Time to face the holidays again. We meet this time of year with mixed emotions. Joyful anticipation and childlike wonder on one hand and feeling overwhelmed and stressed out on the other. We learn to shift our expectations into positive anticipation (hope) that doesn’t get disappointed. We learn to move beyond our previous hurts-intended or otherwise-and just take people as they are and situations as they arise.

All that is hard work, is it not? Sometimes we are able to accomplish these tasks and sometimes, not so much. Hopefully, we can remember to return to our own sacred self more quickly than we could have in the past.

So, how does one do that?

Let’s face it, people are people and whether they intend to or not, our wills may collide and our hearts may clash.

One technique for reclaiming the sacred self asks us to notice when we first feel discomfort. I can tell you that I used to not notice a discomfort until 3 or more days had gone by and then I’d realize I didn’t feel ok about myself or another person. It hadn’t even registered that I’d been insulted or slighted until days later. Then, I didn’t know how I felt! Was a mad? Was I sad? Was I harmed? I couldn’t even tell! I felt overwhelmed with emotion, but couldn’t identify the emotions I was feeling.

So, if you disconnect and don’t feel right away, there is hope for you! If I can do you it, you can too! The first step is noticing.

If you can notice, you can shift. Take a breath and just be for a moment. Notice where in your body you might feel discomfort. You don’t have to name it right now, just notice.

Next, shift your awareness out of your body and notice something in your surroundings. A painting on the wall. A nearby lamp. A window. A pet. Focus upon something other than yourself for a moment. Maybe you don’t like that painting. It’s okay, just notice that it exists. Maybe you think that lamp should be on if it’s not or off if it’s on. It’s okay, just notice it. Notice without judgment. This is powerful! Being able to notice an inanimate object without judging it gives you the power to release judgment of self (and others). This releasement of judgment brings you from wounded self into sacred self. Powerful!

Try it right now! We all have woundedness within. Notice if you sense it or feel it. (You may be like I used to be—too numb to notice. That’s okay, too.) Now, notice something

physical in your world. Let it be what it is. You may prefer something different, but for now you can allow it to be just as it is. Breathe that in. You can feel the self-judgement release!

Now notice the things that bring you joy! A child’s laugh, sparkling lights, snuggly blankets, a warm cup of cocoa . . . Seek out the things that bring you joy! Look for them!

I find joy in the quiet of falling snow, Christmas lights, and Phil.

What brings you joy? Seek joy and find/reclaim your sacred self.