By Dr. Kendra O’Hora, Ph.D., LCMFT
READING TIME: 4 minutes
“My winter nights are taken up by static
Stress and holiday shopping traffic”
Quoting the Most Popular Person on the Planet, of Course!
Seems only appropriate to round out the year with a quote from Time’s Person of the Year – none other than Taylor Swift! We’re a practice of Swifties (I even gifted my team shirts that say ‘in my wellness era’ ha). So, when contemplating writing a blog on peace, this particular lyric popped into my head as all too familiar.
If you’re local to Bel Air then you’ve spent much of November and December adding at least ten minutes to your drive knowing the traffic is quite literally, unbearable.
And if you’re like the myriad of clients we work with, the holidays just bring up so.much.yuck.
So, the concept of peace, or rather, protecting your peace becomes crucial. Even more crucial than the rest of the year because this is the time where grief is bigger, family drama is heavier, and the expectations on your heart, mind, and energy can feel never ending.
How Do We Define Peace?
The definition of peace is to be free from disturbance; tranquility.
Does this describe you? Are you free from disturbance? Is your tranquility so all consuming that no one (or thing, ahem consumerist Christmas propaganda) can penetrate this singular focus of your being?
Let me tell you that choosing peace is hard. Our culture and our ways of being draw us back to stress and chaos. We’re used to them and we even collectively buy into the cultural lie that holiday productivity, over-consumption, and busyness is actually valuable this time of year.
Don’t be fooled! These things can steal your joy and your peace.
The Over the Top Expectations We Place on Christmas Day
Maybe you’ve arrived at Christmas day with seven holiday parties completed and four more in the pipeline this week. Or, a six hour marathon of wrapping at the final hour that your spouse or kiddos may never truly appreciate.
Or better yet…perhaps you told yourself that TODAY is the day. The day where you’ll disconnect from your phone (after you post the pajama coordination by the tree, of course), the day you’ll play for hours with your kids without getting flustered that each new gift only has an attention span of eight minutes, or the day you’ll welcome the old family traditions without getting sucked into comparison or overwhelm that they didn’t unfold exactly how you desired.
So much pressure on one single day.
Do You Worship the “Numbing Out” That Comes With this Season?
How about this other lie we kinda-sorta believe…that all the hustle and bustle leading up to the holiday puts you into a minor coma with an ability to be unphased. Sadly, that’s not actual peace, either. That’s just narcotization – the Enneagram Type Nine is not the only one guilty of this numbing out.
How Do We ACTUALLY Protect Peace?
And what does it mean to protect peace?
Simply speaking, it’s a return to self and Spirit over and over. In the most mundane moments and most importantly, allowing yourself to change and realign constantly.
Protecting your peace is also an active call to resist the static and noise and return to where you draw on comfort, the feeling of home, Truth, love, and connection.
No need to reinvent the wheel when so many of my therapist colleagues, poets I admire, and/or Instagram influencers speak so eloquently about this journey of protecting peace…
When Others Say it Best
I love those last two!
For one, protecting your peace often means your circle gets smaller because to show up authentically and not curated is an act of self-love and vulnerability. Only some people will be invited to witness this beautiful unfolding of your heart.
If you haven’t read Alex Elle’s After the Rain, go check it out! Protecting your peace often means that you allow others to be wrong about you, you protect your energy and space, and that you release that you cannot change or control others.
I’m Unlearning Right There With You
If protecting your peace feels new, wonky, or odd…that’s because it is. It’s culturally foreign and also beneficial to our cultural systems if we are more people pleasing and less protective/assertive. So many of my clients, colleagues, family, and friends are unlearning these toxic ways of being. I’m unlearning, too.
This season, join me and the Wellness & Co. team in protecting your peace. We’re here to help.
Dr. K started Wellness & Co. with the desire to provide top-notch therapy to our local community. Now, Wellness & Co., has therapists, coaches, tutors, and professional organizers – all to provide wrap-around, boutique style care to our clients. Dr. K specializes in couples therapy, healing from infidelity, and supporting individuals through relational transitions.
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