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How to Navigate the Holidays With Family Members Who Don't Understand How You've Evolved Spiritually

Hi, sweet one.

Thanks for being here.

The blog is back again, and this time, it’s a special holiday edition.

The concept of post has been on my mind and my heart for months now. It feels important, potent, poignant. I don’t have an outline in front of me, and at this moment I have absolutely no idea exactly how this topic is going to manifest itself on this page.

But I know that this piece of writing wants to come out of my soul, and I trust that it’s meant to reach each and every one of you who is here with me.

Even though I don’t know exactly what this particular message is going to evolve into, I have a glimmer of an idea as to why it so wants to be written.

I know that a lot of us here in this community have been doing a lot of soulful deep-diving recently. We’ve been shedding a lot of layers, becoming more mindful, attuning ourselves more fully to the energies of love and oneness, and taking steps to get ourselves closer to our truest, most authentic selves.

Take a moment to celebrate that for yourself. You did that. How epic are you??

On the flip side of that (and by all means, please keep celebrating yourself as you read on), there are a lot of folks out there who are not yet on the self-development path.

First and foremost I want to clarify that that’s okay. Not every soul signed up to be part of the 5D awakening of consciousness that’s unfolding on our planet right now.

The ones who didn’t are not wrong or less-than. They’re right on time for their specific soul contracts. Perhaps they even signed up to learn from you and begin their journey back to Love by your example, dear one. After all, you’re reading this for a reason.

The holidays present a unique, weird, and wonderful opportunity to come together with those you haven’t seen for the past year (or several years, thanks Covid!) and try to serve up a presentable snapshot of who you’ve become since that last gathering.

Some of us - myself included - have supportive and beautiful family systems that allow us to be genuine in these scenarios, and accept or even celebrate us in all of our iterations of evolution.

But I know from scattered experience and from hearing many, many stories about the triggering nature of the holidays from friends and clients alike that some family systems are not so accepting, and that some very deep-rooted uncomfortable emotions can come up at the mere thought of trying to fit yourself into the box of those external expectations during this annual gathering.

Triggering questions and comments like...

“Are you dating anyone yet?” “How much have you been eating?” “How’s that little business you started going?” “When will you get a real job?” “What was that you posted about the full moon recently - you don’t believe in astrology, do you?”

...can quickly derail an attempt at a seamless encounter, no matter how much you try to suck it up and put on a smile.

What I’m really saying - with honest love and empathy for both you and those difficult family members in my heart - is that it can be hard to interact with those who aren’t yet as awake and open as you have worked hard over the past year or more to become.

It can be difficult to translate to different generations and family members who are immersed in different schools of thought why your life choices look the way they do.

It can be especially challenging to explain an evolving spiritual life - one that perhaps doesn’t fit into any sort of traditional label or box - to someone who has not yet learned what you’ve learned or seen what you’ve seen.

It can be triggering for others to see you living in your truth and authenticity if they have not yet accessed that within themselves.

And that’s okay. The beauty of this human experience is that we are all growing, evolving, and shedding layers at our OWN PACE.

Your being further along on your journey of self-discovery and the recognition of the oneness of all things, power of positive thought, magic of manifestation, uprooting of subconscious belief systems and whatever else you’ve been beautifully remembering as your truth can be stunning teaching opportunities for you and unique growing opportunities for those around you.

Those difficult and painful moments of not feeling heard, seen, or understood might even be reframed as opportunities if we allow ourselves to look through a different lens.*

In my experience, those opportunities are twofold…

  1. They give you a chance to be an example of living outside of the model of the world that was created for you by your family system, perhaps inspiring others to see things from a more expanded and accepting point of view

  2. They offer a valuable chance to set and hold clear, strong energetic boundaries

I’m going to give you a few tips that apply to both categories outlined above. Grab a cozy beverage, a journal, a candle, or a big, centering breath, and let’s get empowered in our truths. Yeah?

Leading By Example

*I recognize that this post is written from a place of privilege and acknowledge that not everyone is safe within their family system to share about different spiritual, emotional, or mental perspectives than the ones their family abides by. If this is the case for you, please skip down to the section on setting strong, clear energetic boundaries over the holidays this year.

It’s said that one person who is vibrating at a high frequency has more power to shift the energy of a room than several people vibrating at a low frequency.

In other words, if you are showing up from a space of love, truth, and acceptance, your energy will be the most powerful one in the room.

It will overshadow any doubt, fear, and unkindness.

Hold fast to the knowledge that simply by showing up in high vibration, you are positively impacting those around you. Be open to the possibility that they might surprise you by meeting you where you are.

Be careful of the temptation to allow the reverse to happen. It’s easy to shift into low vibration when we get frustrated by not feeling heard or seen. The moment you begin to energetically dumb yourself down to accommodate someone who is living in fear rather than love is the moment you lose your power.

Hold yourself to the highest energetic standard and you will command the energy of the room. You will bring others to where you are, rather than the reverse.

Here are a few tips for maintaining that…

  1. Set yourself up for success. Before entering a family gathering, do what you need to do to get your energy right, whether it’s meditation, EFT Tapping, visualization, journaling, movement, or calling on Higher Guidance and Universal energy to support you. Over in my Facebook group this week, we did a tapping session for stress and anxiety. Feel free to use that or any of my guided meditations as a resource. Reach out using the form at the bottom of this page if you’d like further assistance in cultivating a practice for raising and maintaining your vibration with ease.

