19 Dec 2013

Beth’s Best Holiday Blog Posts

No Comments Christmas, Empowerment, Live your best Life, Stress Management

Christmas not likeIt is the most wonderful time of the year.  Right?

Probably not.

The holidays are actually the worst time of year for many people.  It is the time of year where Peace Love and Happiness gets shoved down your throat and if you are “doing it right” you are suppose to get a whole lot of fulfillment and joy out of it.  Problem is, so many of us are hung up on Christmas’s of the past that we choke on all the good-will. We can’t connect to whatever that magic is suppose to be. Fulfillment and joy? What is that?

Here are a collection of my favorite Christmas time blogs for you. Coach Yourself through another festive season of holiday madness and learn how find Christmas for your own self this year.

A Stressless Christmas, Yes You Can! 

 I Hate Christmas

A Christmas Journal: Your Key to Holiday Stress Management

Beating the Bah Humbug

14 Dec 2012

Beating the Bah Humbug

No Comments Christmas, Live your best Life

happiness“I Hate Christmas.” my client lamented.  What don’t you like about it I asked? And then he started with his laundry list of reasons why Christmas sucks.  He misses his departed mom and it will bring up guilt around the way they spent their last Christmas together.  He sites that as the reason why he hates it when his wife tries so hard to perfect his mother’s shortbread recipe, and then ridicules herself and goes on about it for weeks when the cookies don’t turn out.  He hates how he has to go to his in-laws and watch his brother-in law don another dorky sweater and dramatically pass out gifts to the kids even though everyone there knows he can’t afford it.  He had a big list of reasons why he hates Christmas.  What about you? Do you have a similar list?

Last year at Christmas I encouraged you to purge your Christmas angst by sitting yourself down and making a list of all the reasons you hate Christmas.  If you didn’t do that, go back and read last year’s article I HATE CHRISTMAS.  The point of doing this exercise is to help you shift your perspective. Instead of the lens that Christmas is something to endure or get through, the deeper work is considering what it could be.  Instead of resisting Christmas, work on reminding yourself of this simple truth, it comes around every year.  Consider how many more years you potentially have to live, and that is how many more Christmas’s you have coming your way.  Do you really want to feel this December misery for that many more years to come? Are you willing to work on shifting your Christmas attitude to what you WANT it to be?

Like my client, you have some things that are not going to change anytime soon.  My client will never again have Christmas with his mom, nor is he going to be rid of his brother in-law.  But, like anything in life, Christmas is what you make of it. Whether you are surrounded by so much family you can only dream of getting away from them all, or are dreading another Christmas morning alone, everyone shares some of the hurdles of the season. It’s how we handle them that’s important.

Do you work on living your best life this time of year?  Take a moment to picture your perfect Christmas and then work on emulating that new ideal.  Don’t let Christmas’s of the past get in the way of the many magical moments you can still create with the people you care about.

My friend Natalie passed along this letter she found on-line.  Full credit due to the author of this wonderful way to look at the nature of Santa and how to deal with older children that are coming into the knowing that something is up with this whole crazy story.

Even though this is written as a thought to share with children, how could you apply these same principals to your Christmas this year?

Dear ______________,

You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”

I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.

The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)

I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.

This won’t make you Santa, though.

Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.

It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.

With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.

So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.

I love you and I always will.

My greatest hope for everyone is that they release the things that keep them from having the love, magic, hope and happiness that is there for all of us throughout the year.  This year my wish for you is that you focus on what you can have this Christmas, and allow with love, the past to be the past, and the present to be a gift.

02 Dec 2012

A Christmas Journal ~ your key to holiday stress management

1 Comment Christmas, Stress Management

stress-free christmasOne of the greatest responses I have had from readers of my Coach Tips is my suggestion to use a Christmas Journal as a way of managing holiday stress.  If you didn’t start last year, go back to last year’s article A Stressless Christmas – YES you can!, and get the benefit of this easy tool.

Last year, I asked you start a Christmas Journal.  The challenge was to write about three things and then tuck the journal away with the Christmas decorations until next year. A year later, here we are, and as predicted, Christmas has come again!

