How to Practice Self-Care While Participating in Family Expectations

If the holidays have taken an emotional and physical toll on you in the past, now is the time to start preparing a plan of action so you can practice a new way of being with the holidays.

As we enter this holiday season, there are a few things that are vital to our self-care:

  1. First is the acknowledgement that we truly are worthy of listening to that deep part of ourselves that helps show us how to recognize and meet our own needs, both emotional and physical, during this time. Often we put off meeting our needs because of the fear that we are being selfish. The truth is that taking care of ourselves always puts us in a better place and makes daily life more sustainable, especially during the holidays.
  2. Be present with your needs. Know that the better you are taking care of yourself, the easier it will be to spend time with those you love.
  3. Breath. There is nothing easier and more immediate than breathing to re-center and rejuvenate. Take breaks from family gatherings to reconnect with nature, there is energy and power in nature to rejuvenate yourself.
  4. Be sure to get plenty of sleep, healthy foods, and exercise to turn the tide on stress. Keep the focus on yourself in order to stay balanced. Find creative ways to work these three vital components into the days of celebrating. These are the ways to insure enough rejuvenation in order to be able to function better and have a healthy attitude.
  5. Keep the focus on gratitude. The attitude of gratitude changes the energy of any gathering. Gratitude lends a special vitality to everyone and every experience during this time. Find something to focus on that reawakens a sense of gratitude.

There are a few general toxic emotions that can be cleared using the UTUE process during the holidays. Taking a few moments and clearing these emotions will help put the celebration back in your step.

  1. Clear the rules and regulations about putting ourselves last when it is time for family and friends to gather.
  2. Clear unrealistic expectations of the holidays meeting everyone’s needs.
  3. Clear taking the sometimes volatile emotions of the holidays personally.
  4. Clear comparing your family to other families, judgment and a sense of competition. Good old fashion acceptance works magic here.

Let’s look at Mary and how she participated in the holidays five years ago. Mary used to spend tons of time making lists, shopping, and agonizing over the meals as she believed that this year she would be creating a gathering that would be totally “perfect”.  Starting the process, she would always have the highest hopes and goal to finally get it right. And to all appearances, she would, and yet she would end up not feeling satisfied or happy at all.

As time went on, frustrations mounted and nerves would grow thin. She would cut back on sleep, start stress eating just to feel good for a few moments, adding in chocolate and caffeine as a way of getting that extra boost of energy that seemed necessary at the moment. Staying up late to finish that last appetizer, trying to get the house cleaned, and spending extra time in traffic took its toll on Mary’s energy and her attitude.

When the day rolled around, Mary tried to regain that sense of holiday celebration and gratitude. Deep within her though, was a sense of let down. Something was wrong, and worse, she felt like she was “wrong” and she just kept trying harder to make the day happen.

Today Mary has an entirely new approach to the holiday season. She has been able to acknowledge that the old stressful way of preparing for the holidays no longer works for her. She had started clearing with her UTUE teacher, and has been able to clear the rules that she hadn’t questioned around how holidays are supposed to happen. She also has been able to stop trying to make up for all the times she lost her temper during these family gatherings as she cleared old guilt and shame that kept tainting her ability to be in the present moment.

Today she is able to know that seeing to her needs for ample sleep, simple planning, exercise and wholesome foods makes the holidays a lot more manageable and enjoyable for her, and therefore everyone else involved. She is also seeing that her need for the perfect holiday celebration was an obstacle to having a real holiday celebration. Things are much more laid back and simple these holidays at Mary’s home. And they can be at yours too!

Written by Merrilee Town, Certified UTUE Practitioner

Because we are all human, we are susceptible to the energies around us. When we are not focusing on taking care of ourselves, but trying to take care of everyone else, often times this leaves us vulnerable to the illnesses of the seasons. When we find ourselves being vulnerable, the basic advice is to rest and drink lots of liquids. The basic spiritual advice is to ask ourselves what our opportunity is to learn from this downtime that our physical body is demanding of us.

