It’s that time of year when we visit with family and friends – maybe family or people that we don’t normally spend a lot of time with, other than for holidays or special occasions. The holidays and times for celebration can often be overwhelmed with preparations, stress, sometimes even planning for a get together that they really don’t want to be doing. This may not be everyone, it might be a select few families, or this might just be describing your family dynamics.

When you’re around your family members and you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or burdened trying to please everyone around you, have you ever paused to ask this one simply but seemingly important question: am I being me? Do I change who I am to make others happy? It’s an interesting question to think upon, as many times when we feel judged by others we tend to show them another version of ourselves.

For some, Christmas is not just a time of peace and goodwill for all – in their reality, Christmas is the time of year where you may feel you don’t fit in, leaving you to dread the holidays and the drama. With time spent around your family you may feel overwhelmed with judgments and angst during what should be this joyful time of year.

If that’s you, please know that you are definitely not alone my friends!

No matter your situation this year at Christmas or New Year celebrations, here are some tips for having more ease with whatever the season brings .

How to Survive as the Black Sheep of the Family1. What if you or your family weren’t right or wrong, just interesting?

What if you had a different choice, and didn’t have to get ‘stuck’ with whatever your family has going on? Families have all kinds of opinions about each other – after all, these are the people who know each other better than anyone – but you don’t have to make them relevant or react to them. Here’s a tool that might help: For every judgment that you become aware of that you or your family has of you, say to yourself “Wow, that’s an interesting point of view.” Say it a few times, and notice if anything lightens up in your world at all. And if you find yourself starting to go down that familiar rabbit-hole of self-judgment or old upsets with family members, visualize a big red STOP sign in front of you…and don’t go there! Look at it and go “interesting point of view that I have this point of view about ______” until it dissipates.

2. Gratitude creates more peace than love and acceptance.

We have been sold that seeking love and acceptance will give us the joy and peace we are looking for in life. The only thing is, every person has a different definition of love, and it never comes without condition and caveats. What if what you thought you would get from love and acceptance actually comes from gratitude? Write down something you are grateful for about each person in your family, and then write down three things you are grateful for about you. The wonderful thing about gratitude is that it brings you out of judgement of you and the people around you, so that you can begin to see the gift they are in your life, no matter what they choose. Maybe you will begin to see the gift that you are too?

3. Don’t take on the crazy stuff.

Christmas is a time when people worry about money, about not doing enough or having enough, getting the right gifts, getting along with the in-laws and all kinds of things.  As December progresses, the panic, anxiety, anger and stress can become palpable almost everywhere you go!  The cool thing is, you don’t have to take any of it on.  When an unnecessary emotion or feeling comes up, ask ‘Who does this belong to?’ Is it really yours, or are you just aware of other people’s craziness going on around you?

4. Choose something that makes you happy!How to Survive as the Black Sheep of the Family

You may not want to hear this, but I will tell you anyway: you can be right, or you can be happy. You can’t be both. What if you didn’t have to change your family’s point of view about you? What if you didn’t have to win that long-standing argument with your brother? Make a choice to nurture you – whether it’s a conversation with a friend who doesn’t judge you, or a walk by yourself in nature. And if you get stuck, ask this question: “How does it get any better than this?” Use it when good or bad things show up. You can use it as a kind of ‘mantra’ over and over again, to create more ease for you in any situation. Most importantly, be yourself. Don’t change who you are or what you do based on the opinions of other people around you. Enjoy your difference! What if you truly being you, is exactly what the world needs?

How to Survive as the Black Sheep of the FamilyDain Heer An energy transformation virtuoso, author, international speaker and workshop facilitator, Dr. Dain Heer is best known for his unique energetic transformation process, called The Energetic Synthesis of Being. Dain has become an internationally recognized thought leader in transforming lives and creating different choices – willing to empower people to see different possibilities and to recognize what is truly possible for them. He has a completely different approach to healing by facilitating people to tap into and recognize their own abilities and knowing. The energetic transformation possible is fast — and truly dynamic. He is acknowledged worldwide for his unique perspectives on personal transformation that is unlike anything else in the world. In his talks, classes and books, Dain uses the stories of his personal transformation to inspire people to know that the change they’ve been seeking is possible. Dain is a Doctor of Chiropractic, born and raised in California, USA. He hosts a regular radio show entitled Conversations in Consciousness. He appears regularly on Dr. Pat and Voice of America and has been a guest on hundreds of nationally syndicated radio shows. He also has appeared on several TV shows including Fox News, Good Morning Shows in New Zealand, Australia and Canada and on Gaiam TV. Dain is the author of nine books on the topics of embodiment, healing, money and relationships. His latest book, ‘Being You, Changing the World’ was published in June 2011 and has been translated into Swedish, German, Spanish Italian and Estonian.

How to Survive as the Black Sheep of the Family