Holidays bring out the best and the worst in people. Maybe it has to do with too much sugar, drinking and desserts that throws our bodies and minds off balance making it more difficult to deal with the stressors of gifts and family. Families are our biggest teachers. They can bring out the part of you that you wish didn’t exist. In that space of noticing why you are bothered, how you react, and who you are being is where the gift lies. It is often said that the things you dislike most in others are qualities we like least about ourselves. I sure hope that isn’t true but in the exploration of the idea within my own behaviors, I am seeing some less than pleasant correlations. However, that insight allows me to have less judgement and more compassion when situations that push my buttons arise. I have learned to lean into the discomfort and ask myself “do I do that?” This moment of self-discovery is an opportunity for transformation. When we pay attention to how we show up, or who we are being during interactions we have the opportunity and choice to be different. It’s only when we unconsciously react to the same triggers in the same ways that the dysfunctional cycle continues.

This holiday season do a playful experiment. Decide how you want to see yourself at the end of the day. None of us want to look back on the day and feel badly for losing our temper, or hurting someone’s feelings or starting an argument or biting our tongue all afternoon. So what if we deciced ahead of time that nothing in our interactions during the day could change how we feel internally, that we are in control of how we respond? Try it out. Think about a situation or person that usually gets you worked up. Be clear on what it is that bothers you. Ask yourself, do I that? Decide ahead of time that you are going to be in control of how your day goes. Choose an emotion that counteracts the trigger. If the trigger is selfishness, choose generosity. If the trigger is judgement choose acceptance. Once you have identified your trigger sit quietly and bring up the counteracting emotion of generosity or acceptance or even love. Feel it from your heart, know that you can cultivate this feeling at anytime during your day. Go into your interactions with the intention and conscious feeling that you are acceptance, you are generosity, you are love. See what happens. If you show up differently it allows everyone else around you to shift their behaviors because you are no longer doing the same push pull dance. The patterns of dysfunction are no longer there because you are not reacting in the usual way creating the same cyclical relationship dynamic. Try it out, what do you have to lose, maybe a few bad feelings?