A 4-Step Path to Nourishing Holidays
This is an unedited transcript:
What a time we are living in. How are you really? Take a moment to breathe and consider your answer to that question in this moment.
Oh, here we are, it is winter of 2021 are about to be winter, it feels like winter where I am. And it is,
gosh, such a time I think of collective breaths, wonder, exhaustion. Like what’s next? And what do we want to be next? There’s a lot I think of unresolved feelings and pain and trauma.
Personal and collective. So, here we are. And this as winters beginning, here come the holidays. And it’s so, so interesting, right? Because? Well, again, it’s a collective thing. There’s also very personal differences in the way that we feel about holidays, which holidays we celebrate how we celebrate them, if they feel uplifting, or if they feel heavy, or some blend, or both. alternatingly. Yeah, so you might be feeling excited about an opportunity to celebrate in ways that you haven’t been able to. Certainly last year felt like the possibilities were less in many ways, especially for traveling and gathering with family and that sort of thing. Much less possibility, it felt like collectively then this year. And it might not feel like all things are possible, either, right? We’re not out of the woods yet. And so there is an added layer of what is safe. And that may be different definition for different family members. So there’s the Navigating of that. There might be even aside from, you know, virus safety, there may be just kind of a sense of like, I don’t know that I want to gather with these people. I liked not doing that last year, right, that could be there. Um, it may be that some of the people you would have gathered with half past they’re no longer in this world. So it may be a time of grieving of really noticing their absence and there might be an opportunity for some extra sweetness this year some extra appreciation of the simple things because we’ve missed them. So whatever you’re feeling it’s welcome here and I wanted to just drop in. I’m still on a bit of a podcast hiatus that I felt like just wanted to drop in and check on you and check in with you. Because perhaps you’re feeling what I’m feeling which is a whole mixture of things. And definitely a desire to have some practices have some guidance around navigating all those different feelings and ideas and possibilities and grief so I kind of have like a forced step process here to offer you. And this is just this is something I’ve been doing and I’ve done some version of this in the past but If I feel like really clear on following in this way, in order to have the kind of holiday season that feels nourishing, rather than obligatory. Okay, that’s, that’s what I want. That’s what I want. For me, that’s what I want for you. That’s what I want for everyone that I’m gathering with, and everyone who’s celebrating any sort of a holiday given time, right? Because this time is also just normally rife with shoulds, right? Oh, we should spend all this time with these people, we should decorate exactly this way. Or we should follow this sort of tradition, or? Yeah, it should be all these things that may not actually move what we want. And can add to stress rather than joy. So where can we lean a little more into joy? Or at least peace? Right, then stress and obligation and happiness? Right, so. So these are the four things that I’m doing in this order. And, and this, feel free to rinse and repeat. This isn’t a one shot, you arrive. And that’s it. This is kind of a cycle to walk through. So the first step is to get clear on what are your priorities, what are your desires for this season. And in order to really do step one, it requires taking some space.
So perhaps while you’re listening to this, I can offer you some space, right here. And right now, you could hit pause, you could take some notes for yourself, even mental notes if you’re in transit. And consider what’s really important to you, at this time of year. How do you want to feel? What do you want to do? What do you want? I can be tough to know, can be tough to know. So give yourself some space and some grace. If you don’t have answers right now it’s okay. To create some space to keep asking and see what you can find. It might help to start with what you don’t want might be more readily clear. So you could start there, but I invite you to get to what you do want. Okay, great. So that’s one. The second is to brainstorm ways to have your holidays reflect your priorities, your desires, the feelings that you want to have. So brainstorm ways that this could happen in practical terms. What are some things that you could set in place? So I’ll give you an example. You’ll hear this after American Thanksgiving, but I am recording this right before. So I am one of the things i i That’s a priority for me is rest. I need to rest, relax. It has been a busy time. There’s been some changes in my world. And also, I just, I’m worn out. There’s been a lot happening this year, this past two years, right? It’s been a lot and even though I’ve been doing my best to process as I go, I just I can really feel it piled up and I need some rest. Right. So that’s a priority for me is that this time away from working, be restful. I also want to feel connected to those that I love the most. So one of the things that I an idea that I have Add is to set a time limit on family game playing. Set a time parameter around how long I will sit at the meal table before I go and take a rest. Right, whatever that looks like it might be I go for a walk by myself, or I lock myself in a bedroom and read a book or take a nap or whatever it is that I need, but really like setting up regular intervals where I am checking in making sure I’m getting that rest so that I have the energy to connect the next opportunity. Right, so this flow, what is an idea that I have? And and that but then something else came up. And I’ll get to that in a minute with the next step. Which is allow for flexibility. Right, so you can come up with all these ideas and like, Yeah, I’m gonna have a two hour, every two hours, I’ll take a little break, you know. And then, you know, things may not happen that way. It it life is rarely that neat and tidy. So not only can things change, and I’m not saying we have to be at the whim of that, in fact, I would argue, don’t be at the whim of whatever other people are doing. But but do allow because it could show up differently. Right? Like, it could be that, say, I’m spending three days with family. And maybe I actually only spend two of those three days. And the third day is completely different. And by myself,
