There is no perfect meal or perfect holiday. The purpose of spending time together as a family or with loved ones is to ENJOY one another. You can work to strengthen the relationships, have fun together and learn to roll with the punches. If the dog pulls the turkey off the table, work together to create a makeshift meal. The memories will last a lifetime.
Follow the laughter this holiday weekend. Where we place our focus is a choice that we tend to forget we can make. Choosing a positive focus can be particularly challenging when our powerful old habits attempt to take over, or memories of emotional events from the past jump into our heads. If we are grieving the loss of a loved one, following the joy can be extra challenging. Even in trying moments, you can choose where you place your focus. If you choose to notice each time a person laughs or smiles, you will feel better merely because you are choosing to notice and appreciate laughter and smiles.
If the dog pulls the turkey off the table and drags it through the dog door, your choice is to laugh, scream or cry over the eaten turkey. Deciding to laugh it off will certainly generate more positive memories for everyone compared to staying focused on the negativity of the situation. When you choose to remain angry all weekend long, you’ve made a choice to negatively impact your own holiday experience. Others around you will also be affected by your negativity. Much of your experience rests on your own outlook, vantage point, and how you choose to respond.
Do you ever anticipate the Holiday with dread, anxiety or negativity? Are you focusing your attention on all the negative possibilities or characteristics of the people with whom you will be sharing time? In this anticipation process, become curious about your focus and attention. Frequently, we are unaware of how much power we have to generate a different experience for ourselves. Simply make a conscious decision to focus your attention on your ability to create a wonderful Thanksgiving for yourself. Focus your attention on the strengths, attributes, and positive characteristics of the people with whom you’ll be sharing your time. Notice what is working well, going right, and count your blessings! You will enjoy yourself more when you choose to place your focus on the positives.
When choosing a positive focus seems elusive, look for really small moments and write them down, or send yourself a text message. Writing something down makes it more concrete, real and validates the importance of the micro moment. Look for a smile, a hug, a genuine or touching exchange. Work to notice if someone offers a compliment to another person, or offers to be of help in the kitchen. Micro moments are easily overlooked and discounted, but choosing to pay attention to them might vary well generate a positive holiday experience for yourself this season.
Take it one step further and make the time to acknowledge and recognize others. When you tell someone what you noticed, you will walk away with positive feelings too. You can use the “I noticed sandwich” which sounds like this: “I noticed your laugh is contagious, I just noticed that.” or “I noticed when you smile, your eyes sparkle too, I just noticed that.” People desire to be recognized and acknowledged. In addition to the “I notice….” you might choose to provide positive feedback. Positive feedback sounds like this, “my experience of you is ……. (and fill in the blank). For example, “my experience of you is when you tell jokes, it makes me laugh and I realize how much I truly enjoy your company, I wish we saw each other more often.”
Holidays are meant to be enjoyable. Don’t leave this up to chance. Just as you would not purposefully feed the dog your turkey, nor would you want to create a stressful or negative holiday experience for yourself. Your day will be imperfect, choose to create good memories for yourself by placing your focus on generating positive, loving relationships.
True Form Coaching wishes you a perfectly imperfect, positive holiday season!
Need some support with this? Call Coach Karen at 520-955-9503