Listen for the Whisper

5 Questions to Ponder to Help you Navigate Holiday Energies

With a thousand different voices ringing in my ear
I listen for the whisper that only the heart can hear.
— Jana Stanfield

It’s that time of year when everything appears to accelerate even faster and Life’s chaos is expressed more fanatically than ever!

 It can be especially challenging to find the joy, love, and peace that I believe- are the true gifts of this season.

 Whether with family of origin or of choice, holidays can bring out the best and the worst of behaviors. The oughts and shoulds blare loudly from both outside and in, no matter how we might have grown or now live our daily lives.

A strange phenomenon occurs when we come together to celebrate holiday traditions. Stranger still, can be the experience we create for ourselves by the cyclic thoughts and triggered feelings of old wounds and beliefs of our past.

If you find yourself in secret agreement with me, know that there is hope for all of us! 

When I notice I’m getting sucked into the holiday frenzy, I remind myself of  the tools that can help me navigate this volatile period. There are things I can do to support myself and the experience I want to have.

Here are 5 questions I ask myself. Asking myself questions connects me with the heart of my best self. The whispered answers offer me courage, direction and support. All that is necessary is to give myself permission to show up and interact from this place.

 Try it for yourself: Ask yourself a question aloud, take a deep breath, and allow your answer to come with the exhale.

1)        What one thing can I do to demonstrate self-care?

Consider adding conscious periods (even moments) of Being Alone.

Escape to the outdoors, focus on the gifts of nature, Breathe in…Life.

Excuse yourself to the restroom if that’s what you can do! Give yourself a time out from people and situations that activate you. Take a breather/ break from any negative energy-  especially if that energy emanates from you. Do anything in the moment that shifts your focus to self-care!

 2)  What invitation or obligation can I graciously decline?

Saying yes when you really mean no - is one of the greatest ways you can sabotage your happiness and fuel your self-judgement. Without needing to figure out why you do it, could you honor your inner voice? It is enough to graciously decline without needing to offer excuses or explanations.

 3)  Where can I give of myself to others?

Giving of yourself does not mean depleting your gifts or ignoring what you value. Giving of things is rarely what brings Joy. And if it does, it is short lived. It is not the thing itself that generates a hold on our hearts, but the feelings and the act of sharing that continues to live on in our memories.

Look to see where you might give of yourself differently this year.

Be what you love and give that to others.

 4)  Which holiday tradition or activity do I choose to celebrate?

My Mother use to say that the holidays were “Moms Big Production.” Trying to do it all to please everyone can leave you exhausted and perhaps feeling resentful . Yet there are those specific traditions that fill your heart and represent what you love about the holidays. Give yourself permission to selectively choose to participate in those. Listen to the whisper to create new ways to celebrate and generate fresh joy in your holiday traditions.

 5)  Where can I accept and be compassionate with myself and others?

Most of our angst and hurt feelings come from unresolved issues and embellished memories of our past. So it’s easy to see how holiday events and reunions with families could naturally aggravate our bruises.

When we recognize that others might be having their own challenging and uncomfortable experience, our need to judge and resist them diminishes.

And when we let go of judging others, we feel less judged ourselves.

Choose to accept that everyone is doing the best they can in the moment, including you. Choose to be compassionate and discover ways to demonstrate that this season!

 With love & light, I honor the place where you and I are one.