Family, friends, colleagues, parents, and children all have ideas of how the holidays should unfold. Expectations are normal and often unspoken. Can you be a listener and a leader if needed? See if these tips for the holiday season of get-to-gethers, whether with one person or a group, might keep you from tears.
1. Focus on your strengths. You spend repetitive time on what you need to fix about yourself or someone else. Choice is a powerful gift. You get to make choices. Choose to notice what you are good at and wear that each day.
2. Practice being a happy person. Fake it till you make it. That means you need to pause before you speak. For some of you who don't bring happy energy to the room, plan ahead what you will talk about and then deliver. Dead energy is for the wood burning fireplace.
3. Why do I bring these two reminders to you? These are the bottom line issues of hurt feelings that people bravely share with me. These are some reasons people lose faith in themselves and others. They also forget to practice finding real meaning in their life. That habit of blame comes in the room, "I am over worked. I am tired. I have to do everything. I just want to sit. I don't have the money. I don't have the time. I don't know what to say. I am different than you and I am who I am. I am sure you can add words to what you say when you are hurt or walking on eggshells when someone enters the room. Meaning in life, shifts self-centeredness and self-limitations. What is meaningful for you today? What is greater than your challenges?
4. Let yourself have fun. What are you waiting for? Is your way of daily living worth the wait if you aren't smiling during the week?
5. Stand Tall. How would someone you admire act in the situation? Give that a try in small steps. Copy that person's behavior even if you feel awkward and stumble with the words and actions. Newness is uplifting.
6. Ask yourself how often you say you are trying and honestly aren't. You know why you aren't even if you can't articulate it. Get to know yourself more and more because you are the one in the room who affects joy or sorrow.
7. If you are able to forgive others, then deeply forgive yourself and start anew. It is never too late to be happy and loving.
Bottom line, holidays are more meaningful and memorable when spent with happy people. Focus on the good in you and let that light the room you stand in every day.
May you have moments during the holiday that put a smile on your face and others.
PS. I just can't help myself, so forgive me for saying the trite...it is not about the gifts, it is about generosity of spirit, and yes, anytime there is a surprise, an unexpected gift or gesture, that makes for a happy face. Be happy....
Natalie Caine M.A.
Empty Nest Support Services
(800) 446-3310 or (818) 763-0188
On the web www.emptynestsupport.com
Featured in TIME MAGAZINE, NY TIMES, HUFFINGTON POST, LIFETIME RADIO FOR WOMEN, LA TIMES, USA TODAY, WASHINGTON POST, BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS
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