Tribes, Family Ties and the Big Picture

November brings the start of the holiday season. It is always a fun and playful time of the year with parties and special celebrations. The atmosphere gets sparklier and more festive.

Many of us will spend more time in family gatherings in the coming weeks. And for some, the “family  gathering” part of the season can cause anxiety. Whether it is due to different political views, grudges kept simmering, or old patterns that resurface, there are many reasons otherwise happy family events can get derailed. So I have been thinking about how to approach the holidays with a more mindful take.

In that vein, I have been reflecting on what “family” really means. In the yoga world, there is a saying that one needs to find their “tribe,” which usually is composed of people other than family members. I think this signifies that when we surround ourselves with people who share the same energy/vibration we are at (or want to achieve) it resonates with our souls. If our family members don’t exactly fit that description, it just means that they are a different kind of “tribe,” one to which we have a deep and, in some cases, ancestral connection. 

So it is clear that we can we have multiple tribes. If we approach family events with an appreciation for the family connection, we can rise above the pettiness of discord and appreciate the marking of time and special occasions with those who are close to us. We can accept that not all of these familial relationships will bring the same joy that we feel when aligned with like-minded friends or co-workers (our “tribe”). Separately, we can look for ways to deepen our communication with, and understanding of, family members in one-on-one interactions outside of “special” events. 

For some, all of this may seem foreign because family events are greeted with excitement and anticipation. Regardless, I think we can use the anxiety-inducing family gathering model as a framework for viewing any relationship when an issue flares up—we can take a step back, take a minute to reflect on the situation at hand, rather than instinctively react, and keep an eye on the big picture. One of my teachers likes to say, no matter what happens, that  “everything is in divine right order”—meaning each and every moment in our lives, including all our interactions with others, presents an opportunity for us to learn and grow. 

We can also use the holidays as a time to remember we are part of an even bigger tribe—one that encompasses all of humanity. And so, while we are encouraged to go out and spend and party during this time of the year, it is always important to remember those who are in need, whether for material things or a kind word or companionship. It is a great time to remember the real meaning of the holidays and do something to make a difference in the life (or lives) of others in some way, large or small. 

I hope your holiday season is peaceful and joyous and that you can squeeze in the time to enjoy some of the great events at the Sattva Wisdom Center coming up in November and December. As always, all or a portion of the proceeds of each offering will be donated to a worthy cause. We can’t wait to welcome you!

With love and light,

Denise

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