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Eat the pie, name the feeling, keep it simple, and I’ve never done…

Yup…the holidays are coming. 

My clients tell me they’re feeling equal parts worry (food, family, stress) and excitement (food, family, rituals).

So, here’s what I’ve been thinking:

  1. Thanksgiving is just another day. The fact that this particular Thursday in Nov. is a holiday, does not change the fact that–just like on every other day–you know what to eat/what you like/want. EAT THAT!
  1. Please, Eat everything you love. Eat the potatoes, the pie, the stuffing. If you want, eat these holiday foods for every meal until they’re gone. And you don’t have to wait a year to eat them again.
  1. You may end the meal feeling very full. Your inner critic (I call mine = Snippy Snipperstein) will be outraged. So what! Ignore her! We’re not interested in outsmarting our hunger, denying or controlling it. Eat the Effing  _________! Take a leisurely walk if it helps your body to feel better.
  1. Trust–the food will digest, you will get hungry again, even if you do NOTHING!
  1. Breathe….(I don’t exhale well when I’m really nervous!) Checking-in with a hand on my belly helps.
  1. 100% Permission to go slow, be kind, and totally on your own side. Stop. Take space. Rest. Naps are medicine.
  1. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Cook less, outsource more. I used to prepare, from scratch, the most complicated Thanksgiving meal. Why? Because, that’s what my mother did. Then I got smarter–cook less, order more, have people contribute to the meal. And, oh yeah–2 pies are enough.
  1. Make a shorter to-do list. Let some of the things go! What if–in this time of busybusybusy–you risked doing less? Asked: Is this really how I want to spend my time right now? (Do you see how a lot of this work is about our connection with ourselves – our inner conversations/checking-in, confirmations?)
  1. Slow down–listen to the inside voice saying, I’m tired, I can’t shop/cook/socialize anymore. The voice of your Self asking--Remember me? What I like, want, need? Is there one old rule, fear, story or *should* you might challenge right now? Stay curious, brave, open.
  1. You are the world’s leading expert on you. Trust you. You can do this!
  1. Saying NO is absolutely allowed! In fact, it’s sooo necessary. NO = setting a boundary. It’s loving kindness. It’s needed, especially during the holidays.
  1. Saying NO may make you feel guilty. And–practicing saying YES to You will strengthen your, I can stand up to feeling guilty muscle (guilty = I took care of me).
  1. Compassionately, gently and lovingly–call yourself out on those stoic inner stories–you know the ones:  I’m not tired, I’m not hungry; really, I’m ok! 
  1. Befriend yourSelf. Notice and be tender with those “younger” parts of you feeling the feels. Let them know you’re here for them and will take care of them.

    First step–Notice the sensations in your body:

    The clenched jaw, tight chest, shallow breath, the stiffening in the gut, shoulders, neck.Your body is trying to get your attention…what is it trying to tell you? Listen, observe from a place of compassion and clarity.

  1. And here’s a powerful and vital thing: Seems big, messy, unpleasant emotions often visit this time of year. How can we work with them?

Try this:

Consider that your emotions are — very young parts you, babies…and, Pick up the Baby.

Embrace each of your feelings as small, scared parts of you. Wrap them in unconditional kindness and compassion.

  1. Check-in–place your flat palm on your heart and say:

    I’m so sorry you’re feeling ______________.  Say, I’m here, I’m staying right with you. I’m happy to be with you. Ask, How can I help? Say, If you don’t know what you need, that’s ok. I’m here.

Mindfulness helps us to NAME the feeling, and surprisingly, once we name it, it starts to settle down. Read a great article explaining why here

  1. Physically comfort the baby: Imagine: Stroking the hair, patting the knee, hugging, rocking, holding the hand of this “baby.” You can also actually do these things–stroke your hair, pat your knee, hold your hand. Rock. (My inner little one likes to be sung to).

Embrace the feeling until it reduces in intensity, until it feels seen and heard.

 

***

The reason I’m sharing this:

We’ve created patterns and habits for coping with the holidays that may not be working so well.
We may spend the season rushing, pleasing, stressing, then greet the New Year feeling angry and exhausted.
How could we make the holiday season better?
Begin 2020 feeling more confident, peaceful and at ease.
Can we be brave enough to start listening to our own voice? Believe in our own power and worth?
Stop waiting to say YES to our truths, needs, and dreams.

I want to help you have a more joyful, easy, and confident holiday season and New Year!

So grateful for you, all year ❤

Have a lovely Thanksgiving.

xoxo
Susan
p.s. I’m spending less and less time on Facebook, and more on Instagram, so let’s connect there
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