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How To Be Compassionate With Yourself (And a Few Other Handy Lessons For the Holiday Season)

Being stuck during the holidays isn’t fun, plus it’s a sure way to nowhere, and the source of a whole lot of unnecessary stress. Let me lend a little compassion your way…read on, for once you commit 100% to a path, you are already half way there. Being stuck makes me think of spinning wheels where […]

Being stuck during the holidays isn’t fun, plus it’s a sure way to nowhere, and the source of a whole lot of unnecessary stress. Let me lend a little compassion your way…read on, for once you commit 100% to a path, you are already half way there.

Being stuck makes me think of spinning wheels where you keep burying yourself deeper in the snow; the harder you press the gas, trying to force your way through, the worse it gets. Sometimes, only a reliable tow or a friend with a heavy duty truck and chains, can pull you out. Or maybe someone who has been there before, maybe has the experience to engineer some leverage to help you get unstuck. Whatever the case, it’s likely not going to happen on your own.

Fair warning, when you are working to get unstuck, as you work your way out, it’s inevitable you’re gonna get a little dirty. Let me tell you, there are times I was most definitely spinning my wheels. Each time, there was always a direct correlation to lack of self compassion and missing trust in my own worth. Always second guessing and trying to solve the situation from every outside angle, every outside viewpoint. Picking things apart in hopes to make a perfect choice that would serve not only me, but my values and all involved. This constant dissecting, from all the different angels, to keep ALL happy, can keep one very stuck for a very long time.

There are two things missing in the above equation: Leverage. And with a little leverage…you can get some Momentum. But you can’t get either without the right Tools, like the ones I’ve cultivated over the years and write about (see Model 4 Business and Peace Doesn’t Come In a Pill) and share with my clients. Here are some of them:

  • GET THE RIGHT SUPPORT.  Getting the right kind of support, at the right time, is crucial. Can you imagine someone bringing chopsticks to try to help get you unstuck from the snow? Pointless. So what would it look like for you to get the right support in your situation? Are you clear on that? It’s OK if you aren’t, but it’s worth taking a moment to contemplate before going on to the next.

Why is this next one so difficult for many of us? Can you relate?

  • ASK FOR THE HELP. When my son’s doctor took me aside during some intense treatments for a head injury that lasted a long period of time, he told me that it wasn’t him that he was concerned about, but me, he felt needed to get some help – I broke down completely. He said what I say to so many of my clients and fellow parents – we cannot give from an empty cup.

I’ll admit it was a bit embarrassing. Haven’t we all tried to show our best and remain strong and impervious to pain and suffering. We think we can do it all, figure it out, solve it all on our own. Maybe we don’t want to show that we don’t have it all together. Believe me, no one is perfect and you aren’t going to be the first one to get it perfect.

But if you want to get some real leverage, ask.

  • CONNECT TO A FRIEND OR SUPPORT GROUP

Once I took the time to research and reach out to a positive support group, I was overwhelmed with encouragement and love and useful resources that helped me get my own needs met during the time of being a full time care giver to an injured child on top of everything else I was doing.

The holiday season is often very stressful, even without any extra situations or crisis. There are conflicts in relationships, family clashes, pressure to buy more, consume more. The treacherous need to put on a show to impress, yet leaves you depleted and underappreciated. That is plowing yourself in, not gaining the leverage you need to get unstuck.

By the way, if you are already feeling stress during the holiday season, you are not alone. But here’s some wisdom from a Hopi elder I will paraphrase: Let go, let the water carry you. Let go of the bank and see where the river takes you. See who is there with you. Who is showing up with you?

This has proven to be most amazing. To find who and what shows up, I’m talking the good, the bad and the ugly and to be OK to sit with it or float with it, as the case may be. When you learn to relax and ease in, you rarely sink as floating is easier when you RELAX, I promise.

  • BE EASY WITH YOURSELF 

Being compassionate with yourself is the greatest gift. So many times we can be kind and compassionate with others but forget ourselves.

  • RELEASE ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T FUEL YOUR SOUL

What if this month you make an executive decision to honor your values across all areas of your personal and professional life? Sometimes we need to release incomplete business projects that are no longer viable, let go of unhealthy and undermining relationships, jettison habits that are keep you from your dreams and goals. AND decide to be ok with releasing them by letting them release themselves from you.

Give yourself the permission to ignore the mental clutter, leave the emotional baggage and just be present with the now. Become aware…notice, observe; but forego all the judgements and opinions. Taking a walk, sans phone and distractions is one of the best ways to do this.

  • REINFORCE WHAT DOES NOURISH YOUR DREAMS AND PASSION

Begin to reinforce what is really important to you. It’s usually the most simple of things. Something we forgot about, perhaps it was buried or long ago hidden from view. Go back to your deeper desires, dreams and passions and look at one small, doable change you can make that would gain you some more leverage. For me, it’s getting up a little earlier, with a cup of tea and savoring the early morning silence and stars to focus on my goals, before the hustle and bustle.

Begin (or continue) cultivating genuine connection with people you love, adore and cherish and who provide you with nourishing connection in return.

Maybe you can get some leverage by being a little “naughty”; sleep in, snuggle a little longer, unplug your phone and the internet, light some candles and pretend the electricity is out, savor the milk and cookies, play hooky with your kiddos, laugh out loud long and hard.

You can gain some real leverage and build momentum with the above and the next few tips.

Take the time to look at what will nourish you most deeply this holiday season.

Instead of adding another item to your to do list. Take one off.

Instead of dredging through another event you have no desire to attend, say “no thanks”, with no angst. 

Go get some hot cocoa or an Irish Coffee and do something you really enjoy with people you love and who love you in return.

I was never one to savor the holiday season. But I started my own traditions a few years back. Listening to music, lighting candles, making a bed by the fire and watching the Sound of Music together, sharing stories of my childhood, walking in nature, playing hide and seek through a Christmas tree lot and basking in the smell of the evergreen… kissing under the mistletoe, sharing letters of giving…

Make your own traditions, one’s YOU love. Ultimately the best gift ever is being truly happy with yourself and sharing that joy with your world.

With compassion for yourself, and leveraging with the above tips, it’s easier to gain momentum to find the true meaning of the holiday season and get unstuck with ease. The magic of the season comes from what’s inside, don’t let it stay stuck.

Stephana Johnson, the founder of Yogilachi® and Powerhouse Leaders, writes, speaks, and through her popular coaching programs, helps entrepreneurs and executives revitalize and optimize without compromise. She leads a life she loves with her family in the Pacific Northwest . To find out more about Stephana visit  https://www.powerhouseleaders.com

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