Family + Holidays = Time
I struggle during this time of year. Less hours of daylight really affect me. I literally start counting the days until December 21 when all will change in seconds of daylight. Yes, I'm that weird. I need daylight. The more I have, the better life is. On top of the natural change on this planet when depending on where you live, you also are getting less daylight hours, there is the added shift about "the holidays" and spending time with relatives and family.
When I was little, I loved Thanksgiving and the entire month of December. I come from a family of hunters and during this time of year, a lot of our family would gather at our home to go hunting. Obviously I did not go hunting - you couldn't pay me to kill anything, but I loved our breakfasts together as a big family at 5 am and our dinners were even more fun. Everyone had stories to tell of the day's adventures that revolved around the game of predator and prey. Our family walked for miles, laid on the ground to blend in with the hillside and hunted like a pack. They worked together to drive dear to a suitable place to shoot one. They communicated with body language to give the shot to whomever had the best vantage point. I've always loved the honor and respect my family had for the deer they killed. It was never about shooting just any deer that came into their scope. The deer had to be a certain size, otherwise they wouldn't have time to become that 12 point buck that all hunters hope to find. My father had some of the best stories of leaving deer. My favorite story was about the all black doe he encountered in a snowy field. I loved how he described her as "beautiful". My father didn't usually use words like that, but that deer brought it out in him. His one word inspired me to search for that black doe for the next couple of winters. To my dismay, I never saw her. Just knowing she was there and the quest to find her was well worth it.
Our time together as a family was always full of laughter, lots of cajoling, pranks and of course, food. At no point in our time together was there feelings of contempt or anger towards each other, that is unless one noticed the space that was held inside our home for talking late into the night. During those long hours of conversation, I learned to listen and feel my mother's uneasiness when my father walked into the room. Generational trauma had grabbed ahold of my mother and wouldn't let go. She was inadvertently projecting her fear of her own father onto her husband - probably because they were so similar in age. I didn't know that back then. I felt her fear and worry. I was confused by all the signals I was getting from my parents, my siblings, and the energy surrounding our little kitchen in that one hundred year old farm house. My dad didn't scare me at all. If anything, he was our rock, the person who protected us, raised our food, and took us on adventures.
When families come together, we can take those opportunities to really listen to one another - in all the ways there are to listen. Not just hearing the words, but paying close attention to the feeling behind those words, the pain that is behind them, and what is NOT being said. This Thanksgiving and for the rest of the year (there's only 44 days left of 2022) stop the inner dialogue in your brain when you are listening to someone else. Honestly, it's the ego drowning out what the other person is really saying. It takes practice, but slowing down to notice the person's posture, their breathing, what their hands and eyes are doing when they speak allows you, the listener to stay present, involved and truly holding space for your family. Currently, my favorite question to ask clients is "How do you want it to be with your loved ones?" It's amazing what comes out of their mouths. How do I want it to be? Let that simmer in your heart and then say how you really want it to be this holiday season. It may surprise you how lovely it actually is.
Love and Light my friends!