HSP: what are your plans for Christmas and New Year’s eve?

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As a coach for highly sensitive people lots of stories about Christmas and New Year’s eve come my way. Most of the highly sensitive people I speak rather spend their time quietly with a few friends or in some situations only with their spouse, love relationship and kids in stead of packing stuff, organizing big dinners and traveling from one family to another with two days. (Christmas) And as for New Year’s eve, in the Netherlands it is the tradition to set of fireworks up until late, go out until late and the next morning you possibly catch yourself with a hangover and a huge lack of energy. This feeling of being totally wasted could go on for days so the people I speak to ask themselves: 

‘What do I want to do, how shall I organize this and most importantly, how will I communicate this to my spouse or family?’ 

Yesterday I gave a lecture about high sensitivity with professional and personal relationships. This same topic arose and conclusion was that it is most important to listen and finally act upon your own needs. The difficulty lies in the fact that we are so accostumed to do what others want and expect from us. (or read: to do what the group/family wants) In many cultures it is a tradition to spend time with your loved ones during these festive days, but all I hear about is lots of family stress. I understand it is very hard to break with family and cultural traditions just for your own sake. 

How wonderful it would be if we could choose for what we most want to do during these days? Before having this as an option in mind, one needs to tackle lots of emotions. Emotions such as guilt, anger or even family member blaming you for not coming to the gathering. Year in, year out, you feel horrible, and perhaps this comment rings a bell ‘this year I will stay at home’, but to find yourself each year in homes of other family’s or family at your place, because the motivation to choose for what you want somehow disappears. Days after the social activities you feel exhausted of all the conversations, impulses and possibly excessive amounts of food. 

What if, after years of struggling, with the December month turning around the corner, you consider, just slightly consider to do what you want. What ideas would pop up? With whom would you spend these festive days? How will you go about communicating this to your family? Think about it, it could definitely free your mind and body and take you up to a higher level of excepting and acting up to your own needs. The positive effect about this is when you feel well and good about yourself you could mean much more to others. This doesn’t only go up for festive days, it’s a daily positive life attitude. Many highly sensitive people regard doing something for themselves as ‘egoistic’. No way, it is super healthy to put your own needs first and in my view of life this naturally goes with healthy relationships, either professionally or personally. 

As a Chinese born in the Netherlands I never had a relationship with Christmas. These days were focussed on work and serving others Chinese food from out of the restaurant of my parents. And as for New Year’s eve, this meant being with lots of Chinese family living in the Netherlands, most of them had restaurants so lots of good food was served. Whole evening went to spending time with cousins and grown-ups talking and playing games. Chinese tradition of setting of fireworks did go hand in hand with Dutch culture’s fireworks at 0.00am 1st of January with a huge difference, Chinese fireworks was all about banging our ears of whereas most Dutch fireworks were about beautiful colors and figures whirling up into the sky. 

Somehow I feel lucky to not have any traditions in relationship to Christmas, it seemingly makes it easier to choose for what we want to do. But even so there are some family expectations to tackle. Even without a religious link to it family wonders what we will be doing around that time of year. Or perhaps it’s even more so the case that it’s more about me, somehow I feel compelled to share what we will do, in other words, we would like to spend time here at home in stead of visiting you, you and you. And as for New Year’s eve, to be honest, I have never been into fireworks. This year we decided upon spending time somewhere where it is fireworks free. Hmmm..this is quite a challenge, but we will find a place. I am sure of that. Where there is a will, there is a way. 

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Life Coaching: being honest with yourself

I’ve spoken to a few men who have the wish to have children, but their partners weren’t ready for this. It seems kind of rare, but it happens. These men exists. Men who are fond of children and would like to raise their own. The question in this is if their partners will be ready at some point. Their feeling is they won’t be ready, but meanwhile they stick with their partners. It takes a lot of strength to go one’s own way and leave a relationship in which years were invested. Yes, there are good times shared, but a long-lasting healthy love relationship is based on common family goals. What do you both need and desire in this relationship? Ask yourself and then ask your partner. Start the conversation and after having shared your thoughts, decide in which direction you want to go together or by yourself.

Keep calm and sparkle

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With so many things happening on the personal front we were continuously challenged on the work front. The past four years haven’t been easy with a burnout husband. Even though he still has this enormous headache we’re slowly crawling our ways up to a ‘normal’ living. A normal living would of course be when he is 100% healthy, but since we can’t plan the date of him being fully recovered, we do our best in our own pace.

We have dreams, big dreams. Dreams in which all of you are included. We strive for a healthy and happy living; mentally, physically and spiritually. Tonight at dinner he told me about someone who inspires him. Someone who trains people to get to know their true voice. He was impressed by his training method and thought he could do something similar; freeing people from their blockages. In his case it would be by moving. His thinking and brainstorming about the topic brought him to his moving core: his free flow capoeira method. A method which can make people of all ages enjoy moving, like they enjoyed moving when they were a child. Teaching people how to enjoy moving and playing around is only one of his dreams.

The thoughts I shared with him were about the ebook I’m writing on anger: how to deal with anger when you’re a highly sensitive person. The writing went well, my mind was crystal clear and that was exactly what I needed to fill the gaps. Now I realize I didn’t share my thoughts on workshops. Thoughts come and go like that. This morning I received two more sign-ups for a workshop I organized on emotion management for highly sensitive people in Utrecht. I was so happy that I started daydreaming instantly about organizing a workshop with a friend of mine. A friend who works as a psychologist and with whom I studied neuro linguistic programming. I saw myself having fun with her while brainstorming about different workshop topics.

At the moment she is super busy so I need to tame my enthusiasm. And that’s good, it’s good to keep my focus. Focus helps to finalize our current projects. Let’s stay calm and sparkle on this road called love.