4 ways to Gracefully Receive a Game Changing Holiday NO!

In article after article about holiday overwhelm, you’re encouraged to clarify what’s meaningful, make considered choices, sustainably shop, and not over-schedule your plate with too many obligations. This means you will probably need to say, “No” a few times – often easier said than done.

Saying “No” is a key skill for any successful person. Often when you can do this, you’ve become a good judge of how much time things take, and how much time you actually have to spare. You might even include self-care and support tasks into the “available time” equation – if you are an experienced and advanced practitioner of life on earth.

But what happens when you get given a “no” that disagrees with your hopes and plans for the season? I had this experience with a family tradition recently I’d come to expect, (and perhaps take for granted). I realized the holidays can be a virtual mine field for these kind of occurrences. No wonder stress can rule the season!

Well, no worries. With a few soul savvy steps, this challenge can be shifted to a sense of grace and appreciation. Newfound traditions can even be invented or reinvented – under duress perhaps at first, but eventually with a creative heart.

Being your True Self Asks Constant Honesty

Often you might do pretty well the rest of the year with how you manage your obligations and commitments. Yet the holidays can be a tough road for learning how to honor yourself as well as your loved ones. Traditions can carry a lot of momentum. Children want to see grandparents or uncles/aunts, and vice versa. What you desperately feel a need for may conflict with the needs of your fellow passengers. Yes, what else is new?

While you don’t necessarily have to take fierce action and cut off every activity that is no longer a soul feeder (after all, you’re still on earth, friend), you may find that the more clear and healed you become, the less able you are to go through motions. In fact, some compromises of your values can really set you back. So you want to be able to clearly and gracefully GIVE a no, as well as gracefully RECEIVE one.
In fact, sometimes the “no’s” that come at you that at first seem unsettling and disappointing, can turn out to be a positive game changer for you and your loved ones.

4 STEPS TO GRACEFULLY RECEIVING A GAME-CHANGING “NO” Read more

From Turnips to Transformation: Awaken to your Dark Side Part III

Part one of this series
Part two

“Expansiveness is a state of being that carries you deeply into the realm of your spirit by means of past learned or experienced limitations.” Angelic Messenger Cards, Pg. 49, Expansiveness Card

Jackie was enjoying her walk through the farmer’s market; who knew watermelon radishes existed, never mind that they were so tasty raw. As she picked a few turnips, and she noted one on the ground. Her first temptation was to pick it up and buy it, feeling sorry for it. She grinned as she realized another manifestation of her “saving lost pups” policy. She instead picked two perfect turnips, and left the floor model for the employees to rescue… They were after all, getting paid for that now, weren’t they?

In the last two articles, we’ve been following Jackie’s transformation of her pattern of rescuing and over-caregiving others. This pattern was costly in terms of her own balance and sanity. How do you know when you’re overdoing it with caring for others? Well, if you’re feeling like that act of helping, will create a deficit of caring for yourself, it’s too much. And like that turnip – there may be other options for help to arrive. So just admit it’s not going to be you this time, though you do care; watch what happens. Usually there are other options that appear, when you’re honest about your own needs.

It took years of jumping in too quickly on projects she’d later resent, and a long tradition of being a family helper, before Jackie realized the world would not stop turning if she tuned into her own needs first. Or at least included her needs in the equation of what she gave her attention to, for heaven’s sake. One of the symptoms of over giving was, she was exhausted! This was ax sign that she’d been giving away too much.

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING, AS GILDA RADNER SAID

Yes, there was always something amiss that could pull her in – yet she realized, that’s life! For example, soon after her not-really-so-homeless-after-all friend finally moved out, a family member of Jackie’s became very depressed. According to the old way of things, Jackie would be assumed to be the leader of the effort to help. She’s smart and knowledgeable, so it made sense. Yet, she wasn’t the only capable one in the mix.

Sometimes when you’re creating a new pattern, you might feel like you have to be ruthless about not falling into that old mold. The old way is comfortable and known. New patterns feel awkward and off at first. Yet for Jackie, the old way had caused a lot of problems, and was finally too painful to repeat. She was too conscious to keep doing the old way. She had her eyes open to this dynamic now, though it was weird at first to do something different than what she’d always done.

STEP BY STEP, INNER WISDOM RE-ROOTS

Often you need objectivity to see your own patterns and establish new ones. Luckily, Jackie had the kind of support that enabled her to

a) name the pattern – it’s good to give it a label and have a handle for it
b) watch it and catch it early when it arose, suspending automatic responses (which were suspect)
c) ask for inner wisdom and guidance regarding how to handle caregiving situations differently

The naming of the issue created further intensive study of this dynamic of balancing self-care in her life. Jackie had to get used to putting herself first. At first, she kept getting derailed from new self-care commitments; say, the things she wanted to start the day with – spiritual practice, time in nature. It took months before Read more

Light Workers: 3 Ideas for Healing your Dark Side

SAM_4166LIGHT WORKERS: THREE IDEAS FOR HEALING YOUR DARK SIDE

Jackie tends to have trouble saying no; helping others comes easily. Lately she is realizing she ends up feeling drained at times when helping. She just had a friend live with her and family for six weeks, when it wasn’t supposed to be that long, and when this friend had other options before homelessness, it turns out. Jackie wants to know – why do I get in these situations? Feeling drained isn’t a good thing, for me or others…

WHAT DOES THIS DARK SIDE NEED FROM US?

There are many ways to work with this dark side. It basically is asking to be healed, just like the dysfunctional dynamics of our planet are. These healing areas or “dark sides” need to be addressed as you expand, or they keep tripping you up. For Jackie, she might make some progress with her business, but then gets too burned out to maintain it or respond well to new opportunities.

Initially when you first become aware of a dark side pattern, it seems the instincts want to hate it. Stone the sinner; burn the witch; verbally slay the perpetrator on talk radio. “That is so wrong, and you are so messed up”, kind of thoughts, directed at the self. Whatever your core pattern is, it will get activated here.

At that point, it might seem what goes wrong in your life is all about other people’s weirdness, bad intentions, incompetence, etc. Yet what you might not see – due to your dark side dynamics – Read more

Light Workers: Awaken to your Dark Side

Today is All Soul’s Day, the day when the veil between our world and that of spirit is the thinnest. I send blessings to you and yours, friends and family in this world, and the other parallel word, where the dead dwell. Happy Halloween too!

Light Workers: Awaken to your Dark Side

Jackie tends to have trouble saying no; helping others comes easily. Lately she is realizing she ends up feeling drained at times when helping. She just had a friend live with her and family for six weeks, when it wasn’t supposed to be that long, and when this friend had other options before homelessness, it turns out. Jackie wants to know – why do I get in these situations? Feeling drained isn’t a good thing, for me or others… 

This time of year of increasing physical darkness is often a time when our shadow side gets more illuminated. This deepening dance of illuminating darkness is also a planetary theme, as the planet attempts to transition from the competition/survival paradigm to the cooperation/sustainability paradigm. There are lots of challenges with this, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you want to help the world. How to help? What to do? Well, most light workers came exactly for this work; to help that shift.

You can find ways to make contributions to the larger dynamics; there are plenty of movements you can join. And, another important way to do this “work of a lifetime” is in your own backyard. This is the dance with the dark side, or our shadow side. Read more

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