The holiday season can be either really enjoyable or really stressful. The choice lives in your mind.
I’ve become a big believer in the practice of loving compassion as one of my main ingredients for holiday peace.
We are all flawed human beings. It’s easy to focus on the shortcomings of others and fall into the cycle of disappointment and frustration with those close to us. Harboring all of that energy can make for stressful holiday gatherings and an upset stomach.
When you step back and take the perspective that everyone may be doing the best they can with the tools and resources they were given — you might find a way to foster a more forgiving and compassionate mindset.
I’ve had the privilege of getting to coach hundreds of people over the past 20 years and have had a front row seat to all of the challenges that confront most people. From the highly successful CEO to the person not sure where to go next – we all share so many of the same basic fears and desires.
Most of the time when you see what you might think of as bad behavior and poor life choices, I see people who may be lacking some personal resources or life experiences that are impacting their ability to make better choices or take more consistent, effective action.
Learning to build the muscle of loving compassion for people less fortunate or less effective can be an opening for great understanding, forgiveness and peace.
Make a personal commitment to see everyone at the holiday gathering as a human being, just like you, trying to find their way, and doing the best with what they have. Look them in the eye, be a generous listener and see if you can help them enjoy the moment.
You’ll have one of the most enjoyable and healthy Thanksgivings you’ve had in years!
Here is a recent one minute video where I give you some ideas for developing loving compassion.
Pete Walsh is a demanding, courageous and playful Master Coach in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the founder of the Family Business Performance Center and the author of the 40 Skills Assessment in his Family Business Playbook.