What if the Holidays were a launchpad to our next Becoming?
(Instead of something to recover from).
The projects and visions we are dreaming up for 2019 matter.
A lot. Maybe more than ever before.
Actualizing them will require us to evolve into the next versions of who we are here to become.
To do this, we can't keep doing things the way we have always done them.
If we want a different 2019, we will need a different December.
Of course bring on the joy, the hope, the love, the cookies, and everything we love about our Holiday traditions.
But what if we said a big fat NO to allowing the next month to completely-
wipe out our checking accounts
re-root us in old patterns
clobber us with "not enough-ness"
—and instead allow it to send us into the new year with POWER?
What if the Holidays could be a resilience-invoking, spiritually-fortifying, energy-building launch into our best year yet?
Wayne Dyer says: When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.
To that end-
Here are 18 Ways of Cultivating Power & Presence This Holiday Season:
1. See the halo.
Imagine a halo of light around everyone’s head, especially when they are pushing your buttons or chewing loudly.
Imagine, too, a halo of light around your head.
2. When you feel like the one who doesn’t belong, consider the possibility that everyone else might be feeling the same way.
What I have learned from over a decade of listening to other people's hearts is that nearly all of us spend time feeling like we are on the outside of a window looking in.
Seeing this in each other reminds us that separation does not make us special, and is a story we tell to root ourselves in the comfort of isolation.
We all want to belong to each other, and we all have the power to write a new story about our place in the world.
Once upon a time we realized we each felt weird and different but we decided to love each other anyway...
3. Create a "Power5". Or "Power15". Or "Power33".
In the midst of the bustle, reclaim a moment each day to do what makes you come alive. 5 minutes of singing. 15 minutes working on your project launch. 33 minutes of writing about your visions. One email to a new client or donor.
This is not about intensive work periods but a quick touchpoint to maintain your commitment--I am writing mine on a post-it--and we can all find an extra 5 minutes.
Amping up is easier than gearing up and objects (and magnificent humans) in motion will stay in motion—in some tiny way, touch into what you want more of before we begin the new year so you can amplify in January instead of starting from zero.
4. Remember the small scared wondrous child living at the center of everyone’s heart—including your own.
Remember this about the cashier who is moving slower than you want her to.
Remember this about your relative whose politics make you want to revoke the awesome present you bought them.
Remember this about yourself when you are 20 minutes into a family gathering and you feel unrecognizable from the fully-functioning, mature adult you believed yourself to be.
If you can, actually look at pictures of loved ones and yourself from childhood—remembering and envisioning these little ones make forgiveness more accessible.
5. Put a lid on expectations.
Get a mason jar with a lid. Label it "RELEASED EXPECTATIONS." Every time you realize you have an expectation about how you need someone else to act or behave, or an idea of how something is supposed to go, write it down, put it on the jar, screw the lid tight, and put the jar out of sight.
Who are you when you show up with no expectations?
I am convinced that releasing expectations (which is not the same as releasing hope, dreams, or needs) is one of the most sustaining and vibration-raising practices available to us.
(This one is extremely hard and next-level but I BELIEVE IN US).
6. You are here to evolve patterns—not repeat them.
Gravity pulls you toward the way things have always gone in your families and communities but you are courageously creating something new; discomfort and push back are signs you are doing what you were born to do.
7. Practice the art of the opt out
Old story: If I don't fulfill my obligations, I am an unworthy _______ (daughter, lover, father, friend, teacher...)
New story: Taking care of my own needs takes care of the people I love.
Opting out of activities you don’t feel inspired to do and taking care of your own needs is always an available option that takes you and everyone around you higher.
Opting out has nothing to do with your worthiness in your family or community.
Opting out with integrity is showing someone else in your orbit the sustaining--not selfish—practice of caring for ourselves.
8. Take a dance break and then try it again.
Dancing is a tonic for stuck-ness, tension, depression, worry, anger, and anxiety.
Dance to one song.
Put on music and take a bopping ten-minute walk.
This force of nature is my inspiration for dance breaks and everything else
5 minutes of moving your beautiful body is enough to change the energy significantly—go for good enough and see what happens.
