Hope everyone has had a joyous holiday thus far! If not, then usually the culprit is unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others, which often leaves us feeling overwhelmed, disappointed, obligated, and stressed.
As long as we find ourselves thinking about what we and other people should be doing, thinking, or feeling, we are going to feel upset through our expectations. Therefore, as we go into the New Year, we can observe the shoulds we often live by, and look to embrace more of our wants, and what is authentically true for us instead.
Thankfully, we have the power to review our expectations and create our life the way we want it, without waiting for others to change. Instead of trying to coerce a family member, friend or spouse into changing themselves because of the way we feel; we can focus on what we can be doing differently, and make the appropriate adjustments.
So, if we are feeling burdened by the current way we do the holidays, or any other events throughout the year, then we have the freedom to create new traditions that will make our experiences more pleasing.
Below is an example of the changes we can make, as shared by Dr. Christiane Northrup, from her own life as follows:
“Some time ago, I had a frank discussion with my children about gift giving. And we all agreed to halt the practice entirely. They were as relieved as I was. Instead, we make each other’s birthdays a big deal.
And at Christmas, we create a slideshow of the prior year and have a game of “Yankee Swap,” for which we each buy a gift for under $20. (We then draw numbers, and the person with #1 picks a gift. Then all the ensuing players can either keep the gift they pick OR take the gift that someone else has already opened.)
It’s absolutely hilarious! My house is always filled with guests who are close friends and who add to the fun. We then enjoy a meal together and all go see a holiday movie. It’s a most wonderful day, one in which there is rest, laughter, and good food. We feel grateful to be a family (both blood and chosen) and to have shared another year with one another.
Let’s all do what we can to move from survival to joy this season. Yes—the surprise of Christmas morning with little ones is delightful. And so is finding the perfect gift for a loved one. But when this becomes an obligation, not a joy, it’s time to question the program.”
What makes your holidays or other occasions more enjoyable?
Exercise your freedom of choice by reviewing your current traditions as you head into 2014, and see if there is a way to make them more joyous if they are not to your liking!