Now, onto family and the phantoms of the past.

Take a moment to replay in your head the arguments you always have with your family. Now, resolve them in your head. Decide not to be drawn in and not to defend old habits. Let those around you do all the old dances and find a place to go in yourself where you do not need to respond. Often, a full-body sense of what you are creating in your life helps. Be in your new life. Expect yourself to notice all the difficulties and barriers as you do this. However, once you are conscious of a roadblock, know that your intuition is already searching for the information to help you get through it, around it, over it or under it. Intuition does not give up once you commit to change. Use breath as a tool to center yourself instead of reacting in destructive or self-destructive ways. Focus on your breath. Breathe in your changes and breathe out the obstacles. Use the old patterns to re-engage your awareness and stimulate, enkindle, inspire, animate and change.

And yes, you will be tempted to engage. All change takes discipline. Try redirecting your attention when someone pushes your buttons. Who knows, you may even be able to plant the seeds for a new relationship and a new family dynamic. We read each others' real feelings even if we fake good behavior. Practice compassion so that you can send real warmth to those around you even if you have issues with them. By using this simple technique, you can be the change in your family or group of friends.

Even if you are alone, the holidays tend to bring up these familial patterns. Do the same exercises you would if you were with your family and reach out to someone—a stranger, a teacher or a mere acquaintance—as the person you have chosen to become now. It is good to find groups gathering in your area—AA, church groups or any kind of group—that allow you to connect your dreams to the dreams and realities of others.

A holiday, because of the connectivity that surrounds it, is also a time when you can send your goals out into the world. You don't even have to talk to the person—be it your boss, the new love you haven't met yet or your new community—to send a clear message and receive a clear response. Scientific research now shows that others perceive what you think and feel, even at a distance. Try it by sending a warm connection to someone you care about or want to meet at least six times a day. Use your thoughts in a conscious, powerful and directed manner to create the changes you desire. When your thoughts wander to a hurtful place, refocus them on the dialogs and messages you want to send to the people you want to send them to.

Holidays also represent time markers. You may think of where you were last Thanksgiving, the Thanksgiving before that and even 30 Thanksgivings before that! Yet in ways this does a disservice by undermining the power of accepting the moment as it is. It's best to find your power in immediate, willed change. In 30 years of teaching, I have seen people turn their lives around in a moment—a literal moment. Really being someone you like and shifting to the loving and hopeful part of you sends a different and powerful message to the world around you. You may be very pleased and surprised at what comes back your way. Be active in engaging with your own miracle.

Simple ways to take control of your holidays


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