How To Navigate Holiday Landmines: ‘Tis The Season For Grace & Gratitude

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“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The holidays are a time of year for gratitude. So why do so many find it so hard to celebrate?

There’s a brisk chill outside. By late afternoon it’s already dark. Our circadian rhythm dictates we slow down, hunker down and hibernate. But for the next month, we ignore the call of nature, mindlessly hurling ourselves into a frenzied state of overcommitted overextension.

Too many obligations. Overspending on things nobody really needs. Keeping up with the Joneses yet never quite matching up.

Stress. Anxiety. Conflict. Dread. Debt. But perhaps the biggest trigger of all? Family drama.

The treachery of extended family holiday get-togethers can accelerate a perilous emotional state to the breaking point. The patterns are age-old and hard wired, yet each year we make the promise: this time will be different. But then like clockwork, the buttons get pushed. Patience? Mindfulness? Forget it. Reason and composure vanishes, replaced with primal reaction. The spark is lit, and once again you’re once riding that emotional rollercoaster you vowed to finally avoid.

Depression ensues, only to wake up in January with an emotional hangover no narcotic can salve.

What if you could break the pattern?

This week Julie and I delve deep into strategies for a new and better holiday experience. Tips and tools to reframe the dynamic, gracefully navigate the emotional minefields, sidestep the consumerist insanity and embrace the fundamental spirit that is meant to define this time of year — gratitude.

Specific topics include:

  • creative vs. commercialized giving
  • prioritizing self-care
  • acknowledging family dynamic realities
  • exercising discretion with respect to social obligations
  • sealing your energy field
  • visualization and mindfulness practices
  • understanding conflict as growth opportunity

The show concludes with Humming– a brief humming meditation track written and performed by Julie from her album Jai Home.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange. Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace + Plants,


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Background, Context & Reference:

I handled editing duties on the show today. So if there are any sound issues, don’t blame Tyler — it’s on me. Theme music by Harrison Mathis. Transition music by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.

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