash of “shake the haters off”. The bubble sounds funny in theory, but it’s incredibly essential. An entire year has passed and in some manner, your thoughts about humanity have changed in some way. It has likely sparked action within you to improve yourself. These shifts have allowed you to show up differently this year. With that said, someone in your circle probably did not get the memo. They either remained the same or chose to move toward unhealthy love. You are not to accommodate their lack of progress, and when they strike, let them bounce right off that bubble! Boing! Sometimes someone has to bounce before they can come back to stable ground and re-engage with a loving perspective.
Ultimately, this is where we all wish to be. On stable ground, in loving, supportive relationships. Regardless of what your sister said, she probably wants this too, but is simply lacking the tools to get there. We must recognize this common desire and allow ourselves to be loved by our family and friends in whatever unique way they are able to give love. I’m personally horrible about this and I’ve been especially bad about it this year. We give love so easily, but then we don’t receive it because we don’t want to be a burden on others. Love is a two way street, and it’s at its best when being given and received. Our family and friends might not love us in the exact manner that we are looking for, but guess what? They are doing their best and their love is pure. Allow yourself to fall in love with everything that you came from. If some of your background is negative, be grateful that it didn’t kill you. Appreciate the strength and perspective that it provided for you - the opportunity that you were given to change your life for the better, for both you and your family. Being open to love in its many forms, and knowing that each form is part of our path toward healthy relationships, can rid us of resentment, fear, and anxiety.
Take a moment and make your plan. Think about how to show up fully, as your improved self. How to give gifts that inspire others toward positive development and change. Think about your bubble and the recipe needed to create it. Who is likely to trigger you and what are you already anxious about? And finally, let your heart open wide. Allow love to flow in and out freely. Say yes to a family member treating you and expressing their abundance of love toward you. By receiving love freely, you will make them feel valued, and in turn they will give love to others more freely. Allow a domino effect to begin in your micro-community, driven by the inspiration and hope to spread healthy love globally. Live your muse and love like never before!
CEO & Executive Visionary