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This is a beautiful, cozy time of the year.
I hope you’re spending time with your loved ones, curled up together on a comfortable couch, with your toes reaching toward the warmth of a fireplace.
And I hope at that moment, you feel completely relaxed and cared for. That you feel honored for all of you. And that you’re loved unconditionally by those closest to you.
But the reality is that whether it’s the holiday time or any other normal day of the year, in many families, cozy, easy, comfortable feelings are simply a wish and not a reality.
What I’ve seen after working with hundreds of clients over the last 15-plus years is this:
Even if there’s holiday cheer, there’s often a deeper place inside one’s heart and mind that feels uneasy.
On the inside, your stomach is churning. You worry that because you’ve been judged and misunderstood by your family before, you think it might happen again. You try to act, talk, and behave a certain way to fit in, but by doing that, you push away your authentic aliveness and truth.
Who you naturally are in your full power and authenticity has a tendency to bring up disagreements. Your opinions are different from some of your family member’s and your choices might be too hard to understand.
In that, you are left feeling not fully seen and celebrated for who you are. And, this can bring up the feeling of being not good enough.
I know this is not what we hope holidays are, yet I have seen time and time again that often, unfortunately, this is the case:
You minimize your truth, diminish your authenticity, constrict your voice, and shrink your authentic expression.
You make yourself smaller, more “normal”—whatever the normal is for your particular family—just to fit in.
Does that sound familiar to you?
It might be happening for you in subtle ways where you don’t exactly know what’s going on except that you find yourself depleted, restless, or irritable. Or, it might be happening in intense ways where you are arguing with your family, feeling angry and frustrated.
Three things we can do to honor our authentic selves over the holidays:
1. Recognize. The first step is to simply acknowledge that we have fallen out of presence and we have disconnected from honoring our authentic selves. We have abandoned valuing the beautiful uniqueness of our own being, and now hope to get others to give us the honoring we are looking for.
2. Stay aware. It helps to be aware that we are simply lost in the habitual pattern, and instead of making it other people’s fault, we can return to ourselves. Practice returning to loving and honoring yourself, regardless of what others do.
It might be easier said than done, but hopefully you have some solid coaches, mentors, healers, or guides who skillfully help you find your way back to your most empowered self again (especially in the moments when it’s hard to do it on your own).
3. Be grateful. What a perfect unfolding for the triggers to come up, the familiar self-doubt to surface, and for the habitual falling out of your center to take place.
It’s a perfect opportunity to have it happen and then re-anchor yourself more fully than ever before, with a stronger commitment to who you really are: your uniqueness, your purpose, and the gift your soul wants to bring to the world.
I believe that your family is the ultimate test for staying connected to who you really are. Not just who you are in your being but also who you are in your “doing”—keep saying yes to following your highest purpose in life (even if it seems crazy to them).
It’s like the final testing ground for staying devoted to the you that, as a whole, is much larger and infinitely more intelligent than your body, mind, logic, bank account, or family.
When you are with your family in this conscious way and see the opportunity in it instead of a problem, it offers a potent chance for a greater rediscovering of your freedom and unique purpose in the world. And, if you don’t fully know yet what your greater purpose is, take it as your opportunity to find it and get clear on it!
Remember who you are. Surrender to the clear inner guidance for your life and boldly step into it, no matter what.
See it as a grand opportunity to honor yourself more than ever before. And, notice what happens!