Its time for the holidays! Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose.
When we think of November/December especially in the colder parts of the US we immediately imagine a happy time of year. Presents, fires roaring in the fireplaces, drinking hot cocoa with marshmallows, building snowmen, throwing snowballs, children laughing and family gatherings.
When Families Come Together for the Holidays
When families gather for the holidays, whether near or far, different souls come together. Lately, I have heard so many talk about traveling for the holidays to see family and dreading it. Why? I ask them. Most respond with stories of the judgments that occur, the different dynamics in the family that don’t mesh, family members who don’t speak to each other or gossip behind each others back. Does this ring a bell to you? What comes up at the core during discussions like this is the difference between our soul-self and our ego-mind.
Soul vs. Ego
What intrigues me most is the dynamic between the wants and needs of the soul which fill us with the love and joy we seek and the ego-mind. At the core of the holiday season is what our soul desires most: love, laughter, joy, peace. Anything that does not feel good is not our soul-self speaking but our ego-mind. What is the difference? The soul is our inner light of who we really are in our core. The soul tells us that what makes our soul sing is what we should pour our heart into. The ego-mind needs to be balanced with the soul. If the two aren’t balanced, the ego can crush our soul with cloudy judgment, opposite wants and needs and as a result of moving away from the soul negative feelings take over. The further away you move from your soul-self, the more conflict arises around and within you.
As humans, without studying and understanding the difference between the soul and the ego we are in a state where we don’t know what we don’t know. Therefore, without knowing the difference or recognizing there is a difference, the ego can overtake the soul leaving negative emotions instead of our soul path of love and joy. It is this reason that gatherings for the holiday may be a negative environment when instead of love and gratitude, there are negative emotions because unbeknown to everyone the ego has taken over.
My personal holiday story
Every year on Thanksgiving morning my family and I make the annual pilgrimage from MA to NJ. Three screaming kids in toe asking “Are we there yet?” and “I have to go to the bathroom” and “Im hungry” fill the car for 4-6 hours depending on traffic. My car is filled to the ceiling with bags, stuffed animals, special blankets, desserts and presents for my nieces and nephew. By the time we arrive in NJ for Thanksgiving we are all cramped from sitting so long, tired from driving far and irritable. The minute we pull into my sisters house where the holiday is held, wafts of turkey, stuffing, dessert and loud chatty voices fill the air. “I want to go watch tv and relax” says my kids harmoniously.
WATCH OUT EVERYONE — Our souls have been invaded by our egos!!
As we say our hellos and small talk with family members, we quickly decide not to elaborate on how we’ve been and what we’ve been up to in order to make our mad dash exit towards an empty room. Who feels like talking to anyone after a 4-6 hour drive no matter how long we haven’t seen our family and friends? Our mind is yelling to be left alone but our soul continues to crave connection, love and joy. Unfortunately, if the ego outweighs the soul everything anyone says or does becomes irritating. Before you know it, you are watching the clock wishing the night away. This is precious time with your loved ones that you can never get back. No one wants this!
My personal steps to handle the holidays with Ease and Joy
When you start to feel negative feelings inside ask yourself the following questions and practice these steps:
- The soul craves only positivity so when you feel negativity stirring in your body or mind create an inner alarm that warns you to check your ego at the door.
- Ask yourself what triggered those negative feelings? Was it a person, event, place or anything else?
- Your negative feelings should then be observed, accepted as what they are — feelings and nothing more. No action or reaction should be taken.
- If you are triggered by something someone does or says about you its ultimately none of your business. You are allowed to feel a certain way but should NOT react, judge or feel based on those feelings as they are just feelings.
So on this Thanksgiving day join me in following my personal steps to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and leaving any negativity at the door. Once you enjoy your family and friends with pure love, joy and compassion without any negative emotions stirring, you will truly be able to enjoy the moments as they come without any regrets down the line.
Happy Holidays To all of you,
With Love and Gratitude,