A Spiritual Guide for Dealing With Family Over the Holidays (with Mercury Retrograde!)
By Tanaaz | Forever Conscious
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Ahh family….they trigger a lot for us and are often our greatest teachers in life. As energetic beings, a lot of the energy that we see in our parents dwells within us as well.
This energy can sometimes be so strong that it causes similar patterns or life themes to emerge. If you find yourself following in the same footsteps as any one of your parents, or even grandparents, this is because of the similar energy that you share.
Part 1: You Chose Your Family, Remember?
Your soul chose your family because it knew the energy it was going to receive from your family was exactly the type of energy you needed to grow and develop. Why it is important for your soul to grow and develop?
The Universe’s existence relies on expansion, and as you grow you also expand. Without soul growth the Universe would not be able to exist. It is the great energetic cycle of life. As we grow, we expand and as we expand, so too does the Universe.
Sometimes we can take energy on from our family because our soul is here to take that energy and progress it along. You may take your family’s mentalities, skills, talents and tenacity and use it to start a new project or help complete an old one. This is seen very often in families, and if you pay attention, you may even see it in your own.
For example, my mother was also a spiritual teacher. Her spiritual teachings were religiously based but they were also very open minded and rooted in deep eastern and Zen philosophies. It wasn’t until I got older and started looking through her library of books about extraterrestrials, spirit guides and the afterlife that I realized her teachings were way more than religious.
My mother was also a writer for a spiritual magazine when she was younger and worked alongside many priests and religious figures in India. At the time she was breaking ground in her community because it was very rare that women would enter into this kind of work.
It wasn’t until I realized all of this that I understood where I had inherited a lot of my interests from. I realized that I was simply carrying on the torch.
My great grandmother on my father’s side also started a tutoring school for young children. The school grew and grew until she created her own academy. This school still stands today in India and is run by my grandmother.
Even though I knew this, it didn’t quite hit me that I was following some of this energy in my life as well.
When I lived in Australia I also used to tutor students. My list of students grew quite large and it wasn’t until my dad commented about my great grandma, that I realized where I may have inherited part of these talents and energy from.
Very often we brush these events off as upbringing. Of course we are going to follow similar patterns to our parents because they raised us and so on. While there is definitely truth to this, I didn’t even know my great grandmother and growing up in Australia I never even had any contact with the school.
Instead it is the energy that has been transferred and handed down through the generations that is operating here. We all have this and we all have energy from our family that we inherited that we are operating with. We don’t just inherit DNA, we also inherit energy.
If there are seemingly negative family patterns, your soul may be the one that has also come to break the spell or break the cycle. Your soul may have come to heal and end self-limiting family patterns that may have been present for centuries.
Often deep issues that are present in the family are carried on energetically, until someone can transcend it and shift that energy into something new and exciting. I believe that this is also symbolically seen in the gender of the children.
Of course there is no exact science to this, but I think females are there to end cycles and males are there to continue and progress cycles. This is often seen with the first sibling, so perhaps look at the gender of the first born in your family and see if there could be some truth to this for you.
Again, this is only something I have observed, so perhaps it may not resonate or be true for you.
Sometimes it can be difficult to comprehend why you chose the family that you did. If you ever feel this way, perhaps you are not looking deep enough.
Part 2: Why You Chose Your Family
It can be hard to see our family members acting or doing things that we don’t agree with or that we don’t like, but when you look beyond the external and into the internal, what do you see?
It is often the energy that holds the clue and the answer here, not the external events. Even though the external events have to be dealt with and experienced, sometimes it is not until you look beyond all this that you can really understand what is going on.
A dear friend of mine has a mother who appeared to be very cold and unsupportive. All her life she grew up feeling disconnected from her mother and that her mother didn’t really care for her. She felt her mother was jealous of her in some way, as she was the only other female in her immediate family.
This caused her to feel a very strained relationship not just with her mother, but with her entire family. Being the only other female, she felt alone and felt left out.
It wasn’t until she moved away from home and had her awakening that she realized the true nature of her mother and why she had chosen her. Of course, this was a realization that spanned over several years and caused a lot of pain, but it also triggered a great amount of healing.
