It’s the most wonderful time of the year – if you get your head right! It can be stressful trying to get everything done, writing cards, sorting out presents, decorating, visiting friends and relatives and having guests over too.
Add into that your normal routine changes, sometimes leaving you wondering what day of the week it is! Your diet changes too and your normal exercise regime goes out of the window.
I will survive
So, how do you survive and still have an amazing time? Simple, step back for a second and stop imagining how each situation will be.
Change your expectations
Change that image of stress and problems to calm and control. You can be sure that the worst won’t happen. I’m not being negative here, just realistic.
Work to how you want it to be.
It’s exactly the same as when you practise your Tai Chi, you imagine how you want to perform the move, your ideal. You know you won’t do it like that – yet, that is what you aim for. It’s not about perfection, either in life or Tai Chi. Its about trying so that you can enjoy the other things you learn and experience along the way.
Mirror Someone who is already Successful.
You watch your instructor perform the move, listen to their explanation of what is going on and what you are trying to achieve. You try it, you listen to their VIEW/ CRITIQUE of your moves and then keep trying, keeping an open mind all the time and listening to your body for clues as to what is going on.
View Christmas the Same Way
The same is true of the whole Christmas experience. You plan a gathering, see in your imagination what it to be like, how it will turn out etc. Then if things go ‘wrong’ like extra guests turning up who you didn’t cater for, someone else changes the music, and all of sudden it can feel as if the world is spinning out of control.
The world is always spinning out of control, as a Tai Chi student you know this really. New people can add nicely to the mix, new stories to be shared, new friendships to be made, new songs to hear and broaden your horizons. And food, well that tends to sort itself out.
I’ve been at a party where people have suddenly left only to come back again with 6 pizzas to share around. The host of that party was so happy that people were comfortable enough, and indeed thoughtful enough, to do that for her and everyone else.
Dealing with Problems makes you Strong
Family gatherings can be a slightly different matter. You can think of this as being a similar scenario as work. There are people you get on well with and others you just don’t like. That’s life. There are moves in tai chi, which you will love, and others you would gladly leave out. What do you do? Get on with it. The more you practise a move the more you understand it. As your skill levels grow so you come to appreciate each move, even if you never learn to love them all the same. You will develop respect and understanding for it.
Think about Dealing with People as a Training Exercise
And so, it goes at work or family gatherings. The more you learn about people, the more exposure you have to different types of personality, the more you learn about yourself and become a little more accommodating of others straits too.
Limit your Exposure to People You Really don't get on with
Let’s be honest there, there will always be people you don’t get along with. The trick is to limit exposure. Christmas is only once a year and you can negotiate that by making sure the visit is short or that there are plenty of other family and friends to act as buffers if necessary!
Remember Life is a Training Exercise the more you Live it the Better you get!
Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get a much practise in over the Christmas period. If you eat or drink a little bit too much or eat the wrong thing. It’s once a year, enjoy it mindfully and know that you will get back to your normal routine with, hopefully, some new friends and a broader outlook on life!