I was struck and moved by the realness and honesty during our Thanksgiving dinner as we went around the table and shared what each of us were grateful for this year.
My nephew, who had a particularly rough last two years, shared a profound truth that has stayed with me and kept me going.
“I’m grateful not only for my happiness and joy but also for my sadness, anger, and jealousy. I am grateful not only for the good times but the bad times because that is what makes us human.”
All of our feelings…the ones that are fun to feel and the ones that hurt are signs we are alive with life.
Life is all of these things.
Two days after Thanksgiving, my husband fell very ill with the flu; he was miserable.
Then all our lives became miserable when he passed it to our 2-year-old son.
And boy was I alive with feelings of panic when we couldn’t figure out why our son was crying in pain and his doctor told us to head to the ER to rule out possible appendicitis.
Then I was relieved and even amused after the nurse gave him an enema, he released all that was backed up in his little body, and laid star-fished on the bed, totally relaxed like he had just had the most relaxing massage ever!
I felt the weight of life when I collapsed exhausted after taking care of everyone and fighting the flu off myself all week.
Then, I felt the warmth of comfort and love when I let go and spent the weekend in bed resting while my son and husband slept off the final stages of the flu.
Resting together brought us all closer together and re-bonded us.
It felt like that heavenly time after our son was first born with our days filled with coos and cuddles.
While I wouldn’t want to relive the flu part, the warm cozy re-bonding part wouldn’t have happened without the flu first.
Life is all of these things.
And, as I was going through it with our nephew’s wise words in my head, I realized something profound.
There is relief in the acceptance of it all.
While it was all happening, I was present to an old habit of trying to plan for the worst…
If I got sick, what would we do?
If it is appendicitis what will we do?
The reality—-There is no way to control outcomes like this.
Things happen all the time that are out of our control.
Bracing for and trying to avoid the worst, kept me in a stressful state supporting the energy of fear.
Each night before I went to bed, I held anxiety calming points, let go of control, and chose faith.
I chose faith in moving my energy.
Dis-ease can’t grow where energy flows.
I chose faith in our body’s ability to heal and in our resiliency.
If you, like me, were a child who took care of your parents and family emotionally, our impetus is to take care of everyone else and do whatever it takes to control situations so nothing bad happens.
As adults, we HAVE more control than we acknowledge AND we CAN make decisions and take care of ourselves in ways we couldn’t when we were kids.
So taking the time to soothe ourselves emotionally, rest, eat well, and ask for support, even when the people in our lives are suffering, IS the BEST way we can take care of ourselves so we CAN be our best for our families.
I feel better and make way better decisions for my family when I am calm, fed, supported, and rested.
So if you are sick, as so many people are right now, or if you are taking care of someone who is, I urge you to take ample time to take care of yourself and to rest.
As you are preparing for your holiday, I urge you to do the same.
You might say, “What! There is no time for that.”
The stress and pressure of the holidays have a lot to do with wanting to control outcomes, and wanting to make everything perfect to avoid criticism or upsetting others.
Can you relate?
The reality—No matter what hoops you jump through, you are not going to be able to control every outcome or others’ expectations or stress levels.
Control is an illusion and trying to maintain it is futile.
Instead…I invite you to be in acceptance of the humanity and aliveness of it all.
Acknowledge how you are feeling and be aware of the energy you are feeding as you do things.
If something is feeling stressful, maybe it’s not worth doing.
Is it something that could be handed to someone else?
Is there something you need to make it easier?
Maybe a break, a meal, or some other energetic resource could help you feel more empowered and experience whatever you are doing with more ease or even joy!
A lot of holiday tasks can be fun and fulfilling if you are not stressed and can be present while doing them.
Ultimately, you are doing all you are doing to feel love, connection, and joy right?
To help you release your feelings of overwhelm and pressure try this quick tapping exercise with me…
1. Tap the side of your face by your hairline with the inside of your eyebrow on the opposite side of your face as you read the phrase below three times and then switch sides:
I am willing to let go of pressure and think about the next best steps for me.
2. Tap the front of your ribcage with the front of your cheek on the opposite side of your face as you repeat the phrase below three times and then switch sides:
As I take care of myself and get the help and support I need, everything can feel easier and more enjoyable.
Life, including holiday time, is filled with ups and downs, stress and joy.
You can try to control outcomes and hold on for dear life, or give yourself what you need to enjoy the ride.
Cheers to feeling it all and being alive,