It was through healing this relationship in her life and accepting her mother and understanding her that she was able to also move on with her life and find her purpose and calling.
While the relationship with her mother may appear to still be the same, as her mother was never really part of her healing process, she was able to transcend the relationship and heal it on an energetic level. Organically, this caused more comfort and understanding between the two, even though a lot of the healing came from just one side.
Healing with family members can be difficult because not all family members want to or are ready to participate. However, this story is a great example to show that you don’t really need their physical participation. My friend was able to heal and mend the relationship with her mother through her.
While they are not super close with each other, there is now peace between them because there is peace in her mind. Through transcending the relationship with her mother on her own, she was able to heal the situation.
She was there to end the cycle for all the women in her family, not just her and not just her mother. This is how powerful this can be. But it does take work and it does take time.
Healing and transcending family cycles and patterns is huge work, and it cannot be done overnight. Often it is something that most of us are doing over the course of an entire lifetime, or maybe more.
While everyone’s healing journey is going to be different, it is important to view each family member for who they really are. When you can lift off the layers and the past hurts and see beneath it all, it will allow you to glimpse into their soul.
Their soul energy is also a part of you, so what you see in your family members also exists in you as well. When you can see the light shining through, when you can focus on the love behind it all, it will allow you to shift into acceptance.
“I accept that this is the family I chose. I accept that this family holds a lot of the energetic lessons that I am to also move through. I remember that my soul was excited to come into this family as my soul knew it was going to be able to bring love and joy where it was needed.”
Part 3: Themes Explored in this Guide
There are three main themes which this guide is going to explore-
2016 has been a year endings which means that conversation at the holiday table may reflect this. Many of your family members could have gone through big transitions this year as well, which means that they may be feeling vulnerable or in need of support.
The holiday period this year also takes place during a mercury retrograde, which means that communication is also going to be an important factor to pay attention to.
Here in the US we had a big election which means that politics or other heavy topics like religion and so on, may also be a point of discussion at the holiday table.
In this guide, I am going to share with you some techniques that you can use for these three themes and how you can take a more spiritual and peaceful approach-
Theme 1: Endings and Vulnerability
Many people were releasing and letting go of skeletons this year, so it is very likely you are going to have some family members that have made big and bold changes. If anything has fallen away for anyone in your family, the biggest thing they need is support and a big boost of confidence.
One of my family members is thinking of quitting her job which she has been miserable with for a few years now. Whenever she spoke about her job I would be quick to jump on her and even force my opinion on her- just quit, love yourself and quit!!!
But throughout the year I have realized that perhaps I pushed my opinions just a little too hard. Perhaps it would have been better if I had shown more support instead of potentially making her feel worse about her decision to stay.
It is not that I did anything wrong, but here is an example of where it may be better to show support, rather than to force your opinion. If they ask for your opinion you can offer it of course, but perhaps gentle suggestions to make the person realize things for themselves is going to be far more powerful.
Even though sometimes we can see things so clearly, it may be difficult for others to see it, or to even see it in the same way that we do. So even if it is blazingly obvious to you, show respect by allowing them to talk freely and be supported in whatever way they need to be supported.
If you can be the light, if you can walk in the room and fill it up with so much love and acceptance for everyone, then the Universe will surely bless you with the same.
Theme 2: Mercury Retrograde and Communication
When Mercury goes retrograde he travels through the darkness. Mercury and the Sun are best buddies and Mercury is often in the light. But when Mercury retrogrades he travels through the darkness of the underworld, unearthing secrets and old pains of the past.
Related Article: 6 Ways To Stay Mindful During Mercury Retrograde (through June 12)
Mercury needs to go into the underworld because when he is in there, he fishes out old thoughts, beliefs and conversations that need to be cleansed and purified. This is why Mercury retrograde is a great time to go back to things and to tie up any lose ends, especially when it comes to communication.
Because Mercury is busy in the underworld collecting hidden gems, his ability to connect in the external world in the sunshine can be limited or can feel like more of an effort. Mercury is busy going within in order to make you a better and more effective communicator, and sometimes he doesn’t like to be disturbed.
