Three Reasons Meditation Will Save You From Your Drunk Aunt This Thanksgiving
It’s all fun and games at the Thanksgiving table until your drunk aunt goes for that sixth glass of wine and starts spewing her opinion on “the damn Republicans.”
Usually, I’d arrive at Thanksgiving dinner stoned out of my mind and ready for a glass of sauvignon blanc. The cousins would catch up in the corner while the chatty older women would start nitpicking dishes in the kitchen. I’d bring the Julian Dutch Apple Pie disguised as my own creation.
But, last Thanksgiving was different…or was I different?
As the night progressed, I observed the conversations, the mannerisms, the words and the opinions that were shared…
“Money is evil.”
“Trump is ruining this country.”
“I hate those damn Kardashians.”
Then the out of body experience happened.
I began floating above the table, using divided attention (more on that below), and witnessed myself in relation to my family.
In an instant, I uncovered where all the past programming, thought patterns, and stories had come from. The limiting beliefs, the self-deprecation, the lack.
It all came from my drunk aunt.
Kidding — but you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I immediately started scratching the inside walls of my brain for an answer. “What had changed?”
I did complete my yoga training.
I did start meditating every day.
I did start coaching others in mindset.
It all made sense. Thanksgiving was the same old turkey and stuffing shenanigans, I had simply changed through the practice of mindfulness.
It was through mindfulness that I was able to take a step away from the investing myself in the conversations and allowing them to place meaning on my life.
It was through mindfulness that I was able to decide if their beliefs and stories about the world, money, and career were something I wanted to subscribe to.
No thank you, I said silently to myself as I continued to watch the charade in front of me.
So, how can you invite this experience into your holiday season?
It’s easy: mindfulness.
There are three simple ways you can use mindfulness to save yourself from the “drunk aunt” of the family.
Step One: Meditate before you “Medicate”
By medicate, I mean eat half your body weight in turkey.
Before you arrive at the party, sit down for ten and meditate. Witness the thoughts that arise, if they are anxious or stress-induced, and breath through it.
The point of meditation isn’t to be completely thoughtless. Thinking thoughts actually releases the stress associated with those thoughts. So, if you’re anxious about your grandmother asking you for the millionth time when you’ll “meet a nice Jewish girl”, meditate on it first so you don’t end up losing your shit on dear granny.
Step Two: Use Divided Attention
Want to have an out of body experience at the dinner table without shoving shrooms in the green bean casserole? Use divided attention instead.
With divided attention, you are shifting your awareness to the space above your body and witnessing yourself from above.
Visualize yourself engaging in conversation or sipping your champagne.
Visualize your baby cousin spilling gravy all over the table.
Through divided attention, you can observe yourself and those around you without attachment — only awareness — making it much easier to let your family’s projections of the state of the country float by you.
Step Three: Be a Mindfulness Evangelist
You know what will really make every family member really enjoy your company? If you start telling them they have to meditate!
Added bonus: Call them out when they are using words that illuminate their limiting beliefs and tell them that their language is manifesting their misfortune!
But really, embody the practices as a way to inspire those around you. Don’t tell people why they need to meditate. Show them through your monk-like ability to keep it cool while your drunk aunt sloshes down another hot toddy.