as opposed to the regular intervals of time. So being flexible, and how that can show up. I’ll give you another quick example. We had a big family gathering this was pre COVID in Disney World. And I personally find Disneyworld exhausting, I appreciate a place that is so built around fun and families. But it’s a lot of stimulus. It’s a lot of people, it’s just a lot going on. So one of the things I put in place was that one of the days we were there, because we I think we were there for five days. One of those days right in the middle was a beach day. So no going to the park. Instead, we would go find a quiet beach, and just play in the sand. So this was my husband and I and in our kids, and the rest of the family could choose whatever and they they all want continue going Dizzy that day. And at first, my kids were not delighted that we were taking a break from Disney fun. But once we got to the beach, I could feel us all just like right, we just had this pause, we had a great time relaxing at the beach, and then we all have the energy to re enter the land of the Disney the next day. Right? So. And within that, right, there were opportunities to just step away, maybe leave the park for a couple of hours, even on full days when we were there, that kind of thing. So brainstorming and being flexible, right? Because the goal here is the priorities and not necessarily the how, in particular those priorities are met. You know, especially when involves other people, they’re variables outside of our control. So, um, and then the other piece is you might change your mind. Right? So remaining flexible, allows space for maybe you had this great idea and then you get there and actually you want to change it. Right, maybe the the connection priority feels more important one day than the rest. Beautiful. So that’s, as I mentioned earlier, this Thanksgiving, I have this great plan. And by the way, I asked this is another really important element we’ll get to you but I asked my husband to support me in honoring that timeframe that pause and checking in peace that resting regularly. Part of the rhythm of this Thanksgiving weekend. And then we got an invite from some friends to go spend time on a private beach. I know, right? Yeah. And it’s kind of a, it’s kind of a full day drive to get there. So, you know, it’s it wasn’t an immediate like, yes. Although it was for a part of me the deep need for rest and rejuvenation part of me was like, yes, yes, yes, yes, that is going to be rejuvenating, in in a similar way right to the Disney situation, right, there’s something about the ocean and the beach, especially when it’s quiet. That is just just fills me up. So I changed things around. And I’m so grateful that my family is willing to kind of shift things around. And the kids really want to just be with their grandparents and some old friends and other relatives and things. So they’re going to stay and do that. And I’m headed to the beach. So I’ll still have a Thanksgiving meal, we’ll have it on a we’re adjusting it a little bit to a different evening. And I almost didn’t ask, I almost was like, Oh, this invitation came too late. I’ve already imagined and brainstormed and planned it out that I am going to get what I need by relaxing
at my parents house. But it’s good to be flexible. You never know. Because now I’m just I’m really looking forward to kind of having all the things right getting to connect and have that meal. I love having a big meal with family. And also what my whole system is craving is quiet time to refill my cup. So there you have it. Okay, you might be thinking, Well, I’ve not been invited to a private beach, that’s not an option on my menu. Believe you me, it’s a rare treat for me as well. But that brings me to the fourth step, which is to commit commit first to yourself as well as to your loved ones. Right How So be flexible and also really committed to your needs, to your desires. I promise you everyone is going to benefit when you are in a good place. So this can look like big things like totally change your plans to go to the beach. Or, more likely, it’s the small things and those small things can be really powerful. So maybe it’s the way that you start your mornings. Maybe it’s the place that you sleep at night. Maybe it’s a break in the middle. Maybe it’s not every meal together.
So this involves really knowing what you need, what you want, asking for it. Right, receiving like being willing to receive support around what you desire. I think we forget that people want to support us getting what we want, in the same way that we want to do that for them. Not always, certainly not always for everyone in every context, but more often than I think we give the people around us credit for. So providing people an opportunity by asking they might not say yes, but they can’t say yes if you never ask. And then the other piece around this commitment is to enforce boundaries. Oh, this is such a golden and challenging space this holiday season to practice holding boundaries. Right. So keeping out what you don’t want, what you don’t need, and really honoring yourself. I love that I just heard this quote and I think we’ll complete this recording today with this quote. I heard it from Nina everflo, who I hope to have on this show at some point when I’m feeling more outward and ready to invite people to record with me. And she shared this quote. And by the way, she she runs a group called course rebel. And she, she does dei work, specifically in the space of teaching in the online world. So you can imagine my desire to connect with her she’s amazing, okay. That’s what I heard this from, but the actual quote comes from Prentice Hemphill. And it goes like this boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously. I’ll say that one more time boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously. Right. So here’s my wish for you is that you are able to love others and yourself simultaneously. This holiday season. And every season of course. I wish you all the best in navigating celebrating being this winter.