Home for the holidays?

Home for the holidays?

Be safe … emotionally

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Family-of-origin triggers & other old messages

As we approach the winter holidays, we often plan to get together with our families of origin—which can bring up a lot of old stuff for us. Or we are not going to get together with them (for a variety of reasons)—but that also can bring up old stuff for us. We can experience many difficult feelings around this time of year, and we don’t always feel safe.

I’m referring here to emotional safety.

People who have attended the PEER (Primary Emotional Energy Recovery) Process or an ongoing PEER group often seem thrilled when they begin to acknowledge and embrace the concept of safety. They frequently ask what they can do to increase their personal sense of safety and well being. This is somewhat of an individual issue, depending on a person’s life history, but there are some things that we all can do.

Ten ways to take care of your emotional safety

      1. Begin listening to your inner voice more consciously. Notice how much of what it says is critical. Disregard this and use whatever means necessary to let it go. This is the internalized voice of all of the people who have criticized, judged and shamed you in your life. Do you feel safe when you hear this voice? Most likely, no. This voice is not your friend.
      2. When you clear away this internal critic, begin to notice what is left. Listen to the voice inside you that really knows what feels good and right for you. This is your spirit letting you know that it’s got your back. Cultivate this voice. It may be hard to hear it at first—think of it like tuning a radio station. Turn the knob and slowly you get through the static until the reception is perfect.
      3. Are the people in your world supportive or critical? If critical, make a conscious decision to spend less time with them or no time at all. They may be reflections of the training we received when we were children being criticized by parents, teachers, etc. We tend to recreate those childhood situations in our adult life.
      4. Spend more time with people who smile at you because they like you, who see your inner worth as readily as they see their own. This departure from the norm may feel uncomfortable at first, but it is well worth it. Just like growing a plant, if the soil you use is rich, fertile and well watered, a healthy plant will be the outcome. So it is with the friendships and loved ones with whom we surround ourselves.
      5. Spend some daily time doing conscious breathing, stretching and/or exercising in nourishing ways. Self nourishment is not being selfish, it is self-loving.
      6. Eat foods that help you feel good and healthy. People who eat a lot of sugar often don’t feel very good about themselves. Eat more foods that help your mood and energy.
      7. Get adequate sleep every night, which for most people means between 7 and 8 hours. Sleep-deprived people often have trouble staying centered and being able to adapt to the pressures of life.
      8. Drink high-quality, pure water in sufficient amounts daily.  Dehydrated people—most people, in my opinion—do not handle stress well and often feel overwhelmed.
      9. Know your own boundaries. If you have interactions at home or at work that are troubling, stop and consider your own boundaries. Did you feel like you were heard and responded to with respect and sincerity? If not, turn inward again and ask yourself what is important about the situation that you are not getting? Establishing good communication with others that is respectful and supportive requires that we establish that with ourselves first.
      10. Remember that you are your own best-informed healer. If you have not had emotional safety in your own life, cultivating it will be a sacred journey that will require you to be present for yourself in as many loving ways as you can imagine.

Enjoy the journey!

Participating in a PEER Process and the PEER community will help to cultivate the parts of you that have often gone unrecognized or abandoned. This means that your participation will likely help you to feel better about yourself in many ways. You are likely to feel more energized, more present and more capable of stepping into the fullness and richness of who you are as an individual.

Wishing you the “safest” of holidays,

Dr Garry D’Brant