What’s not to love about the holidays?  It’s a time of feasts fit for a King, ritual, and merriment with family and friends.  But what happens when the spiced eggnog is flowing and the conversation turns to the dreaded topic of religion or politics?

This year, more than ever, we need strategies on how to remain trigger free.  We all want to enjoy spending time with our families, but it takes self-awareness, patience and understanding.

Here are a few tips that may help keep the peace at your family gathering

  1. Recognize your trigger points. Plan ahead by doing some self-reflection on what may trigger you.  If, like me, you had some emotion come up over the election, honor your feelings, but understand that no matter what side they were on, everyone had a reaction, and their truth is as valid as yours.  Many people like to imbibe some holiday cheer, but consider limiting your intake of alcohol to a level that will allow you to not react from an emotional standpoint.  If you know a certain subject is bound to cause dissent, put a moratorium on the subject for the evening. 
  2. Be an active listener. People just want to be heard.  How many times have you been in a conversation with someone, sharing something important to you, and you can feel the energy that they are just waiting for you to take a breath so they can jump in with their next opinion.  If you take the time to really listen, you may find that many situations never reach the trigger state.  Active listening requires that you are fully present to what that individual is saying.  You acknowledge them by repeating back what they’ve said to ensure you have heard them correctly.  Saying “What I hear you saying is…” makes the person feel heard.
  3. See yourself and others as their highest self. Don’t make an assumption that Uncle Rob is going to bring up a family feud just because he has done so in the past. If you go into the interaction with the energy that the conversation will go badly, it will.  What we focus on expands.  But if you can find a positive memory of Uncle Rob – perhaps he took you fishing as a child, and enter the energetic orbit, he will feel it, whether or not he can acknowledge it, and you may be surprised at how it goes.

Remember, most people are doing their best.  We all show up with our bubble talk, our core belief systems that can influence how we perceive the world.  If we can go into this festive holiday with an awareness that we are all just trying to be heard and know that we matter, then we can see each other for what we are – Diving beings of light and love, infinitely connected to each other.  Love is always the answer.  You DO matter.  You add value.  Shine your light and those around you will have no choice but to see it.