How To Survive (the family) Holidays -13 joyful hacks- you’re welcome
So, the Holidays, hmmmmm. I’m guessing that some of my readers may be very excited for Holidays. I am also knowing that there’s a whole other section of the general pop who are digging themselves a large hole, preparing to jump in to escape all things “family celebration”. I’m a proud member of the second, gasp less acknowledged group. Actually I’m a charter member, with 10 years of sanity under my belt 😂 (and all over my body, actually LOL).
Tis the season for hushed-toned conversations, multiplying in frequency, “Oh, she doesn’t come around” and “He doesn’t bother with us” even “I think she’s crazy, she doesn’t talk to any of her family”. “Who could walk out on their family?” Well, there’s ALWAYS a pretty good fucking reason why someone would cut the ties with their tribe. Always. Period. It’s usually one badass warrior mother fucker who can pull this off in search of a wonderfully joy-filled life. Someone like um… like um… ME. Turning out to have found peace…away from their tragic family of origin. This, my friends, is the elephant in the room.
I write about this in support of those badassreaders I have. The people who don’t feel entirely settled when the Holidays arrive. Those who are depressed, anxious, angry, revengeful or indifferent when it comes to “family”. For those of you who are new to my blog, I use quotation marks when I write “family” because the word is LOADED – ya’ll know what I’m talkin bout. It’s in no way a normal word for me and can be very heavy. You’re feelin me.
Chances are, your “family” wants you to just forget everything that’s happened in the past and smile, be pretty and pretend like everything is normal. Hell, deep down, you WANT to believe you have the best family ever (who tf doesn’t?) – So you, against your better judgement, attend the family Holiday party —- thinking it will be fine this time. You got this. Fuck them. I’m not going to let them get to me this time. Let’s do this. Put your party clothes on and grab a bag…to carry all those triggers that are waiting for you. Happy Holidays😳
It can be very very diff to go through the motions and attend Holiday gatherings just for the sake of keeping the peace. As if. As if you want to be there. As if. As if. Usually, there’s a price… predictably sacrificing your own needs and boundaries for the sake of others’ needs and happiness. That shit never feels good and the next day we make ourselves pay for it in whatever way feels familiar to us.
Me? well, the day after, I’m curled up in a ball, feeling punched in the gut, filled with regrets, swearing to God I’ll never say yes again. So much crazy shit swirling in your head- hate for them, hate for yourself and guilt. Guilty for hating everyone and everything. Enter mind-fuck…maybe it IS me. Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing…they all seem happy 😳. Ewe, WAIT! NO.
So how does one survive this scenario? this gathering of triggers, this no-thankyou portion of family, this nothing-is-as-it-appears celebration? I am so glad you asked
- put yourself first. listen to your heart and do what feels correct for you. It is your decision. No-one knows what it is like to be inside of your body. Eyes wide open, ask yourself what you need, what would make YOU happy (for a change). What makes you feel good.
- know that you are making the best decision for you – only you, because only you can.
- create a holiday tradition that touches your heart. Something specific to honoring what is important to you around the Holidays. Whatever brings you joy, keeps you centered and grounded and calm. Giving your time/talents to others or creating something for yourself with no outside influences.
- write about how things will be different if you do spend time with family over the Holidays. (write it out, read it to someone or keep for next year – so you can chronical your growth. If you’re into ceremony and ritual maybe you meditate on your written ideas and set fire to it when it feels complete. Sending your intention out to the Universe for manifestation)
- surround yourself with people (outside of your family) who support your feelings. Do not expect your family of origin to understand what you are going through. They don’t. Period. Find those outside of your “family”. They won’t be triggered by YOUR “family” shit – they most likely have different baggage and can support you in an unbiased way.
- stay away from alcohol if you can possibly help it. Your guard will be down and you may end up saying and doing things you prob wouldn’t have. Seriously, resist the urge with all you have. It can be so tempting to numb yourself out but save the drinking for when you are with more supportive, less triggery folks. You’re welcome.
- give yourself an energy bath – wipe that nasty energy off with a washcloth and down the drain it goes. Replacing the nasties with clean white or golden light. Filling in the holes that were punctured intentionally and unintentionally during your “family” time.
- envision a shield protecting you prior to entering a sketchy situation. Especially your heart, solar plexus (core) and sacral chakras. In no way are you a bad person for protecting yourself from negative energy. It’s brilliant and gives you a slight giggle as you try on, “You can’t have me” or “You can’t get me” or “I’ll decide what you get from me”! delicious, absolutely delicious. Self empowerment, strength and self advocacy sure looks sexy on you. Only you can do this for yourself.
