This one practice will change your Thanksgiving forever

This one practice will change your Thanksgiving forever

The memories of last years Thanksgiving are potently infused into my memory. Except, for the life of me I cannot recall what I did for Thanksgiving 2016.

Clearly the memories I am referring to aren’t mine. No, I’m referring to story after story of people who faced divisive and politically explosive dinner tables after the election. People who had to keep their opinions to themselves, sit through abusive conversations and overall compromise their values all for the sake of a peaceful dinner.

As we’ve learned throughout the year, silence is not peaceful. Allowing others free rein to spew hatred and verbal abuse is harmful. And not standing up for your beliefs is complicity.

For those of you who are about to embark on a difficult weekend, I’m inviting you into a new space - a space of loving boundaries.

Here’s the deal: allowing others to trample over you, your beliefs and your heart is not healthy. Implementing boundaries will not only protect you, but it will help you to feel more calm and secure during a holiday that is supposed to be a time of community, connection and loving.

We tell ourselves that by not speaking up, it’s better - it keeps the waters calmer. I’m not saying to argue or pick fights. You’re likely not going to change anyone’s mind over pumpkin pie…. AND you can still vocalize your beliefs and your needs. Because allowing someone to trample on your boundaries does not create peace. In fact, it will ignite within you everything but peace.

Here are five quick tips to help you with this:

  1. Establish your boundaries. What does and doesn’t feel ok in regards to your interactions?

  2. Communicate your boundaries at the beginning of the day (or before your arrival). Let the people around you know that this is something important to you and ask them to be in agreement to respect your boundaries.

  3. Speak up when you feel your boundaries being disrespected. Since you already have people on board and in agreement, it should be easy to say something when one of your boundaries has been overstepped.

  4. If people are not willing to respect your boundaries, decide what to do about it.

  5. If you get into a conversation with someone who is not willing to respect your boundaries, stick with asking them questions (in a loving, but strong and non-judgemental manner) instead of accusing or pointing fingers at them.

I will close with a quote from Mike Dooley, “reading this while nodding in wholehearted agreement, yet not following your heart and doing all you can, with all you have, from where you are in the days that follow, is the same as not reading this.”

How can you honor yourself more deeply this holiday season, and speak up for what’s important to you…. All while practicing detachment and allowing others to have their experience?

You can disagree with someone and tell them so, while still loving them fiercely and compassionately. Allow them to have their beliefs. AND stand firm in your boundaries. Loving another person and setting boundaries are not mutually exclusive experiences.

Love + Leaps,

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