Have you made the trek to your in-laws for the holidays with the best of intentions only to end up feeling lonely and isolated? Or worse, has a shouting match erupted between you and your siblings and you left feeling that you failed to be in the holiday spirit? Cynthia James has a myriad of cures for the holiday blues.
Cynthia has coached and supported thousands of people into healthy, vibrant living. “We have to stop looking at the family and get clear that how we respond is really the issue. We have a choice how we respond in every moment. You can create the place within yourself where you feel joy, peace and harmony, so you can move through the holidays with grace.
I think people get around the family and old wounds are triggered; the family dynamics start operating and you get sucked into that vortex. But you can choose how you respond, and you can nurture your inner child before you arrive because a lot of the responses we have to family come from the base we built as a child.”
To create your own joyful holiday season, Cynthia recommends beginning with your intention. Consider what kind of holiday you want, what kind of experiences and relationships you want. Set your intention so it’s very clear.
“Quantum physics tells us that everything is energy until it is observed and then it becomes form. I really think if you observe the family dynamics and see your role in it, you can say, ‘my intention is to be joyful, to connect with people, and to be a presence that is beneficial.’”
Should you find yourself about to respond from a place that doesn’t support your intention; you can leave the room, go for a walk or call a prayer partner; do whatever you need to do to be centered.
“Remember to engage your inner child. Most of us don’t do this. We’re really ensconced in our lives, we’re really busy and forget there’s some aspect of us that’s a child. What does your inner child like about Christmas? What brings them joy? What do they want?
Bring the image of your inner child into meditation and ask what they really want. Create a list of things that feed your child before you visit so when stuff starts happening, you can concentrate on giving your child what it needs in the moment.”
Releasing past pain goes a long way in creating a peaceful holiday season. Cynthia recommends working on three specific areas here: expression, connection and judgment.
“Expression is the flip side of depression. If people are feeling depressed, there is something not being expressed. Sit down and put into words what you want, then communicate that to someone you know can hear you. Get clear about a step that you will take to express yourself so you don’t feel depression pushing you into a place where you don’t feel supported.”
Next is connection. When we don’t feel love, support and connection, especially in a familial environment, we start to isolate. “We may not isolate physically, but we withdraw our energy, close our heart and shut down. It doesn’t support us in getting what we want and feeling connected.
Write your name and put a heart around it. Draw lines out from the heart and put whatever makes you feel connected on those lines. Music. Dance. Nature. Whatever it is for you. Seek these things that connect you back to your heart. It’s a simple exercise, but it’s visual and writing or drawing activates the right side of the brain; the part that’s loving and open, receptive and clear.
So the moment you realize you’re becoming isolated, you can go back to that drawing and say ‘oh, I can put on my IPod, go for a walk and let the music reconnect me.’”
The final area is judgment. “Judgment is the opposite of joy; it closes our heart and activates the inner critic whose job is to keep us separate. We start looking around for the things that don’t work which creates more judgment and criticism. This energy doesn’t allow joy to come in, it doesn’t support feeling pleasurable, happy or connected.”
You can shift your energy by creating a joy list. Write down five places in your life where these things show up. When you get into the family environment, look at this list and start doing things that bring you joy. It will be very difficult for people to pull you out of it.
Cynthia’s new book, Revealing Your Extraordinary Essence is due out this month. “The whole book is tools. I want people to know if you can get your toolkit filled enough and strong enough, you can pull out what you need at any moment, and you’ll be hard pressed to go off the deep end when other people are doing what they do.
When you start changing and not being involved in the drama, people will escalate to try to pull you back in, so you need a lot of tools to keep you anchored and centered in your heart and what brings you joy.”
Cynthia wants everyone to know that you can create the holiday you want. “You can create it where you live. You can bring things and energy to an environment where you have been challenged before because you won’t allow that old energy to derail you.
Understand there’s nothing more powerful than who you are. You are a child of the Universe. You are engaging, brilliant and talented, and whatever other energies are going on, you don’t have to participate — you are at choice. You can ask your angels and guides for support. They’ll show up in unexpected and wonderful ways.”
For more information about Cynthia and to take the freedom quiz, visit www.CynthiaJames.net For information on Cynthia’s pilgrimage to Peru to experience the Venus Transit in June of 2012, visit: www.HeartWisdomJourneys.com
Corinne L. Casazza is a freelance writer based in Boston. Her second novel Walk Like an Egyptian is available online. She is currently at work on a non-fiction book. To learn more visit www.CasazzaWriting.com