- be gentle with yourself!!! it’s exhausting work to challenge your family’s structure. The emotions of guilt, anger, betrayal, sadness, frustration are all a normal part of creating boundaries with people who do not respect our “NO”.
- make a plan. escape route, get away line, time limit, certain people to avoid. Identify what is off limits for you and what you’ll spend less time around – these suggestions all go a long way to create a sense of control over the situation. No-one has to be IN on this plan. Use when triggered and repeat if necessary. Creating and sticking to boundaries will feel MEAN initially, mostly because we were raised to not have/expect boundaries. But if practiced enuff, you’ll get over it, trust.
- make alternate plans for the Holiday – out of state, out of the country, Mars? And divulge these plans early so people have time to get used to the idea! There, now you can breathe deeply. Can’t see the dysfunction from there can ya?
- fake an illness – who wants to be with someone who has strep, chicken pox, cock-sakie (good Lord), or the dreaded flu? Not only will you get sympathy but people will be GLAD you didn’t show up. And BONUS… you will get lots of sympathy.
- even if you do not attend, and you’re anything like me, you feel like shit because you’re not with your family. You feel like shit because you don’t want to be with them. You feel like shit because you are feeling relieved and happy because you didn’t blindly agree to attend. You feel like shit because you can’t imagine it will EVER be any different. You feel like shit because you feel so alone and unloved and cast aside, betrayed, crazy. That’s a whole lot of shit to shovel. This can be very, very difficult to push through. I went through this on several holidays. It’s so important to create your own Holiday rituals and traditions.
Happy Holidays!!! 😘😘😘 Do YOU. and let me know how it goes 💪 👑
Make Room For Gratitude
Today I am so thankful to lead a normal life, messing up things as I go along. Getting angry with people or things or circumstances. Expressing my anger, stuffing it in or bending someone’s ear off about it. I’m a mess. A beautiful mess. A beautiful mess filled with gratitude.
Thankful that I am afforded a functioning brain to process info. Thankful that my heart is privy to the underlying truth of what is/what has been/what will be. Thankful that my body moves precisely, immediately, and with strength.
I’m normal in an abnormal way. I’m ridiculously inadequate and over reactive and just too sensitive. And that’s perfect because life is to be experienced. Mud waded through, clear water floated on, impossible mountains traversed -while wailing and park bench seated while the warm sun holds my thankful, tear streamed face.
Bring the love, the rage, the guilt, the grief, the elation, the fullness, worry, and pride. All allowed. All present anyway. All rich with information, lessons to unpack. No returns. Just integration into ourselves one way or another. Trust, one way or another.
I’m an unmade bed and that’s ok. Not perfect. Shit’s gunna happen, sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in 5 minutes. Life does suck. Then it doesn’t. Then we can’t even imagine saying it sucks. Dig deep and muster GRATITUDE even when LIFE feels like a dirty trick. Even when it feels like someone might be filming you. Even when everything you touch turns to shit. Even when.
I am flirting with gratitude and grief this morning. Grief and gratitude. The grief I feel for the losses in my life – some who have left this realm, others who have moved to the outside of my circle. All circumstantial, lives playing out, people on their paths – yes, everyone has a path!
Gratitude though. The kind of gratitude that has you smiling just because you are breathing. The kind of gratitude that comes with full body chills of grace and warmth with the realization of connectedness. The kind of gratitude that moves you to tears when you see a good Mom in the grocery store. Or when you realize that life happens exactly as it should for your own best growth.
May you make room for GRATITUDE. If just for today.
I know I’m gunna try like hell.
Responsible For Other’s Happiness?
I just adore Jeff Foster. His words speak right to my soul. Someday I shall meet him…
“Sometimes, when you stop trying to save people, they don’t like it. They call you bad, unkind, an abandoner. Instead of meeting their own feelings of rejection, fear and shame, they try to make you feel guilty. They lash out. They blame their unhappiness on you. They want the ‘old you’ back; they want their fantasy of you. They want their saviour.
They don’t want you; they want the dream.
The most liberating lesson you will ever learn: Nobody can make you happy. And you are not responsible for anybody else’s happiness.
You are free. Freedom is your nature, and always was.
