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Holiday Perspectives

December 12, 20223 min read

Dear Friends,

The holidays can be a beautiful time of year with family, friends and celebration. It can also be a time where many experience loneliness and disconnection. It can be a Yes, And. My friend Tara Nash used the example that; sometimes it feels like the holidays place a magnifying glass on grief.

As someone who has experienced deep grief and in the work I do, I observe that the concept of grief has been much more “accepted and normalized” especially since the pandemic; a time when we all felt grief around the life we expected. Grief may be the death of a loved one, a divorce, loss of a job, pet loss, or when a part of yourself has shifted. We can experience grief when friendships change or when moving. Everyone has their own unique story and each one is validated and real.

What I know to be true is that I can be it’s witness and that I have a relationship with grief that is forever shifting. I know I can never change the past and I cannot control the future. I can practice being in the moment that I am currently in. Did I mention ...it's practice with patience and compassion. And more practice.

If you are someone who absolutely loves the holidays and are surrounded with family, friends, celebration, happiness, etc…amazing! I invite you to soak it in! Maybe you even pause and take a moment….feel the whole essence of your joy, acknowledge it and express gratitude and appreciation. Amplify all the goodness!

And if you are someone who struggles during this time, I also invite you to give yourself permission to feel it. This may not be fun, but the emotions will shift. Then, what is one small, medium or big action step you can take? Oh…. try to identify these action steps before. This way, you have them as options in the moment. It’s harder to think about what to do when you’re in the thick of it.

If you’re looking for some ideas….watch a comedy, put on music, read a new book, volunteer, drink water, reach out (only ) to the people who you trust will reciprocate, take a walk, get out in nature (city or suburb), move your body in any healthy way, meditate, take a shower or a bath, pet a dog, put on cozy socks.

A brief message for the parents here… I know that parenting during the holidays can also be both wonderful and hard. Our kids are also experiencing all of these moments. One reason why I love working with teenagers is because we get to have open and vulnerable conversations and they learn awareness and tools to manage their experiences and emotions. They are growing up in a completely different world than we did. So, sometimes I think the best thing we can do is be honest about our own “stuff” (with boundaries of course), open the door for them to share and listen to them with compassion and grace. (more on this another time).

The more I live and the more I love, the more I accept that feelings connected to grief are part of the human experience. And so are the feelings of joy and love. It’s the whole spectrum.

So, especially this time of year, can you explore new and different ways to connect?

You matter and You are not alone.

With Gratitude,

Beth

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