Here's my gift to bring to the holiday feast of our human family. Based on conversations with inspired leadership clients heading into the holidays (recently and over 20 years of humbling learning), I was inspired to record these to share with you and whomever may benefit. Please enjoy hitting the pause button with this 5-keys audio and 2 powerful pause practices. You can use these to set up proactive resilience as well as an inner shift tool if you get triggered or contracted (during the holiday) and want an efficient reboot.
These are just headlines for 5 keys explained in the audio:
1) There are no have to's. You always have the power to be at choice.
2) A Stress Sandwich strategy; what is the difficult person/ situation you might consciously choose to be with (once upon a time it was a stepmother for me), and what is the "bread" positive nourishment on either side of that to prevent further injuring yourself or others. This helps you come from your best self reserves rather than on your last nerve.
3) Come home (inside to your grounded, best self, to your home-base) before going home for the holidays. Rinse and repeat throughout.
4) Watch out for those second helpings. Yes, food and wine may be obvious. And there's another kind of helping to be very aware of. We challenge "When to give or not to give" and what's driving that behavior to help you sustain healthy, authentic contributing that does not deplete you.
5) How to practice Proactive Resentment Prevention & Proactive Exhaustion Prevention.
Finally, there's an invitation to be willing to see that underneath everything is Love. Underneath the uncle that's drinking too much, or the know it all with one-upping stories or your own fears, eye-rolling judgment, impatience, old wounds re-triggered or anger... Lean into accepting all of these as "cries for Love" in a way. It takes hitting the pause button and filling your own well of wellbeing to be able to to see the world through this lens of unconditional compassion. I know you can do it. :-) It's not about being a saint! It's a powerful way for you to have a better chance at waking up inspired, falling asleep grateful and feeling pleased and proud of who you are and how you showed up for this holiday. And just having a much better time!
It's funny that I have not featured the obvious ingredient of Gratitude in this menu. Personally, I relish a strong daily gratitude practice and it's often the first go-to tool for moments of stress. And in this moment, here's the secret sauce that wants to be passed to you. Perhaps the true ingredient your best possible holiday is compassion. Yes to cranberry sauce and a fantastic hollandaise. And, keep pouring on a generous, curious, open compassion; first for yourself and then for everyone. No matter how it looks, they might be doing the best they can in that moment with whatever inner programming is running them. If you feel up to it, go for being your Mahatma (great soul) self this holiday. You can be the source of compassion that shifts the energy for the whole party, like perfuming the air. Without a big fuss or even a need to outwardly say anything; like dogs sniff fear, your compassion will be felt. Let me know how your experiment goes!
Go here for the audios; 5 keys and two Power Pause practices you can use.
A final dollop of wisdom whipped cream; please enjoy this 2 min video about Gratefulness and Thanksgiving.
What are your brilliant ways to pause to prevent holiday stress? Please do share here in Comments, so we can all fuel each other's chances for a nourishing rather than nerve-racking holiday. :-) Cheers!