Next time you find yourself feeling ill, the silver lining can be found by practicing self care, connecting with creator energy, and clearing when you have the energy back.

Anybody have instances to share?

Clara couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t get sober and lose weight, even though this was her top priority for the last 2 years. In a session, she told me how when she was talking to her mother about it, as in many times before, her mother said, “Don’t worry about it, it will be ok.” Then, at dinner, her mother served red wine and a big plate of spaghetti. What the student realized, was her mother did not hear her request or desires, and that only reinforced her feeling of powerlessness and hopeless to change. By clearing, and increasing her awareness, she realized that her addiction to alcohol and food was emotional coping to her neediness to be accepted in the family, through the clearing, she has been sober for 3 months, lost 5 lbs. and is learning how to not feel powerless in the presence of her mother and family. If you relate to this, consider joining the Living Lighter class to increase your awareness and connection to your physical body so you can change!

When you have an addiction, it can feel like it consumes you; but when you learn the emotions that are triggering the addiction, you have a tool to make other choices. This tool is the UTUE Clearing; as you clear the negative emotions, the addictive behaviors will fade.

Have you been an advocate of competition? Last week Melissa* was trying to get in shape. We followed her story about listening to her body.  This week we are watching her work with her compulsive competition, and how it affects all aspects of her life, including trying to get into shape.

Day 1
Melissa was talking to her UTUE Teacher who said ,“when competition is compulsive, meaning without choice, it robs us of our ability to direct our own lives and to have free will.” She continues “there is such an imbalance of too much competition in our culture that we compulsively compete about everything. I see people comparing in ways that are not emotionally healthy. For example,

  • who is the sickest,
  • the most unfortunate,
  • parents competing with their children,
  • siblings competing in ways that scare them for life,
  • those at work who compete in ways that are cut throat and harsh.”

“So why do we compete? Often, we compete for attention, love, respect, and acknowledgment and to be deemed worthy.”

Melissa asks “why don’t we just stop competing?” The teacher replies, “ because most of us don’t even realize that we are competing or being jealous.  We’ve also learned to be compulsive with competition we can’t stop since the definition of compulsive is that we don’t have a choice.  But it’s not hopeless, because we can clear compulsive competition and jealousy.” Melissa says she’s ready to start

Day 2

The UTUE Teacher continued by saying “some of the harshest competition is the competition we have with ourselves.  We beat ourselves up emotionally and then force ourselves physically in ways that hurt us.  Often, when we compete with ourselves, we turn to addictions that help us deal with the anxiety that is created. This anxiety comes from coercing ourselves to perform beyond what we are able to do in the moment.  Typical addictions people turn to may be work, health, alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, success, cigarettes, and the need to be perfect. When someone is addicted to something, they are distracting themselves from the anxiety they are experiencing, in this case the obsessive need to compete.” Melissa said, “I can see how I’ve been competing with other women and myself in my drive to get in shape. So what do I do?”

Day 3

The UTUE Teacher can see that Melissa is getting upset, so she says “Breathe, just breathe!” Melissa relaxes.  They clear the need for compulsive competition, clearing her connections to the need to compete with herself and others to ‘get in shape’; they create a list of clearings to focus on to help her clear this over time. As she clears using this list in the next few weeks, she starts to see other areas in her life where she is using this same energy to achieve her goals.

A few weeks later, when Melissa is working with her teacher, they check in on how she is doing with her perspective of compulsive competition.  Upon reflection, they consider the possibility that many of us believe that we need to have competition in our lives to be motivated; it is possible, however, to be even more motivated and have access to more of our natural talent when we are driven from our essence because of the love of what we are doing, rather then the need to compete to achieve the desired goal.

If you have questions about competition, ask them here.

*all characters portrayed are fictional

Do you believe in the idea “no pain no gain?” We will be exploring the concept of communication via our physical body over the next couple of days in this blog. Let’s follow Melissa’s story (a fictitious character) to see how she handles pain and what we can learn. Each day we’ll update her story so come back tomorrow to find out more.

