Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Inspirational Snippet: Holiday Healing

Inspirational Snippet: Holiday Healing

Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce....Ahhh...The taste of Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
I have to say that this is my favorite holiday. I love the food, of course, as many do, but it is more about the meaning of the holiday; or what I should say the meaning has become for me. It has become an opportunity for me to look at my life and really notice the many things that I am grateful for. It is a great reminder to not take anything for granted. It is also a time that we can share the abundance in our life with our friends and family.

Several years back, I chose to create a Vegan Thanksgiving to celebrate with my family of Light--my friends that are composed of clients, students and friends.  It is always around 11-11 that I do and it is really healing for my soul, my body and my mind.  This is a day when everyone who comes together has actively made a choice to be with one another eating a more healthy array of foods that if I might add are incredibly delicious (I know some of you think that is crazy, but believe you me--the food is beyond delish!)  I love it and it fulfills me!   And I have to say, this was the best year yet for food--and here is a little secret--most people in attendance are not Vegan, but for one day a year they can come together and get creative out of love for one another--to me that is what the holiday is about--sharing, caring, gratitude and loving.

Still the real holidays are approaching, and I usually spend the holidays at my parents with my brothers and their children.  There is nothing like my mom's idea of Thanksgiving. You grow up with certain family traditions and that is what you are looking for around the holidays...I don't know about everyone, but that is how I feel. I love my family traditions of food at Thanksgiving--it really feels great to be Italian, Polish and Ukrainian--those cultures for me have such yummy foods; how can one resist?
Several years ago, I made the decision to not go to my family's for Thanksgiving. It was a difficult decision for me at best. I decided to use my voice and take a stand for what I believe to be important. My stand was to not attend my family holiday gathering because of the lack of respect I felt directed towards me from my brothers. I really love my family, but I didn't always feel good when I went there for the holidays. My brothers were angry and they took it out on me. They do not like what I do for a living. They would make fun of me and talk badly about what I do which made it very uncomfortable for all the people in attendance including my little nieces. While I don't accept their thoughts as mine, the behavior was very disrespectful and can be quite harmful to my energy. It seemed the more content I had gotten with my life over the last few years, my brothers seemed to have gotten angrier. Is that the case? Or is it that I am or have gotten to a more balanced experience with my feelings that I can't relate or allow as much as I may have allowed in the past?

In case you are wondering, yes, I do understand their stuff is not about me; however, the negative energy does impact me and I have a choice to experience it or not. I even understand the lessons associated with this and the deeper spiritual healing piece, but what I am writing about today is the human experience and my choice of not taking part in something I deem to be unhealthy for me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I don't think family gatherings should be disrespectful and not to mention they just shouldn't make you feel so bad. The energy can be harmful to not only the person made to feel uncomfortable, but everyone there.

I know holidays can be dysfunctional and families can be crazy--I mean they make many movies about it and perhaps they will make one about mine someday too!  But honestly, all joking aside, the experience can be toxic to our intuitive natures. It is not pleasant to "feel" under attack at a place that is supposed to be safe. It was hard to make this decision not to go to my parents that year, but I think because I did that, it helped me heal with them.  My family's interaction with me began to change after that and while we are not all on the same page--perhaps not even in the same book, it is tolerable, safe and a much warmer climate at the family gatherings.

Over the years, I have done a lot of things that I didn't want to do out of guilt and obligation so as to keep everyone in the family happy. Does this sound familiar?  It really is a common thing that a lot of us tend to do; make decisions that would cause the least amount of problems for the family even if it isn't in your best interest. The truth is that we often worry about everyone else and forget about our own needs and how we may be affected by those choices.  Each time we make a choice in favor of someone else over our needs, we give away our power.  Feeling powerless leads to so many things, like low self-esteem, depression, guilt, shame to name a few.

I decided a long time ago that the only person who could make me happy is me so I made the choice to make me happy that Thanksgiving. I want to feel loved, safe and at peace. I explained to my parents as best as I could; that it was not because I didn't love them, but I was not attending because I felt like my brothers should treat me with respect. I truly do not believe that it is too much to ask. I mean I don't agree with stuff that my brothers do, but I just accept that is what they chose and go on.

This message is for all of you to absorb/feel/comprehend/experience for yourself and to evaluate how you feel about holidays.  We shouldn't have to prepare to go a holiday gathering (or to our family's home for that matter), we shouldn't have to feel afraid of what may happen, anxious about the expectations; and ultimately we shouldn't have to do anything that jeopardizes our safety/happiness/inner light.
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving this week.

Love to you,

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