‘Tis this season for gathering with friends and family! For many of us, this means stepping into uncomfortable family dynamics and strained relationships. Family relationships can challenge us in the deepest of ways, so let me share a few techniques for staying centered and calm in the face of drama.
1. Remember to breathe. I may sound like a broken record with this one, but I cannot stress enough how our breath can change our energy. The stress and anxiety as you pull up the driveway will be felt as you enter the home, so this year, try sitting in the car for 3-5 minutes and close your eyes. Bring the breath up from the belly, into the chest, pause and hold the breath, and then slow exhale out till every last bit of breath is released. This can set you up to walk in the front door with a sense of centeredness, confidence, and peace. You can also follow your deep breaths with this affirmation:
I am aligned with my highest truth and communicate my intentions with love, confidence, and clarity.
Another scenario that often occurs is once we are in the house, one of our family members says something that triggers us in some way. Try to be conscious of this and excuse yourself in that moment to go to the restroom. Proceed to take a few more healing breaths to breathe out any anger, pain, or resentment. When you come out of the restroom, follow step 2!
2. Rise Above The Situation/Conversation. I’m sure you have heard this before. Another common phrase is “take the high road.” What this means on an energetic level is to connect to the situation on a soul level. If your roles were released, and you could observe the scenario with some space and distance, what would you be seeing or feeling? Often times it is those who are criticizing, judging, and demanding are set in their beliefs and ideas, which leaves no room for them to entertain something outside of their reality. The person may also be experiencing, or going through, their own pain and problems. This may be a stretch, but try having compassion for them and where they are on their souls’ journey…and then travel on to step 3!
3. Create boundaries. This is the step that I feel can be the most difficult. As I mentioned earlier, family relationships can challenge us on the deepest of levels. Whether we long for our family’s approval or love in the way we need to be loved, sometimes the other person is not capable of even opening their ears to hearing us out. We feel hurt or misunderstood, and they feel attacked and get defensive because they cannot “meet” us. This is where we must begin to stand firm in our truth and not let anyone take our power away.
Some of my favorite ways to “take the power back” is to use language and phrases like, “I hear what you are saying, but that is not how I experience(d) the situation.” Another could be, “There are many ways of being in this world, and I would appreciate your respect as this is what feels right for me. I am not asking you to agree, I am just asking for you to hear me in where I am coming from.” Try releasing any blaming or shaming language and raising your voice, as this rarely ever accomplishes gaining respect.
It is my intention for you to have a blessed and peaceful holiday filled with love at your core. Hopefully some of these steps can help you achieve that!
Are there any tools or techniques that you use to help you navigate difficult family situations? The Blossoming Lotus community and I would love to hear from you. Comment below!