Interestingly, those born with Mercury Retrograde are often some of the best communicators around because they have had to work so hard to master the art of communication. The same goes for anyone born with any retrograding planet, often it becomes their strongest ally.
This year, Mercury is going to retrograde in the sign of Capricorn. Capricorn is practical and stable, which means that Mercury is going to be clearing out your closets in a very practical and matter of fact way. There will no room for emotion, instead Mercury is going to clear out your throat chakra with a certain air of disconnect.
This is great, because in many ways it tones down any emotional reactions and allows us to see things from a more grounded point of view.
While Mercury is doing this cleaning, we may feel more withdrawn and repressed when it comes to expressing how we feel. On the other hand, it may cause some people to just start spilling the contents of their throat chakra all over the place, so this may be something to watch out for.
During a Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn, we are encouraged to take responsibility for what we choose to express and how we choose to express it. We are also encouraged to clear out and release things that we may have been clinging on to emotionally.
In other words- don’t say anything you are going to regret later. Think carefully before you speak and ask yourself- “is what I am going to say more beautiful than silence?”
If it’s not, then you may be better of scribbling it in your journal instead or releasing it to the heavens.
Mercury retrograde is also going to help us to reconnect with loved ones and family members that we haven’t seen for some time. Fondly revising the past will also be great under this energy and you may just run into loved ones that you have missed dearly.
Over the holidays, try to consider other people’s feelings before you say anything. While you definitely don’t want to censor yourself, perhaps avoid making harsh comments or lashing out at others until you have really thought it through.
If you become the brunt of a tongue lashing, here is your survival guide-
- Laugh to yourself and blame mercury (he can take it)
- Take a deep belly breath in and out of your nose
- Try not to get triggered and reply from a place of grace
- If all else fails, say what you need and then once calm, address and talk about it from a more mature place
If you suspect something like this may happen, you may want to do a visualization technique. Visualize the day going very smoothly and beautiful and peaceful conversations.
You may also want to use this affirmation/prayer-
“Dear angels and spirit guides, please protect me today and allow me to respond to everyone with a calm grace and ease. Please allow me to speak my truth in a loving way and please guide me if an intense situation may arise. Please be with me throughout the day and gently point me in the best direction for my highest good. Thank you so much.”
Theme 3: Politics and Other Heavy Topics
Everyone as the right to think what they want, practice what they want and vote for who they want. We have to first and foremost respect this, even if we don’t share the same beliefs. Presidents, beliefs and ideologies come and go, so don’t hold your family hostage because of one action.
During the holidays, it is best to avoid these topics but at the same time, there is no reason why you can’t state your point of view and how you feel, to do this consciously focus on “I” statements.
When you make “I” statements it allows you to take responsibility for what you are saying and your own feelings. When you put your feelings on someone else by making “you” statements, that is when things can get tricky.
For example, “I was really disappointed to see who got elected” is an “I” statement and allows you to take full ownership if your feelings. No one can argue with you over how you feel, so this is a no-conflict approach, compared to-
“I can’t believe you guys voted like that, I am so disappointed in you.”
This statement is placing blame and instantly will start to put the defenses up of people around you. This is what you want to avoid, so if you do express your feelings (and please feel free to do!) always aim for the “I” statements.
This is a helpful technique with all seemingly argumentative topics from religion to politics and so on.
My personal advice would be, when in doubt just be quiet, leave the room, go outside, take a deep breath and see if you can spot any fairies. While doing so, remind yourself that this is all just part of the bigger journey in life and we are all just walking each other home….this works for me every time.
Part 4: Tools You Can Use
Belly Breathing- instantly calms and energizes after draining experiences We all have relatives that can feel a little
draining at times. We also all have relatives that like to push our buttons. This belly breathing exercise is wonderful for curing both of these types of situations.
Belly breathing allows you breathe deeply and effectively so you can oxygenate and energize your body. When you breathe in you should feel your body expanding like a balloon, and when you breathe out you should feel your body shrinking back down. To try belly breathing, take a deep breath but instead of raising your shoulders, imagine pushing the air deep into your belly. To help you with