The three questions from last year were:

  1. The 3 things that I honestly could have skipped getting stressed out about.
  2. The 3 things that worked the best and I enjoyed the most.
  3. The 3 moments in which I felt the greatest gratitude.

What made your lists last year?  What are you going to put on your list this year?  Are they similar? Is there a theme?

Coach Yourself…

What 3 things do you not want to be stressed about this year? Considering what made your list last year, what does your new list tell you? Maybe you have found some peace or solace, and whatever was on your stress list last year, is totally over with this year.  Wonderful.  Time really can heal.  Maybe your new list is telling you that you’re still stressed about the same things. If so, what are you going to do to eliminate this item or items from your list?

What 3 things do you want to enjoy the most this holiday season? If you get specific about what you want and need from Christmas, you are more likely to get it.

What 3 things are you willing to notice and nurture? Sometimes in life we need to dig a little deeper to find the gratitude in situations.  Being willing to notice and nurture the moments when we are connected, peaceful, and joy-filled gives us the presence of mind needed to truly enjoy the holidays.

Happy journaling!

21 Dec 2011

I Hate Christmas

2 Comments Christmas, Free Life Coaching Tips

Christmas is good for business! You may expect that January with all its resolutions, aspirations and goal setting would be a Life Coach’s busiest time of year. While I certainly see an increase in new clients in January, it pales in comparison to the first three weeks of December.

The truth is Christmas is HARD for many people. What I have learned in my six years as a Life Coach is just how much of a challenge this time of year is for so many people. Some clients get caught up in the stress of the season(financial stress & in-laws) and others have much deeper wounds from Christmas’s of the past. Did you know that there is a higher rate of suicide in December then any other time of the year? It is astounding to me how many people I work with that have been impacted by suicide, and struggle every year with the memory of that event on the Holiday Season.

In general the response to these things is to shut down, turn inward and spend Christmas alone. My feeling about this is simple…No wonder Christmas is hard! If you read my last blog post, you would have noted that I identified what I believe is the number one truth about Christmas…it comes along EVERY SINGLE year. Why not work on ways to face this “wonderful” time of year head on, instead of the work and emotional toll it takes to avoid it.

Avoiding the festive season means refusing to face whatever it is that troubles you most this time of year. Resistance means you don’t give yourself the opportunity to let go of the baggage from the past. When you carry that around you don’t give yourself the ultimate gift – the gift of starting anew.

It is not true that a Merry Christmas is just for some people. Christmas is here for everyone to embrace and enjoy. Be willing to take 3 small steps this year that will set you up for years to come:

Step #1
Make your I HATE Christmas list. Sit down with a blank page and write down all of the things that you hate about Christmas. Even if it seems petty and trivial write down all the things you hate about this time of year – spending too much money, overindulging, being alone, happy people on the street, fake festive carolers at the mall, missing your Dad, having to spend time with your Mom etc. etc. Push yourself to make a BIG list – don’t let yourself off the hook until you have 20 or more niggling things that you hate about Christmas.

Now that you have the big list, give yourself the gift of humour. Pick 5-8 things that are actually kind of funny when you think about it. Being able to laugh at the resistance that has built up over the years is a really good step in the direction of letting go and moving on. You might not immediately feel like laughing at the things on your list, but urge yourself to do so. Seeing how you have built up a wall against things like “stupid elves” can actually be kind of funny when you stop and think about it.

Step #2
Look at the list you’ve created and identify 3 things that no matter what are always going to be a challenge, for example facing the holidays without Dad. Now ask yourself, what you can do for yourself to honour and support that challenge. If you can’t think of anything try asking yourself “If I had a magic wand, what would I do to improve this situation?” Resist the trap of getting caught in the past here, you can’t bring Dad back, or transform your mother in law, but what can you do today that would impact your tomorrow?

Step #3
Decide this year to work on seeing Christmas differently. Eliminate the words that keep you stuck. Things like, “I hate Christmas”, or “Christmas is hard”. Work on framing things so they feel more doable. Instead say, “Christmas is a challenge, I am working on letting festive into my life, I am willing to see all the reason that people love Christmas this year.”

There really is no time like right now to work on transforming your “I hate Christmas” attitude. As your Life Coach I cannot change events of years gone by, but I can support you as you take action this year to shift yourself into a place appreciation for the Christmas season.