Dread, panic, fear, resistance, sadness … could be what you’re feeling as Christmas looms near. I know as soon as I see the shops start the lead up to Christmas I don’t feel excited, can’t wait, woo hoo! Instead, I’ve often felt under pressure, squeezed, reminded at every turn of what I have to do, be, buy, organise. And that’s just the external pressure.
Then there’s what’s going on inside. My emotional memories of my first Christmas after separation, not having my kids around, or traumatic events of the past linger. Waiting to overwhelm me in an instant, leaving me feeling powerless, anxious, unprepared to face the terrain ahead. If you want to be emotionally prepared – stay in an easy emotional flow, you need a plan.
An emotional action plan. This is what I found worked for me:
Decide right now, you’d like to make this Christmas about connection and love. Spend some time imagining what that would look like, feel like, sound like, smell like … This is the ‘solution’ and keeping this in your mind’s eye, pre-paves the way for the experience you really want.
For many of us – Christmas has been a time of having to act out of obligation, to compromise our wants and needs to keep others happy, or do what we think is expected of us. This ‘abandonment of self’ lands on us unconsciously and can activate resentment or at the very least affirms to us we are not of value, our needs are not important. How then, could you be truly present when you are doing what you’re doing with this undercurrent of feeling within you? You can’t be all there – and the people you are with feel that on some level. The deep connection you all really want is difficult with this unaddressed feeling in the way.
This is an opportunity for you to:
- be true to you if possible. What do you want to do? What would make you feel the love and connection you want to feel at Christmas time and how can you express that to the ones you love in a way that creates growth and opportunity, as opposed to conflict?
- acknowledge how you feel … validate why you would be feeling it and be there for yourself emotionally. Do some writing on your feelings, share them with a trusted friend, therapist or coach and then surrender. Use it to grow and feel more empowered in your future. Practice letting go and activating complete acceptance of the situation as it is – this will bring you into presence and out of any conflicted state.
As the feelings come up in you, whatever they are: grief, loss, sadness, panic, dread, overwhelm … be with it. I accompany myself in the feeling by saying things to myself like “Why wouldn’t I feel …”, “It’s no wonder I feel …”. When I allow the feeling to be, reminding myself this is all part of the emerging process of my life, that my feelings are a natural response to being alive, I notice I can move through them more quickly. I don’t have to do anything (yet), I only need to validate them to diffuse the charge.
Get curious. When I see my feelings as an opportunity to ‘take back my creative power’ I notice my mind begins to work with me as opposed to resisting what I’m feeling and building the discomfort. My feelings show me where I need to put my awareness, so I can evolve emotionally and step back into my true most empowered state. They hold the data I need to see what’s coming up to be healed within me, what I need to address, so I don’t have to experience the same repetitive cycles of frustration. Where am I not speaking my truth? Have I abandoned myself? Do I really want to do this or am I doing this out of fear (of not being loved, of exclusion, of not being accepted)? Have I felt this same feeling before? (is it a repetitive cycle?)
Your enquiry here is your opportunity to evolve. When I discovered what was really going on for me emotionally, I was able to shift myself out of feeling hurt, distress, pain, loss and into a state of creative potential. This is evolution. The opposite of what our culture encourages us to do which simply recycles the same feelings over and over again.
Remember you only have to respond to THIS moment.
So my Christmas gift to you is to encourage you to make this Christmas a gift to yourself. Use it to evolve emotionally. Prepare yourself now. Practice being there for yourself. Then you can truly be there for others. If you need support to clear away what’s getting in your way of having a richly joyous Christmas, schedule a virtual cuppa and let’s have a chat.
Lisa Jayne is an Educator, Speaker, Coach and Author teaching people how to get into emotional flow so life and relationships feel easy. You can email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a virtual cuppa here.