Turkey Day + 5 Steps = Peaceful Holiday

IcicleEverything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.  – Albert Einstein

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Whether you are elbow deep in flour or making a last run to the grocery store, there may be thoughts like these lurking under the surface of the busyness of holiday preparation:

I hope that Aunt Rachael and Dad don’t get into politics or the economy this year.

What if Jan (my mother-in-law) hates the way I made the turkey?

Did we have to invite Bob? He is always such a downer at the holidays ever since he lost his job.

Everyone has difficult people in their circle of family and friends. And the holidays brings everyone together, to simmer in their opinions, judgments and criticisms.  For some, it is an annoyance to be born for a few days. For others, it can be a looming disaster that threatens to effect relationships far into the future.

It doesn’t have to be that way. 

I have discovered a 5 step process that helps me fly through the holidays, enjoying myself and feeling great at the end of the night.  I remind myself of the following truths before I enter a potentially stressful situation. I visualize interacting positively with the people who upset me in the past.  And I touch base with the 5 steps if I feel myself getting drawn into a negative or emotionally charged exchange.

1.  I only have control over myself. No one else.

I accept this fact and I remind myself of its truth whenever I am tempted to point out someone else’s faults or mistakes.   I have no idea what that person is dealing with or what cross they carry, so my opinion of their words or actions is not necessary or helpful.

2.  I only have control over my reactions, not others.

I cannot control anyone else’s reaction. So when I present the turkey or other dishes that I made, I know I created it with love and happiness. I did my part and I leave it at that.

3.  Everything is energy.

When I hear what I think is criticism, I remind myself that “It’s only energy.” That takes away the emotional charge and allows me to choose my response from love instead of hurt. It also give me room to consider that I may have misinterpreted the comment.

4.  I decide how I want to experience the holiday.

When #1 + #2 + #3 are added together, I always reach the logical conclusion that I get to decide how I want to experience the holiday.  I make that decision before the event, by visualizing how I want the day to proceed. I hold that vision or idea in my head as I move through the day, making sure that I am responding and reacting in ways that are consistent with my vision.

5.  I leave the rest up to God or the Universe.

I know that I can’t control others, so I do not set unrealistic expectations. I focus on what I want to experience and let go of the rest.

This 5 step process has worked its magic for me – consistently and predictably… as long as I did my part and stayed within my zone of happiness. Try it tomorrow and let me know if it also worked for you.

Remember – Albert Einstein said that “This is not philosophy. It’s physics.”  Put the laws of physics to work for you and you will reap the benefits.

Simplify Your Holidays

I am at the stage of my life where more is not better, the new and improved looks a lot like the original, and the money I earn is much happier just sitting in my bank account. Our consumer culture has us believe that we cannot ever be happy without the latest technological wonder or app, the newest gizmo or the coolest gadget.

And now we are entering the holiday season, everything has geared up to push into a mad rush for the cash register, arms loaded with stuff that we don’t need and can’t afford.

Why not try something new this year? Before you pull out of the driveway to take advantage of the Black Friday sales, take a moment in the peace and quiet of your home, to create a new gift list. Here is how you do it:

1. Decide who is on your “critical list.” You know who they are. They are the people who make your life complete. The ones you cannot live without and the ones you probably spend most of your thoughts on.
2. Write each person’s name at the top of a clean sheet of paper. One piece of paper for each person.
3. Under the person’s name, write these questions, with enough space to come back and fill in the answers:
***What makes this person happy and their heart sing?
***What can you give this person to help them experience the answer to the first question?

For example, do you have a thespian in the house? Buying tickets to see a local community play would make their heart soar. For the musician or music lover, concert tickets or a new way to play his music (think of what is available on the internet) would be just the thing. A nature lover would love a day spent at the local arboretum or hiking. An artist would adore a day at the museum that is located one city over. The golfer in the family might enjoy a game of virtual golf or everyone hitting a bucket of balls at the local driving range.

The possibilities are endless and are only limited by your imagination.

Does your special other love Paris? Then go on the internet and discover items that are reminiscent of the City of Lights. Create a gift basket or write a love note.

Plan the excursion or experience so the recipient does not have to do a thing – except show up. You want this to be their day, so make sure that the details are decided ahead of time. Be sure to leave an element of surprise or spontaneity in the event, because that is the reason why you created this experience.  So the other person can do what they love to do.

The point of this exercise is not to spend a lot of money. It is to show you that when you give yourself (your time and attention) in a focused and deliberate way for what the other person loves, you will feel the reason for the season.

That is it. Complete each page, then set out on your holiday shopping. It will give you a much better perspective on what this season is all about – giving your heart to another so you both expand and grow in love.

Simplify your holiday gift giving, and the memories you help create will last much longer than any new gizmo or gadget.

Remember, love can take many forms. Allow your love for the other people in your life to take on their desires, and you will be the happy recipient of more appreciation than you can imagine!