The holiday season is one of the most universally stressful times for people. There are people we love to see, people we don’t care to see, people we are neutral about and people who inspire. We see all these people around the Thanksgiving table. The important thing is to know and recognize who it is that makes you want to soar and who makes you want to take a nap.
The reality is, we all have friends or family members who can be challenging or difficult. Whether you have 2 or 20 good relationships of friends or family, take a look at all of them. Who brings you joy? Who inspires you to think and dream larger? Who makes you feel smaller or dims your optimism? For the least amount of stress during the holiday season, It’s important to really take the time and ask yourself these questions because this gives you more room to not be reactive. And for those who don’t make you want to soar, practice not expecting anything else of them. Internally, thank them for the reminders they give you about what it is that does not generate positivity. We are all here for a purpose even if to our own eyes it’s not clear what that might be. If you consciously decide to accept each person for the role they have in your life then that is all that needs to be done. It’s an exercise of gratitude and tolerance. Perhaps you can look at that which you find stressful during the holiday season as a mirror to yourself of how grateful and accepting you are of others. No need for fighting or bickering, just accept whoever is not your favorite. This is maturity. It’s reality- specifically, the lens you use to see the world which directly impacts your experience of your holiday or life.
I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by a good amount of people who are models of abundance and positivity: they have worked very hard in their lives and have created a vast amount of abundance in their every day – in their relationships, their jobs, their work and home environments. They are my favorite people to be surrounded by on holidays. The thread that ties them all together is curiosity and passion for life. Their personal mindset of abundance is physically mirrored by their environment. This is the reality they have cultivated and built for themselves. Do you see this in the people around you? Do they cherish the present and take care of the world around them, or are they a hot mess?
So, how can you find abundance in even the most difficult family members? What I have found in people who are profoundly abundant is that they have minds that think so far beyond what one would call “the usual.” It is almost inevitable that they would find their way to the profound abundance they have. How does one do this? They think, imagine and dream up things all the time. They often speak almost another language because they are always using their imagination as a tool to create. That is, the reality they have created in their mind is so vast, that they forget that not everyone thinks this way.
I would say the first step to creating more abundance is to dream regularly. But make it a dream that is as large as possible. Make it a dream that is not for yourself, but for others. What is the one thing in your life that you can dream of creating that will positively affect others and the greater world – that is what I’m talking about. Not a dream about the new car you want or the next new thing to buy. Dream about real change- change that touches someone other than yourself and your ego.
This is the difference between those who create profound lives and those who create average ones- it’s one’s ability to and awareness of effecting the large picture of the world- not just your own reality. There is nothing wrong with what might be called a “simple reality” of only wanting to change your life – the world needs this. Accept it, embrace it and be happy about it, don’t dwell in the what ifs or negativity. If you are dissatisfied with your reality, this is when you have to challenge yourself to think bigger and create a new one. I challenge you this holiday season to be more accepting of the Aunt, Cousin, or the in-law that irks you; instead, have compassion for them – they are serving as an example of what is to not dream and imagine and see the larger picture. Have empathy and be kind. They prefer a different reality and there is absolutely nothing bad or wrong about that- in fact, it makes the world go round and what makes the holiday season even more interesting and another reason for that extra glass of wine!
Cheers and Happy Holidays!