By Alecia Rice –
Q. I’m dreading our family holiday gathering. I don’t share views with my family about religion, politics or world events. I feel like I’ll be enduring it instead of looking forward to it. Any advice. — Feeling Grinchy
A. Dear Feeling Grinchy,
My sense is that many are facing the same concerns this holiday season. People seem stretched thin lately, mentally and emotionally, which creates less tolerance, compassion and understanding for opposing viewpoints. Combine that with perspectives that are emotionally charged and grounded in fear with little wiggle room for contrasting opinions…well…personal irritations and frustrations can mount.
This is the perfect season to experiment with the concept of detached observance. Holiday gatherings create ripe circumstances to sharpen our ability to play the conscious observer while staying connected to our thoughts, the feelings in our bodies, and our choices in response to strained personal encounters. It’s important to own and manage our energy. These interactions offer the opportunity to monitor the feelings that move through us as we engage with others who may have strong, differing points of view.
There are various intentions available for navigating such gatherings. One choice is to engage in Ho’oponopono, the ancient Hawaiian practice to make “right relationship” through personal reconciliation and forgiveness. This can be done before the gathering, during, as well as after, to attempt to restore balance in oneself with others.
The shorthand of it is that you envision someone in your mind’s eye with whom your energy is erratic. Fill up your heart with good energy and repeat these words in a sincere way, silently or aloud, as many times as needed to bring balance, “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” These words acknowledge that whatever is in another is also within us and we take responsibility for that issue within ourselves instead of judging the other for it. This practice has shifted relationships when one person had no knowledge that the other person was engaged in the process. I invite you to research this powerful practice to understand it more in depth.
Another choice is to attempt to avoid the larger macro topics by bringing them down to micro topics, which are on a personal individual level. Try engaging Uncle Joe by asking him something personal about himself that lights him up, so he can share himself with you. This is the stuff of relationships. For example, ask him how he met and fell in love with Aunt Sally or about his world travels. This engages him on a personal heart level which often keeps external world topics at bay, which may be more controversial.
One final practice is to manage one’s energy by not allowing triggers to be acted upon or verbalized, while regulating them within oneself. This allows one to bear witness to how easy or difficult it is to be pulled out of one’s own space. It takes two to tango. When one of the parties stops dancing, the dance is over.
Q. My husband doesn’t care for short hair and I don’t care for disheveled beards. I’ve kept my hair long for him, but he doesn’t trim up his beard for me. Am I wrong to ask that we both compromise instead of me being the only one? — Hair’s the Issue
A. Dear Hair’s the Issue,
Conscious marriage is a contract of compromise, love and respect. It’s important that lovers remain true to themselves, while being open to places for compromise to keep their spouse engaged and attracted.
This issue has the potential to dog you throughout your marriage. It’s a classic situation that requires you to be clear within yourself as to what’s truly important…and the same for him. You need to talk about it; it’s best to find a way to come to an understanding now, so it can be settled. Watch for an opening when you’re feeling really connected with hearts open and then bring it up conversationally, not controversially. This will allow you better flow and understanding for communication.
Each of you gets to make a choice. If you respect each other’s desires, you can each compromise by giving a little to please the other while getting a little, so you’re both doing something that’s attractive to the spouse. If one doesn’t wish to compromise, then the other is free to make their own choice as well. At that time you’re both still getting what you want, which is doing something with looks and self-maintenance that makes you feel the most comfortable and confident.
Alecia Rice integrates higher concepts with wisdom to bring forth balance, perspective, and clarity. She’s a personal advisor, speaker and gatherer of women. For perspective on personal issues, you’re invited to text questions and comments to 681-321-1109. Discussions continue at Ask Alecia on Facebook.