The Art of Enjoying Thanksgiving

Anyone else gearing up for challenging interactions with family this holiday season?
I didn’t think I’d be in that category myself (since my folks stopped doing dinner at their house years ago), but I am facing a challenge this year.

how to enjoy thanksgiving

Which means a smart manifester would do some pre-paving before dinner!
(Backstory is my sister-in-law and I don’t see eye to eye in politics. And she’s not shy about sharing her strong opinions at the table, since just about everyone else there agrees with her. (In fact, my brother-in-law is kind of a jerk about it, too.)
I’m normally a live and let live kind of girl, but something about this dinner conversation spoils my appetite.
That’s when I realized I don’t want to eat with her. I’d rather have mac and cheese at home with friendly dogs.
So here I am, facing down a lot of contrast, knowing lots of others are doing the same this holiday.
I’d love to hear your strategies and solutions for enjoying challenging holiday interactions with family you might be privileged to avoid the rest of the year. Here’s what I’m going with in the meantime:
1. Deep breath. (ah, even just one feels better! Relief!)
2. What do I love about my sister-in-law? Well, she’s willing to cook for someone who holds opposite viewpoints. We do agree on some things (she’s a strong advocate for animal welfare). She remarried her ex-husband, which shows she’s capable of forgiving and loving despite challenges. That feels better. She’s got a huge heart for animals, too. That automatically makes her easy to love!
3. General appreciation next: cute kitties sleeping on my lap. Who can be upset with these two contentedly purring away right here?
4. When my sweetie called just now I told him all about my challenges with his sister and her opinions and how much I wasn’t looking forward to hearing them again.
His response, “Would you like a break tonight?” I thought that was so sweet of him to ask. “Yes, I’d LOVE a break.”
“Great,” he said, “meet me at 5:30 wherever you want and please bring my bowling ball that I left at home.”
Which made me laugh – that he totally wasn’t buying into my big bad story. Gotta love that guy sometimes. Refusing to go with me where it doesn’t feel good, which loosens my hold on the negative as well.
With that I’m feeling it shift. This exchange is already part of my past. I’m in charge of my holiday again.
I’m in charge of me. And how I feel.
And I get to have dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant tonight because I’m bringing the bowling ball! lol
When I’m feeling even better, I’ll probably remember how to focus on what I want, release judgment, see the mirror, let go of the charge, not care what others think, hang out with folks who don’t buy into my sad stories and question my thoughts and all that good stuff, but in the meantime, I’m just happy not to be sweating it out any more.
So let’s hear it – what are your coping strategies?
PS – the caption on this great photo says “Set Aside Your Differences.” This is an image I’ll take with me to dinner next week! I mean, if Hans Solo can toast a Stormtrooper – surely I can too!

  • November 17, 2008
  • You’re right, Hannah – it IS funny!
    I’m happy to report that Thanksgiving dinner was absolutely wonderful. Great conversations, pleasant people and beautiful authentic connections from several who surprised me! It was fabulous. I even wii bowled for the first time.
    Where there was opportunity for strife, I masterfully shifted it around (rather than getting engaged in it!) without making anyone feel “wrong” for it. Man, it was a good time! I’d do it again in a hearbeat! hee hee
    Hope everyone else had as lovely a time with their Thanksgiving family experiences. 🙂

  • Hannah says:

    Isn’t it funny when we get all panty-twisted trying to make others see our point of view? Why must everyone agree with us? I was a hot-headed political discussionist until I just got so BORED with it. So we have different political views..fine. Actually, I like you more than a lot of people with my exact viewpoint…

  • tricia says:

    Hi jeanette,
    I found your blog on a link from Karen Launch living the power blog. I’ve made sure to book mark it. I personally have grew so much in 2008. I used to be a person who saw more negative than positive. With good reason from my childhood situations believe me.
    I discovered in 2008 I used way tooooo many negative words….ex. I don’t want this, that or the other, I’m not happy with whatever….I’m learning to say what I want instead without any negative in the sentence.
    It seems like you and your SIL really care about each other but got wrapped up in politics. So my suggestion would be if you decide to go to start focusing on the good you want.
    EX; I want SIL name and I to enjoy each others company at the dinner.
    I want everyone to have a good time.
    I want to feel the love of my family.
    I want to talk about good times.
    Only other suggestion I would have would be to excuse yourself from political conversations if they come up.

  • Debra says:

    It’s wonderful that you are in your sister-in-law’s life to bring her diversity of opinion, and vice versa. That conversation must have been pretty stimulating, from both sides. I love the drama of a good debate!
    Just think how thrilling it will be, months from now, when your sister-in-law becomes hugely and forever Obamanized! It’s going to happen, you know. It’s going to happen because you have that much energy on it, and because your ultimate goal is to harmonize that vibe of dis-harmony. It won’t be because you convince her of anything; it will happen through you being who and what you are. The drama and the debate just help you to confirm who and what you are to yourself and strengthen your own vibe.

