The Holiday Battle


I have a seasonal holiday battle. It seems like it comes up every year to rob the magic of Christmas. It’s the battle of busy-ness.

Buy gifts, find the addresses for Christmas cards, get stamps, oh no the first holiday party is here – wrap the gifts – bake – what will I wear – clean – decorate … and on and on it goes. Repeating each week of December.

Usually checking tasks off my to-do list gives me satisfaction. But now it feels like I’m on a conveyor belt that’s going too fast. It feels like something’s wrong.

Why am I simply experiencing the rush and not resting in the moment?

Why not take a breath and allow a brief flow of thankfulness to surface?

On Sunday I decorated the yard and barns and today I notice some Christmas lights are not lighting up – a feeling of overwhelm and frustration arise. I stop, breath and notice. Then I turn my attention to all the lights that are sparkling bright – thank you for your brilliance I whisper.

I feel better, my muscles relax a bit. I take another breath. Somehow something changes and I decide to remove the wayward strand of lights without ado. Everything will be fine. Actually, everything is great. In this moment I’m one step a head of the holiday battle.

A Christmas Drama


Once upon a time … there was a juggler and the juggler was busily balancing all the juggling balls – one ball was work, one ball was self, one ball was family … but the balls were getting heavy and out-of-balance and he dropped a ball …

During Christmas time, it’s easy for that to happen, to feel overwhelmed with all the extra’s of the season. My mom has her hands full working with my father’s memory challenges and handling all the insurance and financial issues associated with aging … so to take some pressure off everyone, I organized a cookie exchange. There were 6 of us and we’d all bake our one favorite recipe and give a dozen of our cookies away to the other’s … we would then bring home 5 dozen different tasty Christmas treats! Win, win for everyone!

The newest member of the family, my nephew’s fiancé was working tons of Christmas hours and wasn’t sure she could do the cookie exchange. That’s fine I told her, I understood her situation but since we were all baking that weekend and needed to know how many cookies to make, I asked her to say “yes” or “no.” And she said “yes”.

Two days later, the day of the cookie exchange, my nephew’s fiancé was not there, she was spending the day shopping with a friend and hadn’t left cookies for us. We all left our cookies for her and gave her extra needed time to bake in the next several days and told her we would pick up the cookies in a week. She replied back that she was making us all a delicious treat.

Next week came and no cookies. It was only a few days before Christmas now and this became more of a situation of ‘keeping your word’ and not dropping the ball with family than it was about cookies. I knew she was working a lot of hours so when I contacted her about not finding cookies on my last visit and being disappointed but understanding she was busy, I told her that she could simply buy some cookies or candy this year and bring it over on Christmas.

Well, I guess she never intended on participating in the cookie exchange, because instead of taking action and following through (she works at a store where there are cookies, it would only take 5 minutes or less to buy some) a DRAMA ensued. What is a drama? It is a situation where one person is cast as the victim, another is cast as the rescuer, and a third is cast as the villain. Guess who was the victim and who was the villain? Yep, I was cast as the bad person inflicting evil on a poor overworked soul (my nephew’s fiancé) and my brother became the rescuer, fighting the villain.

Whoa, time for a re-frame … this is totally turned around and I won’t play in Christmas drama’s … nothing I have done is remotely hurtful – it’s totally about holding the space respectfully and offering alternatives so another can keep their word to family and juggle that ball with balance. I can totally separate out a person’s behavior from the person – i.e. I can be disappointed in my nephew’s fiancés behavior but still love her as a person and new family member.

So is there a happy ending? Holding the space for a person is exhausting and I could have been resentful about it and felt it was unfair … but it’s Christmas, where love entered the world in the form of a little child who had to spend His first nights in a cold manger – that’s not exactly “fair” but it taught us that suffering in love is redemptive. So once it’s Christmas and family is together, everything is forgiven and there’s no mention of cookies and no entering drama.

Obviously, there’s a lesson to be learned from everything that happens and I hope my nephew’s fiancé will be strong enough in the future to say “no” to things she won’t have time for. I’m guessing that by saying “yes” and then not following through that she has some lingering internal angst (shame, regret, resentfulness) … all of which I’m sure led to a Christmas Drama sadly brought on by herself, and which could have been avoided by honestly assessing the situation.

But back to happy endings … was there one?  Yes! There was a happy ending – love prevailed and Christmas was celebrated with family present – the greatest gift of all!  May God Bless you and yours this holiday season!

Release Fear Method

Release Fear Method

FREE Release Limiting Fears CALL
When: June 17, 2014 @ 7-8pm ET
Call-in info below.

When is the last time you accomplished something important and meaningful and then allowed yourself to feel the satisfaction?

– Or is that accomplishment not good enough
– Or does your mind race on to the next task
– Or maybe you even put off starting

Procrastination, perfectionism and overwhelm can get in the way of living your dreams.

You’re not alone.

Limiting fears can show up in many ways and the Release Fear Method can help.

Join me on Tuesday for this *Tele-seminar to learn more about limiting fears and how to release them so you can live your dreams with passion and purpose.

Conference Dial-In Number: (559) 726-1300
Participant Access Code: 623144#

(Long distance fees may apply if you use a regular phone, the call-in number is NOT toll free… so please keep that in mind.)

*What is a tele-seminar?
A tele-seminar is an informational talk given over the phone. It is educational and experiential (you may have an exercise to complete – similar to a guided imagery or short meditation). The goal of the talk is to offer a way to live the serenity prayer (accept that which I cannot change, courage to change what I can and wisdom to know the difference.) Fears can be very private and audience participation (being asked to talk) is minimal and voluntary and mostly anonymous – I may ask people at the beginning to share their first name and the state they are calling from for example and I may ask everyone to set an intention of one thing they would like to take away from the talk and at the end ask if anyone would like to share their “one thing”.