Christmas and New Year are coming up, and the arena where family and friends gather can be vast. The expectations from different family members, friends, or just the cultural differences of how we do things, can be overwhelming. Often in broken families, there is more than one place where we have to show up and many different relationships to manage.
I want to share with you a few tricks that help me to manage:
Before I participate in any of the gatherings, be it a Christmas Eve celebration or a Hanukka dinner, I check in with my driving value. Why is this important to me? Often it is about future generations, and traditions and rituals, love and compassion. Of course, there are many more I could write here, but it is essential to choose only a few for the process.
So let’s say for this example I choose future generations.
I sit for a second, just checking in with my body, taking in a few easy breaths, and then seeing where I notice the importance of future generations in my body. I focus on the sensations. I notice a broadness around my back, the bottom of my spine is flexible and stable at the same time. I let colours, images, sounds or any other information arrive to me. I sit with, in this case, a big green warm blob kind of thing that makes my back feel big and robust ? for a little while. I just noticed how this valuing of future generations is inside of me, it is part of me, and at the same time, my whole body is relaxed and flexible.
Later, when I enter the gatherings, there are often conversations that make me uncomfortable, or I catch little grimaces people make as their feelings, instead of being expressed, seep through their faces. I check in with my body. After a bit of tightening up, as my nervous system responds to the discomfort, I breathe in. I notice the sensations representing the value of future generations in me, and I let my body and nervous system relax.
In this way, I do not get too caught up in worrying about the uncomfortable things, and I can manage to hang onto myself and even enjoy the gathering.