“Be at peace with everyone in your life – most particularly, your relatives” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

I have to be honest; I love this time of year!  From Halloween through Christmas, the shift in the air is exhilarating and cherished.  I love the comfort foods, bundling up and taking walks or curling up on the couch to read a book.  But this time of year also brings its share of challenges as we’re brought into closer quarters with certain family members, and maybe friends, who get under our skin.  Most of us have one to a few family members that really, really challenge us to keep the peace that we seek.  I’m writing this to help you set your intention on keeping your peace this Holiday Season.  There is a beautiful chapter in Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book The Power of Intention that deals with just this, and is where my inspiration to share this with you is coming from.

We usually have two reactions in “dealing” with these relatives:  1) Be inauthentic to keep the peace, 2) Blow up at them to put them in their place.  And consequently,  days or weeks before we see them, we anticipate one of these two things happening in our minds, and feel anxious about our meeting.  Truly, I only know this, because I have done this!  We are all so similar. 🙂 By having these thoughts of anxiety, we are subscribing ourselves to remove peace from our own lives.  (As evidence, notice your body contract or become tense with just these thoughts.)  This is you removing the peace from your life.  You are doing it.  Not your relative.

What you think about expands in your life.  With your reaction, you have decided to make your relatives’ thoughts or opinions more important than your own convictions or intentions.  As much as they may annoy, criticize, outrage or judge you, you have consented to feel or react accordingly.  No one can truly make you feel anything, but yourself.  Since most days, we don’t recognize this truth, this person now has power over us.  And by thinking and behaving reactionary, we have completely removed the peace from our own life.

To really transform our relationships, we have to take an honest look at ourselves.  In many situations, the tension we feel, is a reflection of what is amiss within ourselves – otherwise, none of this would bother us.  If we are peaceful and accepting within ourselves, there is no room for non-peace because peace would fill the space.  You can shift the pattern of negativity by subscribing only to thoughts that make you feel expansion within your heart, your body.  You will physically feel the difference.  Here’s an exercise to try: sit for 2 minutes, close your eyes, and visualize embracing someone you love, talking with an old friend, or seeing something you find beautiful.  Take full inhales and exhales.  When the 2 minutes are up, notice how light you feel after just 2 minutes!   For 2 minutes, you set your intention to shift your thoughts and to invite peace into your life. 

How can you really practice this in your life?  Before you see this person, set your intention for peace within yourself by connecting with your highest self.  When you see this person, and they do or say something that would have outraged you in the past, remember your intention for peace within yourself.  Take a deep breath, and respond.  Peace means laying down, but laying down gives you strength.  One of my favorite quotes is “You can’t beat out darkness with a baseball bat, you have to turn on the light” – anonymous.  The change must come from you.

Our family members may still behave the same, but when we have changed, we will not be affected or at the mercy of their control.  When you practice this act of connecting to your higher self, and to lovingly accept your own authenticity and your own convictions, you withdraw yourself from interacting with lower energies.  When your relative says something outrageous, where you would have previously reacted with judgement by rolling your eyes or making a maliscious comment back, look at them sweetly, and smile lovingly at them instead. If you choose to speak, respond kindly by your tone and your words.   Yes, do it.  Trust me, you will feel so good if you do!

We will never change others, without first changing ourselves.   The only way to change the situation is to shift yourself, and you will feel the energy change.  You will feel the wind fall out of their sails.  You may even rub off on them, and eventually, may look forward to seeing those people who you used to dread seeing.  Imagine that!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.   Give your family a hug with gratitude for all that they teach you.