Growing up Indian, family and being close is paramount to my culture. I have the fondest memories of family gatherings.
However, once I started to question my life and look within my soul and experience major transition, I had a lot of anxiety meeting my family.
I call these in- between stages, soul-initiations, they show up as transformation from one role to another.
For example, going from being an individual to a parent, a professional to an entrepreneur, married to divorce, living to fit in to living with integrity.
It can feel so challenging and un-grounding.
Especially when you find yourself around small talk where people are trying to make sense of the new you…….. “so,what do you do?”
My identity was going through a major evolution and I didn’t know how to be in a world where it wasn’t safe to be a mess.
Most of my life, I usually fell into 2 buckets, I was either a conformist or a rebel.
I know that can sound paradoxical but the more I meet my tribe, the more I get that we are group that thrives both on freedom and connection which, can feel opposing.
Walking a path of soul-awareness is not for the faint of heart because it challenges the status quo.
It may feel like, to be in the “real” world, we have to lose our soul or to honor our truth we need to isolate.
I’ve learned, there is another way to be both free and connected, without having to dim yourself or prove your choices.
I believe true freedom and connection come from not oscillating between both worlds but integrating them.
It’s taken me 6 years on this journey to be around my most triggering relationships and finally feel like I can be myself, even if they don’t “get me,” without molding myself into something I am not.
In one of my blogs, I talked about owning your transition, which you can read here.
I’d like to give you some practical tips on how to do this.
1. Honor your needs.
The in-between stage is not forever, although it can feel like it.
Sometimes, being in a transition state, we can feel really raw, and may need to really give ourselves space.
When I first moved from NY to Cali and decided to do “nothing” but heal, it was really hard for the over-achiever in me.
I didn’t go back home for about two years as a way of prioritizing my needs, which, is very different from hiding.
It can be very convenient to just not deal with life and put the covers over our heads and that is different from being self-honoring.
Check in with yourself to feel what’s most true for where you are now, would giving yourself space be self-honoring or hiding?
This week, I have family visiting and I have learned to be with a lot of people while still honoring my need for space.
I don’t participate in all activities (I used to be all or nothing) and give myself space in-between outings as well without any self-judgment.
2. Know yourself
When you are a big-hearted, deeply feeling person, life can feel intense. Being around big emotions and judgment, can feel super overwhelming.
It’s habitual to lean on coping mechanisms that we used as a child when our voices were small and we were unaware of choices.
What do you do when you are overwhelmed?
I know for example that I get overwhelmed when the ones I loved are stressed, I automatically feel like it’s my job to make them feel better.
I over-compensate for other peoples discomfort, as this was my “job” at home when I was a kid.
Needless to say with lots of kids, big plans, small space, there are all kinds of emotions that come up.
I am proud to say that I have been able to be present without getting over-involved (physically and/or energetically) unless I have to during this current visit.
It’s amazing to see how people can take care of themselves and it has given me new evidence of how I see my place in the world.
This kind of self-awareness can help you notice yourself going to your coping mechanism and gives you the power to make a new choice…this is what it means to be conscious.
3. Choose Love
The first time I went back to visit my family in NY, I was nervous. I hadn’t quite landed in my “new” identity.
A friend had given me the best advice.
She told me to put on an armor of love.
Most of us believe we need to “protect” ourselves, especially if we are energetically sensitive or, the “black” sheep of the family.
I completely get this but when I took my friends advice, I was amazed at the shift.
My brother is someone that has had a huge influence on my life, I love him dearly and we are very different.
I used to be really annoyed at the questions he would ask me like “did you get the oil-changed on the car.” Even my sis-in-law would poke fun.
But now that I was armored in Love as opposed to the lens “you don’t get me,”I was able to see that this is how he and my father showed their love……via the car.
I suddenly found it endearing instead of annoying and even acknowledged it out loud to both him and my sis-in-law. Funny thing, I haven’t received that question since.
I was able to see love in places that I couldn’t before.
An armor of love not only helps you to see it more but also sends an energetic message that you are safe and have a lot more say and power in what you want and expect.
4. Co-Create the Experience you want
We are not often taught how powerful we are in being able to co-create our experiences of life.
Things can change in a moment because we have the power to shift it, with our thoughts, intentions, and focus.
Writing out your ideal experience being with family during the holidays as if it has already happened is a really powerful tool.
I did this when I went back East during my birthday and it was amazing how much better the experience went than I thought it would.
Focus on how you want to feel as opposed to how others should behave and act.
For example, “my days are filled with spaciousness, joy, balance, fun, etc."
Let go, and let the experiences land without trying to control them. You may be surprised at what shows up.
5. Prepare instead of Plan
I used to be a big planner.
It was my way to control life from uncertainty and the unexpected but the truth is that we can never really plan for everything.
It’s exhausting to be that responsible for what “may happen,” especially when you are dealing with people and life.
This time last year, I learned a really powerful technique from Dougall Fraiser, the Cosmic Coach. He works with color and taught me how to use it to prepare a space before hand.
It’s been really powerful and I’ve added on to it.
I literally pray, hire my angels and send color to spaces beforehand, especially if I know there is a lot of energy that I can’t control.
I even do this for my son before he goes to school, as he is really sensitive to energy as well.
White is the color of Spirit
Orange the color of Balance
Green the color of Communication.
Then I call on his angels and guides, mine and others involved (if it is in their highest will) to allow for loving interactions, smooth communication, etc.
Don’t over think this…….just play with it and try it.
I really hope these tools support you. Try one or all of them and let me know how it goes. I would looooove to hear about your experience.
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Wherever you are on your journey, I send you
Sweta aka Dr. Sweta