Back in September, someone asked me what my plans were for the holidays. My response: "I have no idea."
If you asked me this ten years ago or even last year, my answer would be "going home to my family! Where else?!" Spending time with my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas was the norm. It was the expected. We had to do that puzzle Grandma bought at the dollar store. We had to tag team in Christmas shopping Costco. We had to guzzle down coffee. Mimosas. Wine. More wine. We had to bite our tongue when my uncle yelled at my mom about my dad not liking his dog. Or about how I never finished that college degree. We had to pretend like that blow out between my sister and uncle, for God knows what, didn't happen and watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation together, believing the Griswold's were way more dysfunctional than us.
After working with my trauma therapist and healing through spiritual modalities of breathwork and sitting meditation, I found the source of my anxiety and trauma came from my family of origin. The light bulb went off. No wonder we loved Christmas Vacation so much. We. Were. The Griswold's. Well, maybe not to the comedy of Chevy Chase but certainly a family without boundaries.
I realized that I didn't want my holidays, let alone my life, to be an addictive dysfunctional family box office blow out. I wanted peace. I wanted calm. Most of all, I wanted to break free from a damaging generational cycle. So two years ago, I set my first major boundary with family: cutting off communication with my uncle. What started off as a Christmas blockbuster disaster slowly turned into mindful, healthy relationships, particularly with myself.
I had the privilege to sit down and have a chit chat with Cristina Dam on Liberate The Podcast. We talk about my family's cycle, setting and sticking to boundaries, reclaiming my voice and providing a safe tips for this holidays season. Watch now below.
We can have a magical and wonderful holiday season. Start with you.