Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Ten Ways to Enjoy Your Holiday Season More

Monday, November 20th, 2006
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The holidays can be a mix of renewing connections and being reminded of old wounds. If you are approaching the season with both excitement and dread, keep these pointers in mind. They will help ensure that you leave family gatherings with the kind of memories you want to recall.

*Talk to yourself before a family gathering

Remind yourself that you are inherently worthy of respect and kindness and that you don’t need to prove yourself at this time of year. Promise yourself that if you slip into defending yourself, your mate, your children, your job, or your appearance with those you have a history of trying to prove yourself to, you will stop as soon as you notice you are being goaded. You can even say out loud, “I don’t want to spend my time or energy defending myself or others. Let’s find a way to talk more productively (or kindly).”

*Keep reminders close at hand of how you are valued
During the other 50 weeks a year, you are often appreciated by those in your daily life. If you are celebrating away from home, bring emails, notes, or letters that contain compliments or loving sentiments, pictures of those who are your support system, and a book that lifts you spiritually and helps you stay above the fray.

*Write a new affirmation every day and repeat it constantly
An affirmation is a positive thought you choose to immerse into your consciousness for a desired result. An example might be, “I appreciate and acknowledge my own strengths.” Or a good one might be, “I now give to myself what I think I need from others.” This could include understanding, compassion, respect, or joy.

*Don’t talk behind others’ backs
Gossip feeds upon itself. If you don’t want it done to you, don’t participate in it. This commitment will help you feel self-respect when you look in the mirror.

*Don’t use the holidays as a time to try to heal past hurts

Being around family can trigger old wounds. But too many people, too little time, too much alcohol, and too much pressure are ingredients for disaster, not mending relationships. If you are harboring resentments, talk about them ahead of time or after the holidays are over. Don’t get caught up in the moment and let loose. It will just make next year’s holiday time that much harder.

*Use win/win communications
You don’t have to stoop to anyone else’s level. If someone in your family behaves badly, try not to name call but promise yourself you will stand up for yourself and tell them how you feel about their behavior.

*Set limits about what’s acceptable for yourself in advance
What are some likely uncomfortable or painful scenarios you will be facing? You don’t have to cross your fingers that nothing will happen, especially if fighting or belittling has been one of your family’s holiday traditions. Decide in advance how you will handle these situations and at what point you will respond rather than ignore, take a break rather than endure, or even walk away.

*Take some time for yourself
We all need to regroup and get centered again. Most of us aren’t accustomed to being surrounded by company 24/7 and our spirits need a break. Go for a walk or drive, read a book, take a nap, or do an errand BY YOURSELF. Take in your surroundings in more detail. While you are alone, don’t rehash past conversations. Do an affirmation instead.

*Shop from your heart
Let go of trying to “balance the books,” figuring out what to get others according to criteria such as what they got you last year or how much they spent. Let your heart find the perfect gift that reflects their specialness without putting you into the endurance of deepening debt.

*Be generous with what matters
Offering compliments, listening well, giving of your time, helping with chores—all of your efforts will make you not only a welcome member of your group but will help you to keep your heart open.

No one can guarantee that this holiday will be the best one ever. But you can decide to stop enduring and make this season your lead-in to a new, extraordinary year.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation,, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at

Free Seminar: Receiving

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

What an evening! Over thirty of us at the TangoDiva Salon/Seminar laughed and cried together as we went beneath our resentments, recognized our painful self-judgments, and committed to remembering that these self-judgments are real but not true. I’ll have the video from the evening edited and on the website so that you won’t miss a thing!

Feels like a lot of people I am working with lately are feeling isolated, alone, and stretched emotionally, particularly as the holidays loom. If this describes you or anyone you know, let’s do something together. If you would like to host a free evening seminar in your home (in the Bay Area), let me know. If you’d like to attend, let me know! I’ll offer a powerful and uplifting seminar for everyone ready to greet the holidays and new year with a more open heart and lighter spirit. Let’s connect as a reminder that we’re not alone, that others are willing to share our burdens, and that we can heal in the presence of compassionate support.