I am one of those people who wants to do everything. I want to see everyone. I want to connect with as many people as possible. In this holiday season of parties and family gatherings, it’s easy to overcommit. When this happens for me, I eventually get to the point where no matter how much I love the person I’m going to see, I may start to dread the actual interaction. I learned several years ago to be very careful about what I say yes to. I also learned that it’s ok to say “no,” it’s ok to say “not right now,” it’s ok to say, “I may be able to do that” without fully committing, and it’s ok to say, “I was really excited about this when I RSVPed, but I’m really not feeling it right now.” The people who love me will understand and will be ok with me saying no or needing to reschedule.
Honoring yourself is all about taking the time to listen to what you need. It may be rest, but it may also be activity. Sometimes when I’m feeling especially sluggish or stuck in one emotion or another, I’ve noticed that if I get up and go for a walk or run, the emotion is able to move up and out to make room for more happiness and joy. Emotion is, after all, energy in motion. If my energy isn’t moving through my body, how can it move out? Sometimes we need to sit in it, sometimes we need it to move. It’s all about being more present with yourself and being able to hear the difference in your body.
Ok, so let’s go back to that converations I was having with Uncle Fred at the family Christmas party on the Seventh Day of Holiday Peace. If the visualization I used to help myself feel more comfortable didn’t work, I may need to excuse myself from the conversation. If Uncle Fred isn’t willing to give me that space I need and have asked for, in order to honor myself, I can simply say, “Uncle Fred, I love you, and I appreciate your excitement for this topic, but I am feeling a little anxious right now and need to step outside for a minute to get myself calmed down.” By saying this, not only am I honoring my feelings and my needs, but I am also expressing my love for Uncle Fred while honoring his passion for whatever he was talking to me about, which of course I would remember if this were a real scenario. I don’t even have an Uncle Fred…and I’m sure if I did, he would be an amazing and interesting guy who I would never feel anxious around. Ha!
How do we tune into ourselves, you ask? How do we know what we want and need? This is easy for some people. Some people are able to easily know and ask for the things that they need. I have not historically been one of those people. I have had to train myself as an adult to be able to listen to what I need. There are a couple of ways that I’ve learned to do this. One is that I imagine that my little five year old self is sitting next to me, and I ask her how she’s feeling and what she needs. Sometimes it’s as simple as, “I’m feeling sad, and I want a hug.” Sometimes, it’s a little more complicated.
Another way that I’ve learned is to literally imagine my mind dropping down into my heart space. I have typically spent a lot of time in my mind and not so much in my heart. I’m learning now that the mind is meant to serve the heart, and that is why I’ve always felt so disconnected from my authentic expression. Again, this has not always been the way that I approached life, but it’s where I’m choosing to live now. I’m choosing to express myself from my heart space instead of from my mind. So, once we’ve dropped our awareness down into the heart space, we just have to listen to what it needs. This is the other part that can be a little difficult at first, but gets easier with practice. Our hearts have voices, and most of us have been trained not to listen to them. That little voice that speaks up and says, “I want ice cream” when you’re on a diet is the voice I’m talking about. Sometimes, just acknowledging that voice is enough and saying, “I understand that you want ice cream, but it’s not the best thing for us in this moment. We will have some a little later.” It’s all about parenting that inner toddler, and giving them what they’ve always needed or at least what they need in this moment. What is your inner toddler asking for right now? Is it something that you can give them?
Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’m so grateful that I can share these tools with you that I’ve learned. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me in my lifetime!
I bless you with the peace and ease you need in this holiday season.