Holding space for the hard during the holidays

I'm back with a second blog post for today because I think this needs to be said right now!

The holidays can be hard and our culture isn’t good at holding space for that, which makes the hard harder.

This year at Thanksgiving (in Canada, Thanksgiving is different than the US and happens in October) I was right in the midst of a LOT of hard. My husband had moved out only a month a half before and I think I was still in shock. My step-son had been in ICU for three weeks and his situation was still life threatening. (He was in the hospital for almost three moths, and is at home recovering now)

While my mom prepared a lovely meal for us, Thanksgiving day just felt so weird and wrong for me. I went home and had a cry, and then my husband texted me about how weird his Thanksgiving felt, and we had a good talk about it.

It felt so good and reassuring to be witnessed. To not be alone in the holiday feeling weird and wrong.

And that’s what’s missing in our culture.

So, that’s what WE need to bring.

We need to validate our own feelings and experiences. We need to stop trying to cram our feelings, needs and experiences into whatever shape our culture expects them to be and let them BE what they ARE.

Creative Dreaming is about showing up in your life as your true self. Shining your light, sharing your gifts, making things happen AND ALSO feeling how you feel, being how you are.

Most of the new age and life coaching worlds draw from dominant culture and push this idea of perfection onto us. Like we are failing if we’re not excited about the holidays. Like we are failing if we can’t say that 2023 was our best year yet, but we’re going to make 2024 even better.

This is bullshit.

So how can you hold space for your actual feelings and experience this holiday season?

Start with VALIDATING THE FUCK OUT OF EVERYTHING.

How you feel is valid.

What you think is valid.

Yes of course there are a lot of reasons why you might want to work on having different thoughts and feelings.

But the starting point is to stop judging yourself.

I should be more positive. I should have done more to accomplish my goals this year. I should make REALLY BIG GOALS for next year to make up for my failures this year. I should be more forgiving.

This is what we do. And of course it’s what we do because we live in a culture that completely misunderstands how feelings work.

And then when we try to heal from the impacts of that, we end up in the new age/holistic wellness/live your best life world where the same values from our toxic dominant culture are twisted up, given some window dressing to make them look different, and pushed back on us.

But the answer and the way through are actually really simple.​

We have the answers inside us.

We can find them when we stop judging and suppressing our actual thoughts, feelings and experiences.

We need to BE WITH.

This is how we hold space for difficult feelings at the holidays.

It’s not any different from how we do it at any other time of the year! During the holidays everything is just MAGNIFIED. That’s what makes it feel harder.

This week I got an email from someone in the Dream Book membership about this.

MARVELLING at how SIMPLE it is, all the magic and healing that come from BEING WITH…. but then also marvelling at how DIFFICULT it is, in the moment, to actually BE WITH.

She was super grateful for all of the tools I offer inside Dream Book - all these different meditations and journaling prompts that all really do the same thing: help you be with, and process, your thoughts and feelings. (And if you want to do this work with me in the new year, you can join us here.)

Because once you’ve done that - you’re in your magic.

THAT MAGIC IS ALWAYS IN YOU.The answers, the power, the creativity, the motivation, the inspiration, that inner knowing that YOU GOT THIS.

We naturally get in touch with all of that when we BE WITH.

This is how we alchemize the hard stuff into FUEL for our dreams.

So, since the holidays can be hard, it means there can be more hard stuff to alchemize - which is SO HARD in the moment but then also SO GOOD afterwards.

I am living proof.

Almost 4 months into my separation from my husband, I’ve been feeling like I should feel worse than I do!

Yes there is sadness but most of the time these days I feel so happy and free. And like I still love him and still feel loved by him but the relationship has space to change and become something totally new. And I am finding that, of course, without my marriage there are still a SHIT TON of things to love about my life.

And yet this one part of me still judges my process. Feeling like I can’t possibly feel this happy after such a devastating loss.

So, the work of BEING WITH continues. Tending to the parts that are still sad. Tending to the parts that feel happy and free and want to explore new dreams. Tending to the parts that are like “whoa how am I handling this all so well?”.

When Thanksgiving felt SO HARD for me this year, I was really worried about Christmas. But now that it's almost here, I feel good. It will be a much quieter and simpler Christmas and that feels really right.

So. If the holidays feel hard for you this year - how can you BE WITH and TAKE CARE of yourself and all of the different feelings that get sparked?

Where can you disengage from what dominant culture is telling you to do, and engage more deeply with your actual needs?

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