So, like the Sun, you shine. You don’t wait for others to shine, you don’t need an excuse to shine, you simply shine. You don’t feel responsible for all the suns that haven’t yet discovered their own shining. You simply shine. You walk your path with courage. You teach by example. And if others are upset by your shining, if they judge you, if they become jealous, if they attack you for not making them the centre of your world, that’s okay. That’s their work. That’s their path, their pain to process and feel. You wish them well. You hold them in compassion, perhaps. But they do not own you any longer. You are free.
You can love others enough to let them go. For true love has the fragrance of freedom, a thrilling sense of vastness to it.”
– Jeff Foster
Unicorns and Rainbows
As I am in serious pain today, on my way to get some relief, I was seriously cursing the rain and gray skies. And then this happened and suddenly I’m transformed. Continue reading “Unicorns and Rainbows”
The Beginning of Our Goodbye
Hello my darling ANXIETY.
What is it you want to tell me?
I promise I won’t curse you or otherwise chase you away today.
The fact that you’re here now – a good indication that I’m ready now and finally prepared to hear your message.
You’re here anyway, so I might as well, lend you an ear.
I let you in many years ago, I guess it’s only natural that you’d want to be set free.
You kept me safe and on guard when I needed to be.
You are no longer needed to the extent that you were.
I’ll keep checking in with you over the course of today.
Maybe we can get to know each other better when we’re not triggered.
Maybe we can craft an easy transition to a more peaceful existence.
Maybe I can get to know where you begin and I end.
This is just the beginning of our goodbye.
Maybe I can, ANXIETY, maybe I can.
Mishaps & Curveballs
When life throws some major curveballs onto your path you have a choice. Continue reading “Mishaps & Curveballs”
Oh. The rain falling. Reminds me of all the parts of myself that are falling away. Continue reading “Cleansing Rain”
A Thousand Times
There are so many people in your same situation. Speak your truth. Say it anyway. Don’t ever feel silly or too angry or like you’re gloating or complaining. Continue reading “A Thousand Times”
Love Is Flowing
This heart stone really wanted to be seen/heard. I have a cut on my foot and needed some salt water to soak my foot in. As I filled my water bottle with ocean water, this heart found its way into the bottle with the water.
Talk about a natural cure. This water had more love and healing power in it then I bargained for. Always expect miracles. Always expect things to go better than expected. Always look for signs of well being. Always tell others about your personal blessings.
Earth medicine always shows up where it’s needed. Always
Today, I Choose To Bloom
“She was raised to be hard on herself.
So she spent her years growing gentle.
Her whole life bloomed. ~Jaiya John
Wow, this quote is just perfect. Today I’m trying to be gentle with myself. My legs hurt, neck burning down the left side. I’m gunna not get pissed that my body doesn’t function perfectly. I’m gunna recognize the monstrosity trauma trying to ooze out today. All at once. I don’t really have time to process through what my Spirit is sending me today. Appointments – dentist, mammogram, hair… I can ground and breathe and center myself whatever I’m doing, where ever I find myself today.
The real work will be loving myself though the purging of stuck trauma energy. Knowing that I can be gentle and patient with myself and seeing my body as an alliance rather than the punisher. The pain just being information which my Higher Self has decided its time to take a look at. I have a choice. I can forge ahead and ignore what’s going on or I can yield and show my body that I am her friend. It takes courage to yield.
I won’t be hard on myself. For I am not a problem- I never was. Bringing gentle in and on and around my sore body will bring me peace and comfort in a world which does not value this. In a society that puts high esteem on doing rather than being. I’ll do it anyway. Today I choose to bloom. This or better.
Real Presence – Jeff Brown
“Bottom line is that you cannot heal and resolve your emotional material with your mind. Knowing our issues is not the same as healing our issues. Your emotional material does not evaporate because you watch it. I have known many who could watch and name their patterns and issues—as if they were scientists, researching their own consciousness—but nothing fundamentally changed, because they refused to come back down into their bodies and move their feelings through to transformation. It’s safe up there, above the fray, witnessing the heartache without actually engaging it. Yes, you may be able to get so skilled at a witnessing consciousness that you can overpower your triggers. But that’s not presence. Real presence comes through the open heart. The key to the transformation of challenging patterns and wounds is to heal them from the inside out. Not to analyze them, not to watch them like an astronomer staring at a faraway planet through a telescope, but to jump right into the heart of them, encouraging their expression and release, stitching them into new possibilities with the thread of love. You want to live a holy life? Heal your heart. That’s the best meditation of all.”
(~an excerpt from the best-selling ‘Grounded Spirituality’, available at bookstores and on Amazon (paperback, kindle, audiobook) at
teach me how to trust
my inner knowing,
the senses of my body,
the blessings of my spirit.
