Hey diy Ass-kickers!

Soooo….How are you making out with the hot tips to get you prepared for your holiday season? Whether you’re going to do them all or not, my intention is to give you something to think about that starts with you, lovey!

I just finished getting out all my Christmas decorations. Since it’s all been in storage for a long time, it was extra fun to find things that I had forgotten I had. And all of it was once again, a big fat reminder for me.

The holidays are a perfect time to kick our own asses and be clear about our needs and desires. #CraveMoreLife Tweet that!

Between now and the holidays I’ll be blogging about how to actually manage the specific shit that we put ourselves through during the silly season we all love so much.

Feel free to hit reply to this email and tell me what your biggest annoyance/issue/piss off is with the holiday season and I’ll respond to you either personally or on the blog. Ho ho ho to that! 🙂

I’ll kick it off today with one of the biggest holiday pains in the ass going…spending time with family members we dread. Not everyone related by blood or marriage is someone you may choose to hang out with outside of obligatory functions, am I right? You know exactly who they are and what they will ask you, or subtly tell you, about your life and that of the rest of the family. They’re not bad people of course, but they can suck up tons of your joy energy figuring out ways to avoid them. 

Now as much as I am clear that we get to choose who we share our time with, sometimes we just gotta spend time with those folks in order to enjoy the festivities or hang with family. It’s time to stop dreading seeing them. Let’s put on our Holiday Warrior Queen persona, take charge and make a plan for getting through the family party.

First, spend time setting your intention for the event. At this year’s family holiday party as an example, I want to experience the joy by connecting with my family from a calm, relaxed place. If I go in all fussed about the potential for bullshit, my zen mind is already shot. And as much as we’d like to think our state of mind is caused by other people/circumstances, we ALWAYS control that sucker.

Then decide what your intention will look like. I want to show up wearing something festive and fun to kick off the season. I want to enjoy a nice meal. I want to get caught up with my family members. I want to see how much the kids have grown over the year. I want to see my grandkids getting to know their cousins. And I want to see the joy on the face of my 91 year old dad, who even though it gets a bit crazy when all 50+ are there, loves to watch us with pride on his face.

And as you are getting ready in your kick ass festive outfit, remind yourself of one very important thing. You don’t need to do anything but love these people. You don’t have to change them. You don’t have to school them on how they should mind their own business and get their shit together (unless it’s called for and even then you can do it from a place of love and respect). You don’t have to listen to gossip. You don’t have to listen to them bitch. You don’t have to be triggered by conversations that are gender, race or politically biased. And, you don’t have to take personally anything they may have to say about you or your life, including who you may have deleted from Facebook. Other people’s opinions are none of your business, they belong to them. Instead…

  • You can practice empathy where needed.
  • You can ask positive questions, acknowledging some of the greatness that we all hold in ourselves.
  • You can focus on people’s talents and accomplishments.
  • You can redirect or excuse yourself from conversations that make you uncomfortable.
  • You can only answer questions about you, not others.

Families never come without triggers. I have to say that I’m so grateful that I don’t have complete a-holes in mine. But when it’s family, our gremlins will scream at us about why we don’t see them more, call more, visit more, bake fucking cookies when they are sick. And those gremlins aren’t partial to just family. You’re gonna get triggered by work peeps and others on your holiday list too. Make your plan ahead of time about how you will manage your gremlins. 

Be ready for your Aunt Margaret. Give some early thought about why she triggers you so much. Sometimes there is truth in what the Aunt Margaret’s of the world bring up about us. Not that it’s her place to make you aware, but take the learning for yourself. You might just figure something out that forwards you life in some way. Then march in to that holiday party with your human shield that lets nothing through unless you say it can. Leave the shitty stuff out and let yourself absorb all the joy. And if it gets rough, regroup. instead of heading to the bar or the food table feeling like shit about yourself, take a time out. Get some air, take some deep breaths and remember why you are there and what your intention was from the start. 

Oh, and just as a fun exercise, check out your gorgeous face in the mirror cause you likely are wearing your feelings like a bright red light bulb. That’s not a bad thing, but what would that face look like if you changed your thoughts, and therefore your feelings, from the inside out?

So my friend, who are you kinda (or full on) dreading having to spend time with this year? What is their typical behavior and how does it trigger you?

And… What do you intend to do about it?