Yes, of course I could start this with advocating a gratitude practise and yes that's always a good idea:)
However, today with this holiday and all who may be coming together, after maybe not for a few years, I imagine there maybe some intrepidation. Memories that haunt us back to our ‘pre-Covid’ days of the crazy family with the attendees of long held family patterns – and sometimes not ‘pretty’ at all.
I’ve been contemplating this – what could I offer that could help?
Well it must to be…
· practical for the situation,
· available in the moment and
· free for all.
And no! not a ‘free for all’, although yes, a sense of humour is crucial!! :):)
Well often it is our words that can be taken offense to – so let’s start there.
First we must remember we do have control over what we say – yes it can be a challenge and here are a few tips for your ‘out loud voice’.
Stay conscious – that means to be with the situation but not so far into it that you react in automatic responses – those auto reactions can get you into trouble as they are wired from way back and come out of ways you learned to survive! And often full of defense mechanisms – which more often than not just escalate things.
So what to do…
#1 Slow it down to stay AND connected to yourself –
When you feel yourself getting riled up and wanting to spout without thinking, SLOW IT DOWN, connect to your heart, bring your awareness there, feel safe inside.
Breath into your belly 3 times – you can track this while still listening into the conversation (this simultaneous inner/outer awareness is wildly effective skill to practise that can be so useful in so many situations.
#2 Choose your words … Are your words – Kind, Necessary and True
We often speak more than we need to AND...
Know that their words are just that, their words, their opinions. Their words do not define you. You define you!!
YOU keep the state of your own self defined, intact and loved.
And when you do speak a great conservative rule of thumb that will truly help keep the peace of a situation is… are your words kind, necessary and true.
In my experience of these 3, ‘necessary’ really has to be evaluated – ie. What would happen if you didn’t say this and the result of that would be? So much to work with here.
#3 Truly listen, Are you listening just to know when they stop talking so you can start?
This is a sure sign that you are auto-reacting.
When you can stay connected with your heart and remain conscious of your feelings and impulses you have so many more choices.
Will you add to peace or detract from peace. Its always a choice, your choice.
Stay connected to your heart and know your inner world can be a place of peace just for you – no matter the swirl of what's going on.
And if it's all too much – you can head to the bathroom for a breathing break to get recentered. Yes I've done it! Sometime we just need a moment to ourselves.
BTW, Did you know that when you are angry your animal/hind brain is in charge and it will be impossible to choose a response versus react? Know this for others too, as you listen and can hardly believe what you are hearing!
We need only commit to our own awareness and our inner peace so that we may choose to be the change we want to see in the world.
Our earlier Canadian Thanksgiving post is here 'Does Gratitude Affect Inner Peace'. Also a great read for the season:)
May you enjoy Thanksgiving in the USA and all the family/community gatherings.
Gratitude for your attention, peace be with you.
Wendy Weir, Inner Peace Activator