In 2011, Relate, the charity with a focus on personal relationships, reported that 68% of those surveyed ‘expected to have a row over the holidays’. What’s remarkable is that many of these arguments could be avoided if people understood that what they are feeling about ‘that present’, ‘aunties cooking’, or ‘the disappointment of yesteryear’ was coming from their thinking, not something or someone outside of them.
Similarly, the Money Advice Trust estimates that 16.9 million people will borrow money to pay for gifts and other Christmas festivities. Many will do so to satisfy a belief that happiness comes from something outside of them, rather than being wholly connected to themselves and the intelligence behind life (God).
But, what if we had a new paradigm that worked on the basis of a deeper understanding that our feelings are 100% of our thinking? How might this change our perspective of Christmas and the pressure to collude with each other in the pursuit of greater happiness outside of us? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t share gifts or enjoy the Christmas celebrations, but that we realise that our happiness, significance and worth are things that come from within us, not from outside of us in the world of form.
So, how can you begin to lean into this new understanding and start 2018 with new hope and greater awareness of thought?
Here are 3 things to help you survive Christmas and live differently:
1. Wake up to your thinking – Noticing what’s causing your feelings will help you wake up from the mental movie that you are playing about where your happiness comes from. Waking up from your thinking enables you to see the reality of who you are, someone who has innate wellbeing; that you have greater leverage in your circumstances and aren’t a victim to your surroundings; and that you don’t need pay so much attention to the thoughts forecasting your future, as they are just your perceptual reality.
2. Accept that you are human – We all get tricked into believing that we are feeling something other than our thinking and that something outside of us will reduce the feelings of insecurity that we feel from from time to time. It’s a universal truth for everyone. The difference is that some of us have a deeper understanding of where are feelings are coming from and so can live closer to reality, not a perceptual reality and all the maintaining behaviour necessary to manage a perceptual reality. This is where high performance comes from and how some people can have an seeming endless capacity for productivity.
3. Wait for your wisdom – Sometimes when we notice our thinking, we become preoccupied with modifying our thinking, or messing with the machinery of our brains by using affirmations, visualisations and other mind altering techniques, but we really don’t need to add this additional stress to our lives. If we are prepared to accept our humanity and trust our neurology to clear as we wait for wisdom, we discover the subtractive nature of the principles behind a calmer existence. The understanding that a deeper connection with self, the principle of thought in how we experience our world and waking up more often to our inner stories, will help us have greater capacity, more resilience and not be triggered by aunties cooking, or your uncle’s snoring during the Christmas blockbuster, again!
Have a wonderful time this Christmas and relax into your innate wellbeing, resilience and wisdom.