What About When The Most Wonderful Time of The Year... Isn't??
Yesterday was the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, which happened not too far away in Newtown, CT. What a tragic event that was, and how awful for the families who must go into the Holiday season with the recollection of that day and the losses suffered.
In some ways, the Holidays operate as a large collaborative accounting of people's year. I don't think we intend to, but we put an awful lot of pressure on each other at this time of year to "show up." Personally, putting up lights, getting a tree, decorating it, and grabbing small gifts and making sure I don't forget anyone or anything starts to feel a bit forced when I'm trying to squeeze it into an already overwhelmed schedule.
It's easy to feel like you just can't stack up at this time of year. Even people who generally "have it all together" will fall to pieces at the Holidays if things aren't just so.
Janice has said that the illusions and fears we hold about life will get bigger and bigger until we do something to address it. I feel that the Holiday charade has gotten so large, with people literally running each other over to be the first in line, that it seems that the time has come to change how we do this a little bit.
If you're feeling down at the Holidays, try to hang on to the meaning in the season; not the fabricated version, but the intended meaning: gratitude, caring for each other and inner awareness.
Common Holiday Emotions and Tips to Manage Them:
Feelings Resulting from Perceived Lack - Lack is meaning anything that you don't have that you wish you did or think that you should. Things that might fall into this category include money, time, success, having a family, or partner. This may cause people to feel sad, frustrated, or even angry that things aren't different.
Tips to Manage: Instead of focusing on what you don't have or what you wish was different, make a list of things that you do have that you can be grateful for.
- Money lack: If you don't have alot of money to buy people gifts, see what you do have and try to do something thoughtful that won't break the bank. It doesn't help anyone for all of us to be spending ourselves into the poorhouse. Making something is a wonderful way to show someone that you care, even if it's cardboard ornaments, or a reusable rice heating pad.
- Time lack: If you feel like you don't have enough time to do what you want then take a look at where your time is going. Keep track of your movements for three days. Where does your time mostly go? Sometimes awareness shows us that we aren't using time to it's greatest advantage. If you want to go Holiday shopping, perhaps you can schedule that in over a few days, rather than trying to do a marathon store run. Online shopping also makes it easier to manage time and shopping. If you just wish you had more time to spend with loved ones, communicate that to them, and perhaps create space away from tech and tv to have some quality time. No plan gets created if people don't express their interest or need for one!
- Lack in Success: Like money lack, success lack often results from looking at what we don't have rather than what we do. What have you accomplished this year? If you take a look at everything that happened this year, you may be surprised to see that you did way more than you thought. Don't compare yourself to someone else. Everyone is fighting their own battle, and you don't know what someone else's life is like, no matter what pretense they may put up. If you've taken steps to pursue your own happiness in any capacity this year, and I bet you have, then you have been, and continue to be, successful.
- Lack in Family or Partner Relationships: If you struggle with feeling that your personal relationships should be further along than they are or if you are coping with loneliness at the Holidays then consider why you feel this way. Everything has two sides. Relationships and families have their own stresses and pressures. While it may seem attractive from the outside, getting involved and creating a family in the wrong circumstances will not solve your problem of loneliness. Waiting for the "right" one may feel like an endless wait, but feeling like your life should be further along is pointless if the person you're meant to be with just hasn't arrived into your life yet. Find a way to take the focus off of you, maybe by volunteering or giving back in some way. Many, many elders spend the Holidays alone. Again, be grateful for the ones in your life, spend time with them, and see what you can learn from the friendships and other connections you do have rather than pining for something you don't.
Feelings Resulting from Not Being Able to Do It All - Juggling alot at the Holidays has become a skill that even a circus clown would find challenging. I personally know many people who begin their Christmas shopping in September just to get ahead of the curve. Between getting something special for the ones you love, trying to spend quality time, baking and cooking, preparing for Holiday dinners, and getting all the decorations up, you're somehow supposed to have time to relax and reflect on the season. Many of us never get to that last part.
Tips to Manage: What can you cut out without too much of a backlash, while still enjoying the season. What, really, are your priorities, and what do you only think you should do? Focus on your priorities, and let the other stuff go. If you don't actually enjoy decorating the house, foundation to roof, in Christmas lights, then don't do it! Invest your time in the things that will bring you joy, and you'll be more joyful - imagine that!
Feelings of Not Feeling Cared About - It's easy to feel slighted at the Holidays. Everyone is running around crazy. Especially if we have a belief of not being cared about, it's easy to find that proof in Holiday gifts or lack thereof, people not pitching in, or feeling that your good intentions are going unnoticed. If you want to find out more about how to manage this particular belief, I suggest tuning into our podcast: How to Survive Earth School, available on Itunes and Soundcloud, for a special episode on How to Survive the Holidays!
Be well, everyone. Remember to shake it off, and I highly suggest taking one of Janice's classes on learnitlive.com to learn more about how energy and other people's emotions can easily be transferred to us. It's really important, especially since most people are much more sensitive than they believe, that we all start understanding how we affect each other!