Recipe for a drama-free holiday
Many of us will be gathering with family this season; our families of origin, and the families we've aligned with through partnership and chosen family.
Such gatherings have the potential to tug us into old patterns, stir up our shadows selves, and poke us in our tender, most vulnerable spots.
Holiday meltdowns are real for kids of all ages!
If you bump into this during the holidays consider it an opportunity to settle into your connection bones and hold 3 foundational questions front and center.
Question 1 – How connected am I within myself?
Gather the data of thoughts, emotions, breathe and physical body sensations and consider.
Am I calm, balanced and neutral, or spinning, stirred up, tense, or on edge?
If in balance, move onto Question 2.
If out of balance take the time you can (maybe 2 min, maybe 30) and care for yourself. Lean into a practice that will bring you back into balance.
Here are some ideas - step outside for a moment and tune into the fresh air on your cheeks, take slow, sweeping breaths, stretch into a yoga pose, bust a full body dance move, find your laughter, place a hand on your heart with acceptance, go for a walk near trees, call a friend who’s good at listening, create your own holiday playlist with all your favorite songs and dip into it as needed.
Question 2 - How connected is this other person that I'm engaged with within themselves?
Maybe it’s your child, your parent, your partner, or a neighbor. No matter who it is we can’t ever really know what is going on within the inner landscape of another person but we can read the signs and gather the external data.
If they seem in balance, move onto Question 3.
If they seem out of balance in some way (stirred up in their thinking, emotions or behavior) offer support, either verbally – "How can I support you?" or non-verbally by holding space, emanating acceptance, and listening in ways that allow them to shed whatever clutter is causing the imbalance.
If it's not appropriate for whatever reason for you to be the support for this person disengage with compassion and move on. If it's your child, sorry disengagement is often not possible - they will follow you wherever you go. :) Check my other resources for help in this case.
Question 3 – What is the state of our connection to each other?
If your connection is strong you’ll feel it -- communication will flow easily, there will be laughter and eye contact. Those are the moments to ask the bigger, more challenging questions, stretch into deeper connection, get more vulnerable, open wider, share inspired truths, and propose the new ideas.
If your connection is frail you’ll feel it – there may be some resistance or friction, a pulling or leaning away. If that’s the case, check your own attachments at the door and offer re-connection. When they pull away, you lean in just enough to let them know you’re there and not going away. Engage with an open heart and listen. Look for opportunities to initiate laughter together.
Finally, for those of us seeking to live a connection based life, it's helpful to remember that connection is not an end goal or even a linear journey. It's a dance with many rhythms and spirals that's intended to take us all over the map of our human experience. If you're feeling tossed and turned know that you're on track!
Bringing your presence to this season's spiraling beat is all that's needed.
Much love to your dance!
p.s. The secret to this recipe is to not progress to the next question until connection is achieved -- within self, within the other, and then together. My family will tell you that I can't stick to a recipe to save my life, I’m all about making substitutions and estimations in the kitchen. But when it comes to family dynamics ---- stick to the recipe!
Also, if you're bumping up against this and could use direct one on one support I'm here for you and my coaching and energy services are available throughout the holidays.