  • Iyabo Asani says:

    Wow! Wow!! Wow!!!
    I did not open my email on your blog for a couple of days and look at what I missed out on.
    Jeanette, I love Russ so much. Please make that 10 second kiss today about 120 seconds as he is a genius. Russ, thank you.
    I am working on a masterpeice blog entry that I will let you know about regarding Obama because of all the strong opposition that some people have about him. I am fascinated at the opposition and to be very honest and transparent, I think it has a lot to do with race but we are all too sophisticated to just be prejudiced.
    I know I am going to step on a lot of toes by saying that but when he goes on national tv and says he is a christian and everyone else hears muslim, what gives???
    However, the issue of race is interesting. People that are pushing so hard against someone else like that are just feeling threatned that things will not be the same again. They do not know what the future holds and they are in the habit of blaming someone else for their woes.
    Can you be prejudiced or sexist if you really know that you create your own reality?
    So, for her to consider Obama a muslim and to say he has a “black aura,” I actually feel a lot of compassion for her as she does not understand her own self. Her seeing Obama through that lens just is a reflection of her own “black aura” in parts of her life and her lack of understanding about Islam.
    Would she object to a Jewish president? If Obama was a muslim, so what? What about an LOA president?
    If anyone wants to have this race conversation with me from this type of understanding, please let me know, I would be glad to.
    Back to you Jeanette: you said, “Then, still trying to find our mutual feel good, I asked if she’d signed the petition encouraging Obama to adopt a hypo-allergenic dog from a shelter, and she said:”
    Were you really trying to find your mutual good or were you still trying to show Obama in a good light?
    It would be nice if I could remember in this type of situation to just observe the person as quantum physics says that by just observing a situation, we change the direction and course of it. However, I would have been more charged than you Jeanette, I just know it.
    With that said, LOA 101 to the rescue: What do you want? For thanksgiving, I am going to Erie PA to see my brother with his two kids and although those kids act as if they do not like me, I am visualizing and manifesting a great fun time with them and although they have 8 inches of snow on the ground with another 10 inches expected this weekend, I am vibing tropical tempratures there.

  • Leslie Richter says:

    I have been reading a book of fiction called, “Fugitive Pieces” by Anne Michaels, a most astounding writer, writes down to the bone so you don’t know if you feel vulnerable, awed or just stunned.
    There was a passage in it that especially took my breath away…
    Essentially she says we can’t control the events and the small things in our lives but we have control of the big things,our spirit, our essence, who we are.
    At first I thought wait a minute, thinking of loa and how we manage our creations, but then I saw how profound a gift she had given us by reminding us we are in control of the bigger picture by how we respond and react to the small things in our lives.
    Focus on the event and you are bound to feel small, go sit in the captain’s seat and you are bound to remember you drive the plane.
    Love Leslie
    Love Leslie

  • Jessica says:

    I did a double take… what? Someone blocks YOUR blog??? That’s comparable to strangling cute, sweet kittens with your bare hands!! Ha! Now my feathers are ruffled and it isn’t “my” blog.
    Similar to “how can she not like Obama” feelings you have about your sister in law, I’m feeling like “how on earth could anyone want to block such good vibes!!”
    To top it off it is Russ’ employer. Is it personal?! haha. geesh. I’ll get over it, but right now I’m in shock.
    Oh and the comments about “tell me more”. I can relate to how that can diffuse some of the tension- you are allowing the other person to get it out and feel heard, allowing them to be who they are; however also at the same time, I can understand how it would feel as though we are not being true to ourselves- as bonni says “plastering a smile”… which I’m thinking isn’t quite what Dr. Jenn meant. Needless to say, isn’t that what boundaries are about? If it feels like self-punishment, than it is! I mean, that is where you draw the line in order to take care of yourself, right? Walking away from situations that don’t feel good, etc.
    So here’s the bottom line: It is a delicate balance of living authentically while also respecting each other’s boundaries- We have room to “be ourselves” yet by doing so no infrindging on other’s room to “be themselves”.
    Hmmm. I’m going to go think on that statement I just uncovered. Yup. I like it. It hits home for me right now. How often we either feel stiffled and restricted from expressing ourselves OR feel as though we are forcing our way onto someone else.
    thanks so much for this discussion!! Plus the laughs!!!

