Instead of telling a story about how stressful it is going to be over the holidays (or how bad the Cleveland weather is going to be!), we are going to plan, consciously, on having the most joyful and connected and fabulous holiday season ever!
The two main themes for THRIVING through the HOLIDAYS are:
1) Using your IMAGINATION
2) Cultivating RELATIONSHIPS
Imagination: Adults sometimes have a hard time with this. We're conditioned to look at "reality" and find the problems so we can solve or avoid them. Instead, I would like for you to consider approaching the holidays by telling a different story about how you will THRIVE through the season this year.
So, who do you want to be in the holiday environment this year? What would make this holiday season the most enjoyable yet? Use your imagination right now to think of those scenarios and who you are and how you care for yourself in the midst of it all.
What are you THINKING?
What are you FEELING?
What are you DOING?
What is your presence?
Using your imagination to visualize what you WANT is extremely valuable. It is important because as things happen, as we travel, as we sit down to dinner, as we gather with our families, these external environment can encroach on your peace and your health-but only if you let it!
Regardless of your environment, YOU have the power to choose your thoughts and your emotions. The environment is, in fact, neutral. You are the one who defines the experience of it. So, what will you choose to experience?
This doesn't take anymore time, it just takes consciousness. So, it is extremely valuable to define this and visually create it in your mind before the events even surface. That is how you use your imagination to support what you want and who you want to be in the midst of the holidays.
Relationships: This is about being cognizant of your relationship with yourself (your internal environment) in the midst of a particular external environment. In this case, it is the holidays.
What you are doing here is really defining the most important relationship of all. The one that you have with yourself. Wherever you go, there you are. The way that you choose to think and feel and act is truly what defines you and your values. And, it is the only thing that you really have control over! Whatever the time of year, the project deadline or family concern-all of those "external" environments will constantly be changing. That is a given. And when you are clear and decisive about who you are in the midst of that, then you are anchored no matter what time of year it is.
This is also about the relationships you have with other people. It isn't just about managing people or the environment. (Although we can do that, too. Like scheduling specific time with in-laws, saying no to a few parties and yes to others, or clarifying your spending budget.) It is really about defining who you are in those relationships that matter most to you.
Who do you want to be in relationship to your work, in relationship to your family, in relationship to the candy that is going to be served and the food and the alcohol?
When all is said and done and we look back on our lives, we know that it will be in the moments we spend with our loved ones that will be cherished. The holiday season, starting with Halloween, is a perfect opportunity to get conscious and be deliberate about designing WHO we are in these moments and in life.
So, definitely don't survive the holidays, THRIVE in them. Because, ready or not, here they come. WHO are you going to BE through them?