Shifting to a More Positive Holiday Perspective

Dec 23, 2019


Hi, I'm Linda Frazee, and I want to talk to you today about a more positive perspective for the holidays.

This is such an intense time for people getting ready with all that the season demands and everything that goes along. It can really be hard to keep your balance in this busy, busy time!

Sometimes people just get exhausted or they get tired, or they just say, 'what? This isn't even worth it!' And by the time they get through the holidays they don't even enjoy it. They don't even remember it.

In my work with people I've discovered there's three major categories of attitudes.

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Number one is make it go away. 'I don't even want to participate.' 'Everything about the holidays at this time of year drives me crazy.' 'I don't like anything.' 'Just let me know when it's over.'

The second attitude is, 'okay, I'm going through the emotions, and I'm counting the days until it's over.' 'It always costs more than what I think.' I spent too much money, I eat too much food, I gained weight, and by the time it's over, I need a vacation. So that's number two.

And then number three, you have a lot of people in the category of 'this is the most wonderful time of the year, and I just love it! I love all the music. I love everything about it.' And 'I feel a deep resonance with the deep inner meaning of the season.'.

So what do you do if you're not in category number three? I mean, if you're thinking, 'well, that's where I should be, but I'm not,' what do you do? The first thing you do is you own your own reality where you are right now. There's probably good reasons that you're not in that third camp. Maybe you never have been, or maybe you once were, but this year you're not. And that's okay. So the first thing you do is you own it.

Now, you might want to look back briefly if you'd like to shift it slightly to say, 'is there something from the past that's haunting me about this?' If you had a very sad or discouraging or disappointing event in your life when you were younger or even in the last number of years around Christmas, that kind of thing can haunt you. That's only natural if there is a dichotomy between how you were supposed to feel and what was really going on.

This might even be happening in reality for you right now. You may have to stay with yourself, with where you are. But if it's from the past and you recognize it, maybe you've never thought of it before but you do now, then you know there's a couple things you can do.

You can sit down and write all about it. Best to hand write it rather than on a computer. And then you can shred it or burn it or tear it up. And then just kind of bless that experience and try to bring yourself back to the present moment. Sometimes we don't even know the things that are haunting us that get in our way. So the other thing you can do is really ask yourself what really matters to me. Because if you're not with anybody, if you get to just decide what you're wanting to do, maybe you don't want to do any of the things that are, that are typical and traditional. And maybe you want to go have Mexican food during the holidays and go for a hike, which is fine. Maybe you want to read a book, just stay home. So if you're in the category of the well, I just wake me up when it's over kind of thing.

Category number two, here's some suggestions for you. There's maybe a couple of things you really like about the season. Make those essential for yourself! For instance, if you like looking at lights, go out and look at lights. And if you say, 'well, nobody wants to go with me' - Go by yourself! This is a time for you to stand up and say, 'that's what I need.'.

If you have little children and they're so excited - but you're already exhausted? I know how that is because I once had three little children myself who were so excited that they couldn't even sit still and I know that you can be an energy drain. So what do you do with that? Well, in my case, I had grandparents who came to visit, which was helpful and their grandparents would sit with them and play board games a couple of days before Christmas and then take them to a park and run them around. So they got some of that energy out and I got a little bit of a break! You might be able to do that.

If you don't have any relatives nearby or people you know that can help you with that, you might have a neighbor or somebody nearby - trade with other parents just to get a little break. That kind of hyper-excitement for children can be exhausting!

The other thing is if you're making a decision about what you want to do remember that people sometimes ended up feeling kind of like a victim at this time of year. This is because they find themselves doing the things that other people want them to do - things that they don't really want to do. So be brave, be courageous. And if you say no - say 'No! I don't want to do it that way!' And try to think of something else that you want to do.

Maybe it's watching a movie or to read a book, maybe take a day trip - whatever you want to do. See if you can enlist others, if you want to have other people with you -- or just do it by yourself! But remember to ask yourself what is it you really want.

Another thing is, you might say, 'I don't know.' 'I don't know what I really want.' 'You know, I just can't even decide.' And maybe you want to even wait until the day then you're supposed to do something to say whether you'll commit or not. That's okay too because you can really be authentic about your own choices and it makes a difference.

Years ago when my children were young teenagers, I was divorced and by myself Christmas day and my children with their father and his new wife. So I did something completely non traditional. The first thing I did is I volunteered at a soup kitchen and I served soup in the morning. And then in the afternoon, I went with a group of people to sing in a retirement home. And then at the end of the day I went home and watched my favorite movie. Now it was quite different. It was different than anything I'd ever done. But if I could stay in the present moment, which is really the secret to all of this, I felt much better and it was really quite satisfying.

So I invite you this year to do something different with yourself! To really look at what feeds you and what doesn't, and be courageous enough to say what you need and you want, and to find pockets of time to let yourself relax and enjoy the way you want to enjoy.

Even if you've got other people to consider, I really believe you can do it cause I learned to do it. I taught a class many years ago called 'Creating an Authentic and Positive Experience at the Holidays.' I know that if I can do that, you can do it too!

Please visit my website and find some tips that will help you, and learn about the Enneagram, which will help you understand your motivation at this time of year and take you one step further.

Linda Frazee

Free 5-Video Series: What is the Enneagram Anyway?



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