9. Teach people how to feel about you
A great thing to say when people share unsolicited feedback about the timeline of your life, career, relationships, money, family-planning, or anything else is--
Actually I feel terrific about this timing and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.
Even if you don’t feel 100% terrific you will teach them how to feel about you and simultaneously teach you how to feel about you.
Feedback is always about the other person, not you—most likely they will never learn to fully celebrate you as the exquisite nonlinear duck that you are. Do not waste your precious energy trying to crack the weird family hierarchy of approval! Their judgments push your buttons because they touch into some of your own doubt.
Claiming your process proudly will be a good exercise in stretching your confidence.
You accepting you is what matters.
10. Put your hand on your heart and say this with me:
"I am a creative courageous loving badass on the verge of my next big leap."
Depending on who we are spending time with or what kind of family we are blessed with, the Holidays can invoke fear and doubt about our life choices.
You are onto something, and I am not going to let you forget who you are and what you are doing here.
Repeat it while you are doing the dishes. Repeat it in the shower. Repeat it in traffic and invoke your next becoming into being.
11. You are not responsible for feeling other people’s feelings for them.
I'll say this again for all of my empath Sisters in the back—you are not responsible for feeling other people's feelings for them.
If you are like me, you need to tattoo this all over your body and write it everywhere you can see it.
Here are some simple practices for those of you who find it hard to know where your skin ends and others' begins:
More importantly—and this is a lesson I am working on right now—we are more capable of being of service when we exonerate ourselves from taking on others' emotional burdens.
12. Thank one person a day until January 1.
Make a list and write at the top: Who do I want to thank for bringing light to my life this year?
From now until January 1st, make one simple thank-you a day—in an email, a hand-written note, a voice memo, in person, in a poem, or another creative way of your choosing.
13. Warrior up.
Scarcity regularly shows up in feelings of worry, anxiety, and panic around feelings of not enough-ness.
The Holidays are a hotbed for this disease.
Commit to noticing where scarcity shows up--panic that the food will run out, worries that your gifts aren't fancy enough, anxiety that you will run out of time, fear that if you don't interrupt or keep talking you will never get to speak again, feeling like there is less for you when good things happen to other people, belittling your own life in comparison to your friends who are #lovinglife on Instagram.
The first step in eradicating scarcity is interrupting the pattern—noticing when and where it arises, naming it, and saying STOP.
Scarcity is a powerful story created by the patriarchal world culture.
We can choose to participate in it or we can warrior up and write a new story of abundance.
The Holidays are a beautiful opportunity to (imperfectly) explore the latter.
14. Drink water and other energizing liquids.
Water erodes resistance and is the literal embodiment of flow.
Drinking water helps when we are breaking through to something new.
In the winter I do fresh ginger, lemon, and honey with hot water before my coffee every morning.
It makes me feel alive and extremely proud of myself.
15. Make eye contact and breathe before you speak.
Eye contact + a 4 count inhale-exhale before you speak is a useful tool to feel less judged and do less judging.
Inhale I am.
Exhale I am blessed.
16. Your darkness is stunning.
I will keep say it forever until we change our thoughts about big feelings--
Your tears are blessings.
Your anger is fire.
Your grief sets us free.
Only robots don't feel darkness.
Most of us are not in families where we want to, or can, share the full truth of our emotional lives. But we must find trusted spaces and chosen families who embrace the full scope of who we are and what we feel.
17. Give the world what you want the most.
If you are feeling blue, surprise someone with an unexpected delight.
If you are feeling scarce, buy the coffee for the person behind you in line.
If you are feeling lonely, offer a consensual hug.
18. We are all baby bunnies.
Remember that everyone (including you) is a baby bunny doing the best they can—love them so unbelievably hard anyway.
Mother Theresa says--if you judge people, you have no time to love them.
It's nearly impossible to judge baby bunnies.
You don't need all 18 ideas on this list--but you might need one.
Let your intuition guide you to what you need today, gently bring it into your life, and let the rest go.
I'd love to know how it goes, and I want you to know that I am rooting for you along every leap of this nonlinear path.
With enthusiasm, blessings, and gratitude,
A little book of inspiration, frameworks, and guidance for your next creative project.