Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the holiday season was a time when you were able to simply focus on spreading love, experiencing joy, and spending valuable time with family? How incredible would it feel to be free from all the extra pressure you put on yourself to make sure everyone else is happy? What would it mean to you to be free from secretly stressing about how you’re going to avoid splurging too much and gaining that extra weight you seem to pack on before heading into every New Year (when you plan to have a “fresh start” of course)?
As I mentioned in my last blog post, the holidays used to be an incredibly stressful time for me due to my struggles with disordered eating and a distorted body image. If that’s a struggle for you too, check out last week’s post as well as the Facebook Live event we did in the Empowered Vegan Life Facebook Group.
The focus of this post is on the other stressor that many of our Plant-Empowered Coaching Program clients also face… Being vegan around critical relatives who just don’t get it.
I’ve got great news for you! I’m here to help you write a new story for your holiday this year.
It’s important to first understand that you have no control over how other people think, feel, or act. Therefore, you must let go of trying to change anyone else and focus on “doing you!”
This year, instead of apologizing for being “difficult,” I encourage you to be proud and confident about your decision to go vegan. Don’t play small and hide.
Think about it… By acting (eating) in line with your values you’re setting an incredible example for those you love, no matter how hard a time they give you. I invite you to be unattached to the outcomes and simply shine your light on those around you. Then, instead of jumping to conclusions, sit back and observe what happens with curiosity and compassion (which is also how our clients learn to approach THEMSELVES)!
Choosing a mantra or two to say to yourself every time someone is critical or pushes your buttons can really help. Some of my favorites are:
“No one can make me feel inferior without my consent.”
“They are doing the best they can with what they have.”
“The only approval I need is my own.”
“What they say is a reflection of them, not me.
”I choose to courageously speak my truth with love.”
Will this be uncomfortable at first? Yes! Do it anyway! Head to your gathering without expectations. Bring a vegan dish or two to share. Focus on the precious time with your family instead of focusing on the food and eating. All too often we don’t consider that time with family precious until those people have passed. Living in gratitude makes all the difference in the world.
Basically, consciously using the holiday as an opportunity to work on YOURSELF is key to continue powerfully down the path to not only a health and happy life, but also a meaningful life.
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- Beyond Survival… How to Thrive As a Vegan Over the Holidays - December 4, 2018