Home for the holidays! It has a nice ring, doesn’t it? But going home can be a mine field for those on the consciousness road. I grew up during the television generation. For me, holiday thoughts bring up visions of a beer commercial!- big sleigh pulling up to a rural house on a winter evening, going inside to enjoy a roaring fireplace and a delicious meal. You may be planning a trip home for the holidays, or just making a periodic visit. If so, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind.
I’m in the fifth day of a nine day trip to the northeastern United States. It’s the area where I was born and raised. It’s the type of visit you can look forward to and dread at the same time. No matter how many times you’ve gone home you tend to hope the next visit will be different, but you also have that voice in the back of your head that says things will probably be the same. Dad will be on your case for not having a “real job”. Mom will reprimand you as though you’re an unruly teenager. Aunt Irene will be doing her awful best at getting into other people’s business. I don’t have the kinds of family drama you might encounter, but I do tend to secretly hope that things will somehow be different.
A life dedicated to awakening and living consciously brings great insight and moments of exhilaration. But trying to carry that awareness back to your birthplace can turn exhilaration to frustration in a heartbeat. The truth is that most people don’t share your vision. Like minds seem hard to find. Stating your reality brings stares of confusion. Meditation, yoga, juicing..all seem like foreign concepts in a foreign land.
As a response I’m offering these five keys to staying centered and maintaining your serenity:
1. Do not expect people to be different than they are. Instead, send them love for being who they are and for doing the best they can.
2. Maintain your boundaries and when those boundaries are challenged respond honestly and with kindness.
3. Remember the reason you’re making the visit. You want have positive exchanges, share experiences, and radiate love. Don’t make it a time of judging, demanding, and holding on to old slights and grudges.
4. You may be asked a lot of questions about your life. Answer them from your heart and without falling back into unhealthy family patterns. You are your own person and as such you are living from your own sense of vision and values.
5. Be willing to cut the visit short! The last thing you want to do is create a scene. Take yourself out of the mix before you say or do something that doesn’t come from your genuine self.
Keep your reason for the visit clear- to have a happy time and to send love to everyone. And, when the visit is over allow yourself some time to unwind. Even if all went well you can spend a few moments savoring the satisfaction of knowing you are sending your true self out into the world.