Previously Melissa, who is a goal oriented person, decided to start an exercise program so she could obtain results right away.  After her first week she was very sore and her friend Peggy advised her to stop.

*note: all characters are fictional

What could the pain and increasing discomfort of her body be communicating to her?

  • That she has activated muscles and other parts of her body that have not been active in a while, and they are reacting to the increased level of activity
  • That possibly going from no activity to 5 days in a week could be more aggressive than she is ready for today.
  • That she may have injured herself but she is pushing herself, so not willing to admit that she could have injured herself
  • That she can develop the understanding that her body has different needs now than it did then in high school

Clearings that can help her with her next step:

  • Clear the rules and regulations that say that the routine that she is on is the only routine to achieve her goals, because that is what the media says.  And clear the training that because this type of exercise worked at a different stage in her life, this should work now.
  • Clear the need to compete with our physical being of years ago as compared to today.
  • Eliminate the need to be stuck between what was and what is available to my body now.
  • Active creator energy so we can be creative about what options are available

Should she go back to workout on day 6?

Melissa makes an appointment with her UTUE teacher to explore this question, and learn more about what her body is communicating. She is hoping to clear the barriers and blockages that she thinks is keeping her from embracing the demanding work out schedule with ease.

She discovers, as patterns and beliefs are uncovered and cleared,

  • that she is terrified of being 30 years older than she was when she worked out on such a demanding schedule,
  • that she believes her body must be “conquered” and disciplined,
  • on some level she believes it is “too late” anyway and that she is angry at herself for putting herself in this position.
  • She is resentful at those years that seemed to have escaped her.
  • In addition, there was a pattern that if she ignores the pain, it will go away, and to not listen or honor the body, because it is not as important, in Melissa’s patterns, trainings, and behavior, as the brain.

Melissa believed, on an unconscious level, that something was really wrong, and if she could discipline the body, the “wrong” would go away.  She has discovered that her original concern of embracing the demanding workout schedule with ease is not the focus that she needs today.  She decides not to work out on day 6, but give herself some time to answer the next question.

What other options does she have, besides quitting or continuing?

After working with her UTUE teacher, and clearing the above beliefs, patterns and trainings, Melissa decides to

  •  get that check up to confirm that nothing was wrong with her body
  • accept that she was 30 years older and clear the anger and resentment towards that fact that was buried in her body and that she kept turning against herself during her “work-out”.  She does not want to use discipline and negative energies to fuel her workout, but find a way that is more beneficial.
  • acknowledge that  perhaps a more moderate workout schedule was in her best interest.

 She keeps clearing to reach a place of respect and honor for her body, and an open communication between her body and her mind so she could partner with herself.  Over time, she has the opportunity to develop the workout routine, and look at and change other supporting habits, to get to where she wants to be in her body now.

When we experience the emotions of anger, resentment, anxiety, fear and bitterness, how do we minimize the impact of these emotions on our physical bodies? We can use intention to learn how to remove these memories and negative emotions in our bodies by using the UTUE Clearing Process. When we are able to remove the negative emotions, we have the ability to sleep more restfully, increase immune system function, and recover more quickly.

In our class we will focus on common negative emotions and the body/mind connection as we clear for a peaceful body that is well oiled and humming instead of a cranky engine that is headed for a break down. Some emotions that we will look at in this class are anger, fear, bitterness, resentment, panic, feeling trapped, feeling indecisive, righteousness, and grief and how they affect us.

Suggestion: Clear the barriers that are keeping you from letting go of your emotions with ease, clear the impact of those emotions on your organs, and Activate Creator Energy to connect with the rejuvenating energy your body desires. Visualize yourself nourishing your organs with creator energy.

Join us on Wednesday to learn what our bodies are telling us, and how we can use clearing to change the energy in our bodies.