Teach me to trust these things
so that I may enter my Sacred Space
and love beyond my fear,
and thus Walk in Balance
When you start to speak the truth
When you find your voice
People will want to silence you, shut your shit down. Continue reading “Power Up”
Life is great until it sucks
Life sucks until it doesn’t
Nothing is permanent
Except when it is
Then I wish it wasn’t Continue reading “Shadow Rising”
Finally Friday. Life unfolds perfectly. Live every 5 minutes like you were running out. Noticing. Noticing the wonders, flavors, fragrances, textures, colors, vibrations that imprint your surroundings. Let’s just relax into now. No wishing time away, bypassing sensory lovelies awaiting discovery. Time savored. Nothing is owed to us.
It’s Friday. The temporal boundaries of 24 hours. Hold your Friday experience sacred. Not tomorrow, not next Monday, or next week. Stay right where we are. With permission. Drinking, absorbing, allowing, receiving this very moment. And this one. And this one. And this one. This is the gold. The prize. Honor your curiosity about NOW. If just for Friday. This. Or better.
Retiring My Emotional Armor
Yesterday was an emotional day for me. The purging hurt so good. The death of an antiquated pattern, shedding my dumb-suit. My beauty radiating blissfully from under the decaying camouflage. Reflecting on how different I am today. It hit me hard. Like my heart was cracking open to love – love for myself. Continue reading “Retiring My Emotional Armor”
i find it to be quite interesting that my throat – the place where Wisdom emanates from my being – is under attack. My personal truth, these days, freely flows out of me without much rehearsal and angst. I used to have to fight to be heard, taken seriously, seen. As a wee little person, I was afraid to speak up or out against anything or anyone, no matter how obvious and insidious the injustice. For fear of being hurt, disowned, different, seen, ignored, shamed, humiliated – fuck, that’s a lot of blockage. It was much easier and safer to remain unseen, unheard, un-human. All tucked away in my larynx. The organ of self expression. The holder of secrets. Of stuffed emotions.
The more baggage/trauma that crams up sideways in our throats, clogs our ability to speak our truth without the fear of being annihilated… this blockage of energy, over time, creates disease. The thyroid slowly malfunctions – giving you, finally, what you want – shutting down the forces that keep you functioning, the proof of our aliveness, our voice. This human communication frequency- stifled. We comply to the old parameters of “allowed” existence until, one fine day, we find our voice and slowly, standing up to the shadows of the past- step into our ROAR.
Yesterday I really used my voice. By “voice” I mean put myself out there for others to see me speaking my truth. I was asked by one of my bosses to lead a group of teens and then a large group of adults, in a guided meditation. Daunting task for sure. I told him, “that hat scares the shit out of me! Let’s do it” LOL. In the next couple of days I actively resisted the urge to REHEARSE endlessly and woke on a few occasions at 4:30 am to record the words that were being channeled (to me) by one of my Spirit Guides.
I felt strong, healthy, connected and NORMAL – doing what I love. No script, just freely flowing words from my higher self and spirit help. And I did this for an audience of 30 teens and then, later that day, 60 adults. It felt amazing. I received some really great feedback. Words cannot accurately capture what I was feeling. Maybe the thawing of what was. The shattering of the old silence replaced by new possibility. I had done this many, many times before but rarely with groups this large AND never with people who didn’t sign up for it.
This morning I woke with the rawest sore throat I’ve had since being a teenager. I expected to see blood when I opened up and looked in the mirror. Nope. As a kid my throat was frequently attacked, what a shock 🙄. For me, today, this is a sign that I’m doing good work. Throat Chakra work that does not yet have a permanent residence in my physical body. My throat may protest for a while by getting sore, voice disappearing, swollen glands, dryness, etc. whatever it can throw at me so it can continue playing small. This is what’s been comfortable.
The “No pain, No gain” and heart might just apply here. Old patterns are disrupted, light shining into the dark places. Old dysfunction will be cleared. Throat issues are a reminder of what was, while creating what will NOW be.
This School tho
So I’m visiting this mental health facility today, testing a student. Steven walks me to the back of this beautiful place. Hallways look a little like a maze, some high ceilings, most rooms smacking of afterthought and haphazard building design. Continue reading “This School tho”
“It’s unbelievable how many ppl carry this around with them and then all of the sudden come out with – I was sexually abused as a kid. They go their whole life, carrying it around and never say anything”. Continue reading “Shhhhhh”