This article first appeared on The Huffington Post.
At this potent time when Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa converge, which I do not believe is mere happenstance, I speak the word for people everywhere to allow the true Spirit of this Season of Light to illuminate their minds and hearts, to soften and burn away any hatred, bigotry, misogyny, greed, violence and know-it-all-ism, to reveal greater unity, peace, openness, oneness, justice, freedom, agape love and a world where the highest and best is called forth within them and is shared. I call forth receptivity within the minds and hearts of global citizens everywhere, whether in the boardroom, family room, or boots on the ground, the willingness to be healthy in mind, body and spirit, so that we may all be of maximum service to ourselves, our families and others.
Due to the 2016 election results, this Holiday season has people more fraught with emotions than at any other time I can remember. In all of my life, I have never seen people – older, younger and middle-aged – being this activated by a President-elect. What I know is that no matter who is or isn’t in the White House, the holidays still happen, children are still excited by parties and presents, and friends and families still gather to celebrate the holidays and usher in the New Year.
To keep the Happy in Chanukah and Kwanzaa and the Merry in Christmas, here are:
10 Tips to Harmonious Holiday visits
1. Steer clear of talking politics with your family
Some of your relatives and friends may have voted differently than you did, which may be a shock when you learn this. Unless you know them very well, steer clear of talking about politics.
2. Breathe. Place your hand on your heart, if that helps
Breathe in through your nose, drawing air into your body from the center of Mama Earth. Hold it for a second or two at the top of your breath, allow it to swirl in, through and around you. Exhale with a haaah and imagine you are pressing your navel against your spine. Repeat often.
3. Keep your head where your feet are
Don’t get caught up in futurizing what will be. Don’t rehearse the worst. Ground and center yourself in the present moment. Refer to Tip #2 when you forget.
4. Don’t engage. Don’t pick up the rope.
It takes 2 to tango. If someone attempts to draw you into an argument, don’t pick up the rope, don’t engage. A gracious or civil, “I don’t discuss politics” is just perfect. If that’s a stretch, just say, “Oh, really.” Or, “isn’t that interesting?”
5. Drink water
Keep yourself hydrated. Sound silly? It’s not. When people feel flooded by emotions, they forget to do 2 things — breathe and stay hydrated. Besides, if you drink a lot of water, you’ll also need to use the bathroom, which allows you to leave the room and center yourself frequently.
6. Download the Million Mamas Manifesto. Please take a few moments and allow the words to seep into your heart and mind.