Managing your Christmas expectations


Christmas brings a bitter-sweet challenge for many of us – we are reminded of how much our family means to us, but the reality of Christmas togetherness often challenges that joy.  I’ve felt for a long time that the Waltons have a lot to answer for with regard to family life!  The key to enjoying the season’s cheer is to manage your own expectations.  Figure out how to create a realistic and constructive story around what is manageable and life gets easier.

This year I’ve re-discovered Byron Katie’s work on changing your beliefs.  She is very insightful and practical.  Katie has a process to work on beliefs that is very powerful and surprisingly fun.  The good thing about her is that there are lots of examples on her in action on YouTube, so you can really figure it out. I was off work for a couple of weeks during the year and took the chance to find a lot of her clips and enjoyed them immensely. I didn’t notice any examples that explored people’s beliefs about Christmas, but the process works beautifully.

The Work has a series of simple steps.  First you  identify the belief that is causing problems:   ‘We must all share close family feelings at Christmas’…. or whatever your belief may be. Then you examine that belief, its accuracy and its impact on your behaviour.  Then Katie just gets you to turn it around to a different and more constructive belief and you work through the same process. It’s really fast and productive…yes. you do have time to do it before Christmas!

Here’s an example and I’ve chosen a classic Christmas challenge: He criticises me!


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