Real House Lives of the Holidays?

Dec 04, 2022
Shannon Conway
Real House Lives of the Holidays?

Confession: my most blissful Thanksgiving experiences have happened when I’ve traveled alone or have joined random groups of friends for dinner.

Choosing to be alternative in my approach to holidays is a healing practice. I adore my family; you guys know that! We have some fun traditions around birthdays and Christmas. But due to divorce and other family challenges we have some tenderness around holiday obligations. More than the sweet experiences I have on my alternative days, I treasure the depth of connection I have with my daughters about what we know is true for ourselves around holiday bravery, commitment and connection. This shared understanding lightens us.

As I connected with people in Thanksgiving recovery this year, I heard more than a few horror stories. Illnesses, trips to urgent care, senility, drama with a family member, exhaustion, depletion. It got me thinking.

A few years ago, SNL created a funny sketch about the best Christmas EVER. It’s hysterical, but also not all that removed from reality. Another genius piece in this vein is the 1995 movie ‘Home for the Holidays’ directed by Jodie Foster. The first time I saw it I thought it was pure satire. Later, I realized it is realistic.

Love and connection do sometimes bring us into challenging experiences of caring for someone who is sick or managing someone who is losing it. We are villagers, and the village is all the things.

Social mores and rules, traditions and everyone’s feelings tangle up in our lives, and perhaps nowhere in modern society more than around ‘holidays’.  Humor helps us feel better about the icky stuff we must handle. Being bravely alternative and letting go of codependence also can help. And where there is obligation, self-care and recovery time are critical. The key idea: keep working your way back to lightness. Bringing in more light is your master goal.

Laughter is carbonated holiness. ~Anne Lamott

Self-evolution is your #1 main job here on Earth. If you do it with gusto, you are perpetually elevating your energy and consciousness, and in so doing, contributing to the evolution of the planet. 

Frankly, it took me decades to understand that simple truth. A million years ago, when I was 19, I wrote in my journal, “The Earth is Alive.” I wasn’t stoned, I hadn’t been drinking. It just came to me. It just downloaded into my consciousness — this planet is a living thing. I had no exposure to metaphysics and at the time would not have considered myself smart enough to understand it.

The deeper meaning of ‘earth is alive’ is that our true work here on Earth is to evolve ourselves as part of the overall consciousness we are part of. We are consciousness experiencing itself.

So, your job is to choose to prioritize joy. To invest in pleasure and play. To choose experiences of lightness, such as the ones my daughters and I chose around Thanksgiving.

Recently I thought of my baby granddaughter who hasn’t been trained to behave. She doesn’t care whether it’s Lily’s first time meeting her, or I haven’t seen her in a week. If she doesn’t want to be held by us, she makes it abundantly clear. She chooses to prioritize her own vibration. SHE is doing her work.

Maybe, like me, you were saddened to learn that the gifted Irene Cara suddenly passed away last Friday. Over the weekend I listened to her songs. The lyric that struck me is from Fame. “And in time we will all be stars.” It’s romantic, and she sings the line so perfectly. Also, it’s true. We do come from stardust, and we will return to it. We are, quite literally, constructed of subatomic particles.

Maybe this one is a little bit out there for you. It is for me, kinda. But kinda not. The deeper I go on personal development, the more cosmic it is and simpler it becomes. It’s about lifting your energy up.

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Here's to each of you as we kick off the holiday season and all that comes with it!

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