Francesca Dattilo, MSW
Certified Law of Attraction Coach
Certified Style Coach (MIASC Accred.)

Call me:  613.204.0781


10 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR MERRY ON WITH FAMILY STRESS

  • By Francesca Dattilo
  • 14 Dec, 2017

I love the Holiday Season.   I am a sucker for all the Christmas movies, the carols, the lights and the decorations.   I am one of “those” who “chomp at the bit" to get the house decorated as soon as December 1st hits.  


As you might already know, I encourage my clients to create work/life balance and harmony.   So, this time of year is a good time to unplug from work.   For me, this Season stands for spending time with the people you care about most, taking stock of what really matters to you, chilling out and having fun.   It is also a spiritual time for me to reconnect to the qualities of peace, love and joy.


But, most of us do not live “Hallmark”   Christmas movie lives.   Spending time with the family, whether it is your family of origin, your immediate family or your in-laws does not bring about the experience of peace, love or joy.  

Right now, I am having fleeting thoughts of skipping Christmas with the family I was born into.   I am already feeling frustration, disappointment and hurt by them as we lead up to the Holidays and I haven’t even sat down with them for a festive feast yet.  


I am reminded of childhood feelings and experiences: “They do not see my needs as important”,“ I do not matter” and “Their wants and needs always come first.”   I am in the process of figuring out how I want to handle my negative vibration.   I know I have a number of strategies and empowering tools I can use to stay in my “Happy Place” as long as I am willing to use them and I would like to share them with you:

1.  Allow for what you are feeling, what “they” are doing  or saying and what is happening in the moment.  Let of of judgment of yourself, othes and what is happening in the moment even when we do not like it.  


2.  Be willing to practice Radical Acceptance. One practice I love doing is the Half- Smile.  When I am thinking about the troubling situation with my family, I simply focus on my breath and slightly upturn the ends of my lips; think of the Mona Lisa smile.  This facial posture sends a powerful message to the brain of acceptance and our brains then respond in kind by sending messages that confirm our facial expression.


3.  Release self-judgment to release judgment from others.  I often hear from my clients that they feel judged by family members, especially the in-laws.  I ask them in what ways are they judging themselves.  Often, the judgment of others affects us negatively because we are already holding judgment of ourselves about this particular issue or subject.  I remind them that this is the Law of Reflection at work and often others are just honoring our vibration.  

4.  Let go of approval Seeking: Many of us look for our own value in the opinion of others.  We believe that their opinion is more important than our own about ourselves.  When other people’s opinions matter more than our own, we are allowing others to define us.  Approval seeking is attachment to an external event/person for our happiness and it is counter to the Universal Law of Detachment .  
5.  Opposite Action:   Right now there is a part of me that wants to confront my family about what they are doing that is upsetting to me.   I am weighing the pros/cons of doing so.   But, I know I can also choose to act opposite to my urge.   When you are angry, the action urge is to attack, but it is much more effective for me to act opposite to my urge.   In fact, to be a little kind to them and if I am doing it all the way, to think kind thoughts of them.  

6.  Cope Ahead Plan: Think of the situation that triggers you with your family.   Describe the situation using the facts only.   Stay away from interpretation, assumptions and judgment.   Then visualize yourself coping effectively.   Perhaps, that looks like practicing the half-smile exercise above, acting opposite to your urge to lash out, taking a break from the family by going for a walk or going into the bathroom and taking some deep breaths.  

7.  Pros/Cons: Write a list of the benefits and positive consequences of addressing the issue with your family and then write a list of the downside of addressing the issue. Then, flip it around. What would be the cons of not addressing the issue and what would be the benefits of not addressing the issue.   Doing the flip can get to different awarenesses and answers.   Doing a pros/cons list helps you avoid taking impulsive action you might regret later on.  
8.  Turn it Over to the Universe:  Ask your Universal Manager to take it off your hands. For example; “Universal Manager, it is commanded of you to release me from this anger, disappointment and sadness that I am holding towards my family so I can remain connected to peace, joy and love.” Then, end with “It is done.  Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you.”

9.  Speak your truth with compassion; After doing your pros/cons list you might decide that what is in your highest good and the highest good of all is to speak your mind.  This can be a significant demonstration of appreciation and love for yourself which connects you to your higher self.  However, if you want to do this without major drama, this requires being very skilled at asking for what you want and saying no to unwanted requests while maintaining and or improving the relationship and your self-respect. I am often helping my clients learn how to speak their truth skillfully.

10.  Focus on the relationships that feel good in your life.  Focus on those relationships where you are getting your wants and needs met, where you feel honored and respected.  You can start a gratitude journal where you write down the blessings of your relationships.  I have a little journal that I use most days to write a little something to my husband about what I like and love about him most.  Practicing the Law of Sufficiency and Abundance is often all that is required to get you in your “Happiest Place”!  

The bottom line is that no one else is in control of how you feel.  You are a Deliberate Creator and only you are responsible for your feelings and ultimately, only you can create your happiness this Holiday Season.


Wishing you and yours the Happiest of Holidays and Many Blessings to you in the New Year!  

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