I just spent more than a week with my family, and I wanted to share my top takeaways to help you navigate your own.
This was 11 of us, under one roof for 9 days…4 family dynamics, many varying, strong personalities and I have to say, it was awesome!
But, I did things to ensure it would be that way, not just for me, but for my whole family…
Side note: If you find this helpful, make sure to save this email, because these tips are priceless, all my clients use them ( because they work;).
They will also support you during the holidays season, and anytime you find yourself out of your environment and knowing you will want to make yourself and your goals a priority.
How many times have you felt great and then gone away and gotten off track?
Or how many times have you gone away with family and regretted things you said or did, or didn’t do?
And how many times have you gone on a “vacation” only to return feeling like you need a vacation?
If you resonate, then keep reading:)
Here is how I know when it’s time for me to take time off and reset, so I’m my best self for everyone and most of all for myself:
- I feel uninspired – If I have nothing to say on social media or feel flat
- I feel extra emotional and sensitive
- I’m super reactive
- The things I do to feel connected, inspired and aligned, stop working for me. Ex: meditation, movement, breathework, extra sleep…
- I feel like my cup is empty and I’ve got nothing else to give
What comes for you? When do you know it’s time to take a break and getaway?
Well, here’s what I did to ensure I returned feeling my best. I committed to:
1. Take time off – I mean not work at all. NOTHING:)
2. Do a social media detox – no social media for 10 days
3. No computer – I did not check anything work related and hardly went online
4. I notified all clients and friends who usually lean on me for support I would be off my phone
5. I chose to not watch TV and engage highly with my family (this just happened as a subset of the above and it felt great and highly nourishing)
Now, as you know, I love all things family…that said, spending 9 days with family, a lot can come up.
Rumi said it best…(I’m butchering this quote) “You think you’re enlightened until you spend a week with your family”.
This is so true.
It’s easy to feel peaceful, and regulate your energy and stress levels, when you are in your own controlled environment.
But when we get around our family, several things happen:
1. Whatever core wounds we have that have gone unhealed or shoved way down – they come up
2. Whatever roles we played in our family dynamic resume as they were decades ago – no matter how successful you are, your age or whatever you have or have not accomplished, it’s amazing how we fall right back into the old paradigm we grew up with.
3. We often revert back to old habits and patterns that we have worked hard to overcome and it will surprise us and make us question ourselves and the work we put into overcoming them to begin with.
I share this because all of this is normal, however, too often we enter into family situations with unknown expectations.
Whether on vacations, holidays or other events – these Unknown Expectations, leave many feeling let down, frustrated or stressed.
Also, holidays and family time can easily turn into a high-stress, drama-filled, experience, where you’re feeling like you’re being attacked, judged and needing a vacation from the vacation you’re on.
It’s very common in family dynamics to fall into “roles” we’ve previously played.
Our family often sees us as who we’ve been, not who we are.
And sadly, we do the same to them. I always teach my clients the power of giving others a “clean slate” – which means letting go of the past, but seeing who they are now.
What a gift that would be for all of us!
Here is what I did and taught my clients to do, to set themselves up for success and ensure they take optimal care of themselves and their families.
And so they have the best time and create the vacation and experiences they ultimately want to have.
1. Notice your expectations of your trip, partner, kids and all parties involved. Do this before you go and check yourself. What expectations do you have?
The Fix: So often we have unknown expectations and get let down because we never knew we subconsciously had them. By identifying them before you go, you can give everyone the clean slate they deserve and make sure to keep your expectations in check to control and create the experience you want for yourself and your family.
2. You get to create the experience and have more power than you think. Instead of allowing the trip to unfold, be intentional about the trip you want to have and declare it openly to the universe.
The Fix: Script out the experience you want to have in detail in the present or past tense.
3. Do you feel judged, criticized or like you’re walking on eggshells?
The Fix: When we feel judged we are often harshly judging others and most of all ourselves. What do you need to hear? You are needing acceptance, love and approval. Give it to yourself. Start off journaling: “I am so proud of me for; I love me because…” take time to be for yourself what you are looking to get from someone else.
4. If you get caught gossiping or in toxic conversations or surrounded by people endlessly complaining…
The Fix: Don’t engage. Remove yourself from the conversation, shift the topic all together or be the one to speak highly of that person and turn the energy around.
5. If people are negative and filled with drama
The Fix: Send them love, see their wounded inner child and remind yourself they are doing the best they can given who they are and what they know.
6. If you have always been the people pleaser and seeking everyone acceptance, love and approval
The Fix: Where can you love yourself more? The approval you seek from others needs to come from yourself first. Journal: I am so proud of you because…I love you because…” and list these out each night to give yourself what you desire to receive from everyone else. The only opinion that matters is yours and that is the most important opinion.
7. If you have been the family member to be there for everyone, keep the peace and ensure all is well.
The Fix: Stay in your lane. Truthfully, it’s not your job and you taking on all of that responsibility is not only too much, but no one asked you too. As a result, it’s most likely exhausted you and caused a wedge between you and other families from being closer. Empower your loved one’s by allowing them to be themselves and take care of themselves. They are adults. Harsh words but true.
8. If you find family time to always be exhausting and not a vacation
The Fix: Take time for you. You get to create your own experience and taking time for yourself is not selfish – it’s the best thing you can do for all involved. You have to set boundaries and make yourself a priority and if you’re not, you are doing yourself a huge disservice and everyone is being affected by it.
9. If you are a controller and have a hard time surrendering and allowing – going with the flow.
The Fix: Be intentional. Each day write out…”I am so happy and grateful for another incredible day! My family and I had the best time!” Name – you get to dictate what you want to experience always, not just on vacation. Put this into practice. I always say “There is power in your pen!” use it and write your reality! It works!
10. *Be you. Stay true to you. Don’t try to be anything or anyone else. Be the light that you are. That is your only job. Not to make everyone happy. Your only job is to be happy and be fully you.*
When you do this – watch as those around you conform to you.
Watch as then you receive the love, acceptance and approval you were always seeking. In accepting and loving and being yourself – you realize you are and always have been enough and have nothing to prove.
This name is Wholeness.
I did everything above and my entire family had the best vacation. My one brother even said he was talking with his wife about extending their trip to two weeks. It was better than I could have hoped for and it’s because I did what I teach and took time each day and before we went, to get clear on what I wanted to experience, to write it, state it into existence and realign myself to it each morning.
When I noticed I was being reactive or judgy or caught in negative convos that don’t serve me, I removed myself and reminded myself, it’s not my job to get everyone to think differently or be happy. I get to stay in my lane and create the vacation experience I want to have.
And that’s what I did and it was fabulous!