Dear Enchanted Ones,
Let’s harness the Dragons of Stress about the holiday season, especially with regard to going home again. What the heck happens that turns responsible, mature business people and homemakers into sniveling, quibbling siblings and rebellious children once everyone is together at home for the holidays?
Usually it’s due to unhealed triggers from the past. Sometimes they seem dealt with because time and distance eased them. The Dragons have swept them under the rug and once home again, it’s clear that the rug is lumpy and everyone is tripping over it.
What triggers you? Competition to be the best? (Make the most money, be the most loved, have the biggest house, be the most popular, etc.) Maybe you have evolved away from who you were but others still treat you as you were and then, somehow, you begin to act like that while protesting all at the same time that you are different. Perhaps your expectations are in the way or a desire to control things that are not in your control.
It’s okay. You have an arsenal of Dragon-taming tools and a keyring of Enchanted Keys.
Enchanted Key #1-Mindfulness-As soon as you become aware of Dragons in the room, stop, breathe, and get present to what is triggering you.
Enchanted Key #2-Altered Perceptions-Be your own best friend and see how you can observe the situation differently or behave differently in it.
Enchanted Key #3-Journaling-Maybe grab a sheet of paper and pencil or open the notes section on your phone and steal away into the powder room to jot down how you feel, what your thoughts are and a quick mantra to repeat to yourself to stay balanced.
Enchanted Key #4-Sensory Experiences-This key is usually used to enhance a pleasant experience and you can use it that way or, you might get present to the fact that the smell of the dressing triggers old unconscious memories. Notice your experience through all of the senses to discover sensitivity.
Enchanted Key #5-Reduced Clutter-Physical clutter can create a feeling of chaos inside, but let’s also remember that our thoughts, feelings, and relationships can be cluttered. Take a few deep and cleansing breaths and imagine snow being shoveled to clear space or the tide washing in to set it all to zero. Ahh.
Enchanted Key #6-Humor-Not sarcastic, hurtful humor, but an opportunity to lighten the energy with a gentle, witty transition remark that can diffuse tension. Take a second to check in with whether you have always been the designated one in the family to do that.
Enchanted Key #7-Movement-Not in a huff, but see if you can excuse yourself to go for a walk. Others might like to join you. It changes the scenery, circulates your blood, helps you digest your food and enhances your mood. Mold a snowball and launch it. (Be mindful of your target, be it human or not.)
Enchanted Key #8-Art-Use a gloved finger to draw in the snow or sand, or enjoy the beauty of a cardinal in the green tree. Change your focus to see the art around you.
Enchanted Key #9-Nature-Take yourself outside or look out of a window if weather doesn’t permit you to be in it. Focus on finding five different textures in nature. Breathe in the air.
Enchanted Key #10-Meditation, as you know, can be sitting, walking or writing, as well as singing. Find what brings Zen peace to the moment and be with that.
Remember what is important to you and stay enchanted.