The holiday season ya llego! Between arranging traveling plans and mentally preparing to possibly deal with toxic family members, this can certainly become a stressful time of year. It’s not always easy for folks to cut off family members and especially in Latinx households we’re taught to deal with the tóxico for sake of “keeping the paz” (peace). We love our families, but we can do without the toxic familismo. Struggling to coexist in a room with family who might have created harm towards you or someone you love is unfortunately very common in Latinx familismo.
In turn, we end up learning to either deal with these experiences by force or not process it all. The holiday season for some reason is a time where toxic familismo can become perpetuated and it can be really triggering. We’ve put together a grounding gratitude practice guide to assist, support, and prepare you for success when things get weird and out of alignment at the dinner table.
Connect With Your Intention
Our first method is connecting with your intention. Intention is the basis of every action and every thought we express. It’s a lot easier for us to hold ourselves accountable than others, and frankly, that’s the only truth. This holiday season when discussions are starting to go south because of politics, homophobia, or xenophobia towards your non-Latinx plus one, connect with your intention behind your reaction.
It’s definitely not okay to take verbal abuse from anyone and bigotry should be addressed. However, you might be well aware that sometimes core family values or philosophies between you and loved ones might never meet eye-to-eye. In those instances, you’re presented with the opportunity to either offer up teaching moments or “be the bigger person.” The ego will always want us to fight for the outcome we want. In many cases, that’s appropriate. However, always go back to the root of your intention. Why do I feel the need to fight this battle or entertain this argument knowing it won’t go anywhere positive? Your intention will be your guiding compass this holiday season.
Connect With Nature
Nature will be your easiest way of connecting to gratitude this holiday season, which makes it our second method. You don’t need to plan a full on hike when you land back home, however, if you can, that’s chingon of you. Remember, grounding is about practicality. What can you do within your means that won’t add stress?
Maybe this means you can accommodate short walks around the block when you feel overwhelmed by family. When you need to recharge, you can go to your backyard and take 10-15 minutes to yourself next to a tree or plant. Sitting near plant life is a very powerful form of allowing Pachamama (Mother Nature) to nurture you and recharge your aura. Make it a date with your lemon or guayaba tree daily as a way of conducting a healthy way to disconnect and not dissociate through trauma.
Connect With Meditation
Connecting with meditation might seem impossible when we have external factors in the mix such as family that we don’t normally take into account. However, this method is all about making time for yourself. Meditation is a way to help us make a commitment for us and for our well being. Meditation activates a positive shift in emotions, mentality and shifts us into a state of gratitude.
It’s easy to say, “I don’t have time.” The challenge here is to make time for meditation because that is an act of self-love by making time for you. The holiday season can be overwhelming with people projecting their personalities and perceptions onto us. This is where meditation can help you wipe away any projections and karmic chords that are trying to attach to you. Doing a simple three-count breath and going into a child’s pose is a simple meditative exercise for those of us who are new to meditation. Focusing on your heart chakra during meditation will help you come back to focus and activate forgiveness, joy and understanding.
Connect With Vibration
Our bodies help us ground our energy. Movement through our bodies is key when we want to focus on being present. Connecting with vibration such as dancing, exercise or music is our final recommended method. This is a wonderful gratitude practice that can easily and inconspicuously influence the whole family! Ask your tía to put on her favorite musica and get the whole family to feel good by dancing to banda, salsa, or reggaeton.
Sometimes children are more open than the adults in our lives. Incorporate any youth in your family by spending time with them through exercise or movement. This is an instant way to remember why we hold ourselves accountable at these gatherings. To be examples for the little eyes watching us. Join in on the hide-and-seek or rally the kids for a game. Through this lighthearted expression of gratitude, you might inspire the adults around you to join in on the fun. Next thing you know, everyone is expressing their childlike joy and doing inner child healing as a family without even knowing it!