  2. Focus on understanding rather than being understood. Trying to force your point of view on someone who isn’t ready to understand it can be exhausting. In The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra reminds us of the Law of Least Effort, which asks us to relinquish the need to defend our point of view. From a more scientific perspective, trying to teach someone by telling is ultimately ineffective because it brings up that person’s critical faculty - the need to use the logic of the conscious mind (ego) to defend and maintain their point of view. Forcing someone to understand just doesn’t work. In order to keep them open to receiving the benefits of your expanded point of view, focus on understanding them. If you feel safe and inclined to do so, ask questions that get them to begin reflecting on their belief systems and why they might not be as accepting, open, or loving as they could be. Focus on “how” and “what” questions rather than “why,” which once again triggers the mind’s critical faculty. “How did you come to that conclusion?” “What makes you say that?” “Tell me more about that comment you made before. Where did that come from?” You might be pleasantly surprised at how people disarm when you show a genuine interest in understanding where they’re coming from.

  3. Rather than asking yourself “What’s wrong with them?” ask “What happened to them?” When we assume that someone’s unintentionally hurtful point of view is coming from a place of malice, we instantly create a barrier to connection. We deem them a lost cause, and we set ourselves up to come from a place of defensiveness and blame. This doesn’t exactly put you in a great position to maintain the energetic upper hand. Instead, what if you asked yourself, "What happened to that person that caused them to view the world in this way?" In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz reminds us that nothing others do is because of us, but because of something that’s going on within them. Their potentially negative reactions and comments are a projection of their own internal state. When we begin to see that past traumatic experiences and less-than-ideal circumstances played a role in that person’s unhelped model of the world, we might find ourselves a little bit more open and compassionate. Maybe even a little bit more forgiving. We start to see the wounded child inside of that difficult person, and might consider offering compassion rather than resistance and resentment. Choose to see them through the lens of their pain, and you may find that you’re able to take their words and perspectives a little bit less personally.

  4. Show, don’t tell. If a family member doesn’t understand your point of view, or diminishes a choice you’ve made, or belittles a belief you hold, consider sharing an example of how that thing has benefited your life. Instead of trying to explain yourself (which depletes your energy), share a personal story from a place of empowerment. People can argue over facts and logic all day, but no one can dispute your personal story.

  5. Release the idea that you're better than them. I get it. Going on a personal development journey earns you some clout. You get all the credit in the world for that. But there's nothing more draining (or honestly un-spiritual) than putting yourself on a metaphorical throne and deciding that everyone around you is a peasant. Choose to see their journeys as different than yours, but not less-than. Open to the possibility that where they are in their spiritual development is perfect for them. Open to the idea of having fun with, loving, and enjoying them, even if you don't feel totally understood. There's beauty in choosing to love across the divide.

Setting Clear, Strong Energetic Boundaries

If your intuition is telling you that leading by example and working with your family members to help them see a more supportive and loving model of the world is not safe or simply too much to handle this season, trust that.

This is a beautiful opportunity for you to practice your energetic boundaries without apology. Do what you need to do to protect yourself and keep yourself in a place of love and positivity.

Here are a few ideas on where to start…

  1. Protect your energy before entering a situation with a potentially triggering person. Refer to point #1 above. Implement practices that will get you into high vibration prior to interacting with someone whose negativity may bring you down. After you’ve gotten your frequency nice and high, there are a few things you can do to maintain that while you’re in the midst of a gathering…

  2. Maintain and protect energetic boundaries. If someone is speaking to you in a way that you feel put off by, try repeating the affirmation “I am [insert your name here]” over and over in your mind. This will ground you in your own energy and create a protective barrier around you. Another way to protect yourself is to implement a breathing technique that will keep your nervous system regulated. My personal favorite is vagus nerve breathing. You can use this simple and highly effective technique anywhere by taking big, expansive inhales for about 6-8 seconds, and long, controlled exhales for about 10-12 seconds. This will take you out of fight-or-flight and bring you into your parasympathetic nervous system. Another great tool is visualizing a bubble of protective light around you. Choose a color that makes you feel safe, and envision it enveloping you with love, protection, peace, and grounding. You can ask your angels, Spirit Guides, Universal energy, or whatever other Divine energy resonates with you to help you maintain this protective bubble, and to ensure that no low-vibrational frequencies can infringe on you.

  3. Step away when you need to. I know this can be hard at a family gathering where you’re expected to be present. But as Glennon Doyle teaches us, “Every time you're given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.” Protect yourself first. You can’t be present for anyone if you’re running on an empty tank. If you’re feeling yourself scraping the bottom of your energetic barrel, step away. Go for a walk, breathe in your room for a few minutes, listen to an Abraham Hicks video, or observe the trees outside for a few moments. Simple acts of presence and centering can make all the difference in the world. Remembering that you have sovereignty over your own being can empower you with the sense that no matter what others may say or do, you are in control of yourself and the only one who has to approve of you is you.

Sending you so much love for a stunning holiday, sweet one. I hope these tools support you in remaining in your highest vibration and authenticity, and perhaps even having a joyously fun holiday reconnecting with loved ones and sharing your growth with them.

I’ll be with you in spirit, cheering you on as always.

Reach out to me or find more information here if you’re seeking further support on your soul’s journey. I would love to assist you in releasing any blockages to your living out your highest truth and purpose.

With much love and merriment!



1 commentaire

Scott Davis
Scott Davis
24 nov. 2021

Dear Maya - Thank you for these wise words for this special time of year. Happy Thanksgiving!


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