Family. It’s All Relative.

As we begin to prepare for a number of family gathering events over the next couple months, many people are ‘pre-stressing’ about the inevitable conflicts and consternations of their clan and the dynamics within.

While there may be some great ones (keep them close and remind them how important they are), we tend to spend much of our emotional energy on the weaker links. Looking at the way your deeper mind can revise and approach your family/friends can reduce that tension and shift events to something you may even look forward to. Here are five tips to bring into your family gatherings so you can change your own mood, even if you can’t shift Auntie Sue’s…

1. Sometimes it’s a mirror (we don’t want to look into)

Does someone in particular ever get under your skin? It doesn’t have to be at family events, but many times it is. There’s something they do or a way they look that’s just an itch you can’t scratch to make go away. I recently had an argument with my sister and after it happened my mom said “it’s because you two are the same – you both want things done right, you just do them in different ways”.

Wow. I hadn’t seen that at all (and I’m in the business of seeing things others don’t!) If you put one A tuning fork that’s ringing next to another A-fork that’s not, the second will start vibrating. It’s called sympathetic resonance. That’s what tends to happen when we react or ‘resonate’ with others like us or in situations we’ve been in before. No, it doesn’t mean that you’re exactly like the thing that drives you crazy, but there may be an aspect in it that has struck a cord.

Our weaknesses are where our skin is thinnest, and to protect ourselves (the subconscious mind is the protective mind) we sometimes defend ourselves through projection, antagonism, or button pushing (theirs or ours). It’s not to blame, but it is important to recognize. When you start to find the links, it can make you more compassionate to others, or seek an opportunity to work on aspects of yourself you might need to change.

2. Look for One (Wee) Thing…

Just as resonance asks us to shift a little to get out of tune, sometimes we need to get on key with something or someone that is a bit dissonant. Let’s say you have an uncle who repeats *terrible* puns, that (at least when you were growing up) bothered you when he went on and on and on… Instead of looking at it from an annoyed or groan-worthy perspective, how about looking at it from a desire to connect, be fun, engage the family to be closer and laugh together? You may still groan, but you groan a deeper understanding, and possibly with love.

I often think of it as a pinpoint pivot that swings your way of seeing someone or a situation. It shifts the trajectory in another, better, direction. All you have to do is find one – very little – thing. Sometimes it’s easier when we are in conflict with someone to imagine how we might see the situation with someone we aren’t in conflict with – a favorite friend or partner.

How would we rephrase the behavior or personality in a softer way, as if you were merging two different realities together? How could you make the hop from one to the other? Hypnosis and imagination can help with this, and the results can put you in a very different mindset from where you might have started.

3. DNA is Not Destiny

We carry a bio-lineage in our bodies that tends to track through the generations. At many family gatherings it is a rejoicing of or resigning to clan patterns that may be biologically supported.

Yet the stories of our ancestors, the one we carry ‘in our bones’ may not be so much biology as “story”.

Recent studies are establishing a difference between our DNA patters the activation of these components or their non-expression. What does that mean?

There’s a difference between the plan, and the execution of the plan. While we can carry a family history (physically or emotionally) in our DNA, there may be differences in our life or way of thinking that can exempt us, or ‘turn the switch off’ to this behavior or pattern within us.

Although many people get the “you’re just like your dad/mom/family member”, it may not be exactly true.

Historically, we like to be in a tribe for protection and common communication, yet we don’t have to take on the whole familial ‘bundle’. We can tease out the points that we’d like to carry through the ages and things that we can leave behind that no longer serve us or the people around us.

Understanding historic contexts and carryover may also help. Working with the subconscious mind tends to be the quickest way to deal with these patterns. Yet even knowing that you have more power in your genes than had previously been thought can give you greater power to choose what legacy you wish to select and carry for the journey ahead.

4. The Middle of the Tale

You might not think of your family gatherings as being fairy tales. While there might be a “once upon a time”, there often isn’t a “happily ever after”.

But just like fairy tales and like life, the “stuff” is in the middle. Sometimes the hero of the story benefits or flourishes during some part of the story, but often the story is more riveting because of the challenges. The dragons they fight, the quests they struggle through – this is the stuff of legends.

All of these experiences are potentially heroic moments – when we either “win” some or “learn” some. The characters and events may be a part of our story, but it isn’t the whole story. While some feel like they go on forever, by being here and reading this, we have survived them all. We realize, in hindsight, “this too shall pass”.

And we can take a moment to think about how much energy we want to give to a single event, or a person who may be from a chapter of our past, who may not be in upcoming sagas. When the time is over, we may choose to savor the experience if it benefits us, or we may learn the lesson and turn the page.

5. Let me Tell You a Funny Story…

Another way I look at events of our lives in a different way is to think about all the great stories we can share later, when a certain amount of time has passed. Many years ago I remember being on one of the worst dates of my life and thinking “this is such an odd situation, it’s HAS be a good story later” – and it was.

Watch sitcoms and you see how calamitous situations can be seen as funny – especially when it’s with a TV family and not our own – but with distance and time, our own ‘slapstick’ shortcomings can be hilarious as well.

Instead of personalizing some of the conversations or event, you may wish to be a comedic writer who is gathering material for a show – remembering that “truth can be stranger than fiction”.

So hopefully you’ll be able to share some positive and loving stories in the future, but remember that the other ones – the ones that might get an uncomfortable giggle, a groan – can put a smile on your face because you made it through to the other side.

Bonus Tip: Hypnosis Can Help

If you’re working through some “family stuff” and need some suggestions or tools to deal with the situations better, speaking directly to the subconscious mind is a quick and easy way to make shifts in your mind and perception. If some of the other aspects of your life are increasing the pressure at these events or with these people, hypnosis can help as well. Contact me directly with any questions. Ready to make relatives relevant? Schedule a session or discounted bundle so that you can approach get-togethers with greater confidence and calm.

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Jennifer loves to explore and understand the deeper power of the mind - and to share that insight with clients, students and others interested in discovering untapped resources available in the subconscious. As a hypnotist in practice for over 13 years, trainer, speaker and author of several books, Jennifer translates the language of our deeper selves in ways that can support positive change and personal transformation.

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