I can think of no more important place for our leadership to make a difference than in our families. The Holiday Season is a particularly opportune time for us to lead the way for something new and maybe even miraculous to show up. Wherever in the world you may live the holidays have a way of amplifying the best and worst of our family relationships, add to our stress levels in both good and bad ways, and heighten our emotions.
Leading the way through the Holiday Season is not about doing more. There is most certainly plenty for all of us to do! It is about being more mindful of honoring others and contributing the best of who we are in any moment.
You might start with creating an intention for the season. What do you want this season to be like for you and for your family this year? Last year my intention was to “stop sweating the small stuff and really enjoy the important stuff”. In the spirit of that intention we declared no more adult gifts. Instead of running around shopping for each other the days before Christmas we spent time together at the beach. This year for me it is “Celebrating Life”. Keep it simple and make sure it is meaningful for you.
Whatever your intention may be here are 5 sure ways to create fertile ground for miracles big and small:
1. Express Sincere Appreciation
Whatever your role(s) may be in your family’s Holiday traditions seek opportunities to appreciate EVERYONE who is part of your traditions this year for something. Take the time to acknowledge not just what people do, but the way in which they do it.
2. Listen More and Listen Better
The key here is in what you are listening for. Listen for what you can love, admire, and appreciate about each person. Be willing to listen just a little better and perhaps even a bit longer to people’s stories, not based on a judgment of whether their story matters, but rather because the person telling the story does. This could be the greatest gift you give of all this season.
3. Make Choices based on Your Authentic Commitments
We all have things on our to do list this season that we would rather not, yet we feel we must do. If the holidays are fraught with what feel like burdensome obligations, you may want to read The Opportunity of Obligation. One thing we always do have a choice about is our attitude and the mood we bring to any situation. You can lead the way to pleasant surprises by by choosing to set the tone for yourself and others.
4. Create More Time for the People Who Matter Most
A great way to create more time is to simplify whatever and wherever you can. Another way is to say no. Try doing less of something or doing it more simply so you can free yourself up. However you go about it put some attention on creating opportunities to connect more deeply with someone you care about, do something that brings you joy, or even the unexpected. As my friend Anne Perchel said recently: “Leave room for what might be and enjoy the wonder of what shows up.”
5. Contribute in an Unexpected Way
We can spend a lot of time during December just keeping up with the things we feel we have to do. Contributing in an unexpected way is more a matter of paying attention to what is needed, than it is about time or expense. Try navigating the Holiday Season with an intention of being of service and you will discover plenty of opportunities to serve!
Whatever your beliefs and traditions I wish you a meaningful and joyful Holiday Season full of pleasant surprises and even a few miracles!
As always I appreciate you, the stories you share and the many ways you contribute here. Please do share your holiday intentions, miracles and any suggestions you have for leading the way to holiday miracles!