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Christmas is traditionally a time for togetherness – festive feasting, farting (and blaming the dog) and frivolity with family and friends. Sadly for some, it’s quite the opposite.
For those who are not alone, there’s often pressure for perfect presents and peaceful presence – needing to navigate, negotiate and often second-guess the needs and expectations of self and others.
Make space for yourself
Christmas with blood or chosen family can be chaotic, claustrophobic and stressful, leaving little time for love. So make space for yourself amid the mania and b-r-e-a-t-h-e into the moment to re-engage with presence and loving connection. Go for a walk, call someone up for a chat, or hang out with us online.
Listen to everyone
Everyone has their own version of the ‘perfect’ Christmas, but it’s not your job to manage their expectations. Let others know you’ve heard their needs and be honest with them about your needs, priorities and choices. If you over-commit and under-communicate old issues might emerge and this could end in tears.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, though high times bingeing on sex and drugs and rock and roll can cost heavy downers. Being a wild child may distract from an emotional hole and take the edge off pain, but know your limits like an adult, aware of consequences and able to choose. Respect yourself and the world will follow suit.
More with your presence, than your presents. Willingly showing up with an open heart might be worth its weight in gold to someone who rarely sees you, irrespective of how long you stay. If you can’t physically pay a visit, how about making a call, sending a card, a message, or sending some love online. Touch a heart today.
Remember who you are
Amidst the overwhelming madness. Do you revert to the tantrum-prone child, people pleaser or rebellious teenager when you ‘go home’? Has nothing – including your own behaviour – changed? Then here’s how to gently change it now as you step into authentic presence and create the life you want to live.
Don’t take it personally
People often panic with overwhelm, embarrassment, even shock in-front of another person, familiar or not. Boundaries might get crossed with unruly banter.
Space fillers might be critical and what might be a jaw-dropping classic Christmas clanger now, might be forgivable and laughed over later. So don’t collude with the utter bo**ocks spoken around you, but calmly state your boundary and move on with dignity and in peace.
Don’t fix, flirt or flaunt
People can ‘express relationship’ in weird and wonderful ways. Some criticise, others compete, many argue, or more cleverly intellectualise, there’s shameless flirting and the flaunting of sad stories, money made and achievements gained, often against all odds.
Don’t be at odds with the situation in hand, but breathe back into your centre and send love to where the person around you is at. You don’t need to fix them, flirt back or flaunt who you are and what you’re made of. Dance to your own tune and tune out of anything that drains, strains or displeases you, giving more energy to what you want more of.
For those who are (or feel) alone, or just fancy hanging out in good company, we’re hosting a few MenSpeak Online groups over the holidays, so you can check in and stay sane, sharing space and getting real with a few good men.
I hope these tips contribute to a cool Yule full of love and conscious connection!
Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz is known as the ‘Man Whisperer’. He is the founder of MenSpeak men’s groups and MenFacilitate facilitator trainings
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