Tools for Holiday Tensions
It’s three days before Thanksgiving. The rush of holiday preparations and all the mixed feelings and expectations that come with them are upon us. I had the honor of sitting with two clients today who were preparing to travel to family for Thanksgiving. Both were able to express and then explore their resistance to going. As they did this the tension they were carrying in their bodies noticeably decreased. What emerged in both sessions was how the history of expectations specifically of undesirable family dynamics repeating themselves add to and create a lot of the stress of this season. We explored the questions of how to be present with what is occurring and stay present with oneself, how to orient to what is important to us, to our own inner rhythm and not the external expectations both in the culture and in our families about what this time should be. Both people left with a sense of their priorities and intentions for their time with their family. Both felt more connected to themselves, to the love they feel for their family members and to their capacity to be present. And in a sign that the sessions had succeeded in helping to renegotiate tension, both people were curious about the time they were about to have and no longer had a sense of dread about it.