  • Kendra says:

    Thanks, Jeanette! It’s funny how getting a response on a blog from the blog-master makes you feel like royalty, like you’ve been answered by a celebrity…lol. I just figured that there are people I love that are in my life, and it’s no use bringing any topics into conversation that would bring any possible animosity because you do, after all, love each other. I suppose it’s harder with in-laws and the like, because they are not family members you’ve been with since birth. But still…as much as I struggle with understanding how others that I love and respect, who also I know love and respect others, could vote for a certain proposition or person, I think it’s best left alone. They, too, act as the “good guy.” They too think they are acting for the betterment of society, and that’s a beautiful thing, regardless of the differences.
    It’s just so easy to turn love into hatred in politics. And, I must say, it can be most unnecessary. It’s most important that we love and accept each other above all (as HARD as that may seem!). And unfortunately, I don’t think that opposing sides argue on the points that need to be argued. That is, they shout their viewpoints across the aisle without even intending to UNDERSTAND the other view. That, in my opinion, is the most tragic. We need to get to the heart of where our differences in opinion lie before we call names at each other.
    BTW, LOVE your blog. Check it all the time for updates. It rocks! You rock!

  • bonni says:

    🙂 I could do the “tell me more thing”. I can plaster a smile on my face and nod at all the right places while I’m actually miles away thinking about something else (a trick I learned when dealing with my very dysfuctional mother). In my case it was usually “Yes, mother, I understand,” and “Yes, I see,” and “Yes, you’re right,” and so on.
    It works, if you can pull it off, but it’s not always appropriate for every situation.

  • You know, Dr. Jenn, I realize in reading your words that’s exactly I got tripped up. She was trashing Obama, and I took it personally. I am not Obama. I am not Obama. lol Maybe if I repeat it enough, I can get it through.

    Or MAYBE, what’s more true, is that I AM Obama, and Bush, and my sister-in-law … or at least, I am intimately connected with all of them.

    Right, Judy? Flourishing Judy tells me that once she realized she IS Bush her life got a lot less angry.


    “Tell me more.”

    Gosh – Bonni are you cringing as much as I am at that thought?! lol I sure see the effectiveness of it, Dr. Jenn, and I think I’ve even practiced it successfully in other situations … but in this one it feels a little like self-punishment.


    Isn’t this the most fun?! I’m sure getting a kick out of it! Easy to say now that I don’t have four emails in my inbox and this is all a distant memory.

    : )

  • Dr. Jenn says:

    Man, relatives can be hard!!
    I find one of the best things to do when you are being triggered by someone is to simply say: Tell me more. Repeatedly. Let them go on and on about whatever matters to them. While you step away from re-acting.
    Gives you a chance to recenter, realize that this doesn’t have to be about YOU, and it almost always defuses what could’ve been an ugly situation, if you had said what you had originally wanted to say!
    Simple, but not always so easily done!

  • Bonni, I’m hearing you. Loud and clear.
    I think those are some wise words you’re sharing, too. It’s really nice to imagine ourselves being immune to the things and people that push our buttons (or not having any buttons at all), but that just isn’t me at this point in time.
    Your suggestion strongly strikes me as the path of least resistance for where I was/am at!! lol
    Russ pointed out over dinner last night that I didn’t have to go anywhere, which I didn’t need him to tell me that, but I appreciated that he wasn’t attached to the idea of me showing up. I also told him I was doing a great job of getting over it, so would likely be there with no big ado.
    Writing about it REALLY helped me release the stress. I thank everyone for indulging me on it, and hope I didn’t divert our focus for happy holidays.
    I’ll make it up before then, I promise. 🙂
    Thanks, Bonni, for words/permission that really resonates. Really. 🙂

  • bonni says:

    I’m sure I’ll be the odd one out here, but I just don’t have the time or inclination to put up with people who insult me or mean me harm or manipulate me, etc. At some point in the process of healing from my childhood (dysfunctional, abusive, all of that), I realised that I didn’t have to tolerate abusive (or insulting) people. I can say, “Fine, whatever, have a great time, but I’ve got other plans,” wish them well, and go do something else, something that makes me happy, that enriches my life or feeds my soul. I just don’t think I should have to spend all my time and energy coping with and accommodating people like that. Why should I? Unless I have some really deep, vested interest in being with them despite their unkindness, I can’t see why it’s my problem that they’re unkind, and I can’t see why I should be the one to be open to their vitriol.
    I think I’m the odd person out on this one. I do accept other people’s eccentricities and weirdnesses and even their mean streaks, but that’s no reason for me to allow myself to subject myself to them. 😉

  • Well, I can say this much: holidays are a great time to practice this, huh?!

    Thanks, Kim, for reminding us of a powerful mantra to get through challenging moments.

    Much appreciated!

  • Kim Falconer says:

    Hello Jeannette and Everyone!
    I love this post and all the rich insightful comments. Pernille, I’m with you!
    When I get my knickers in a twist over family matters, I stop and look at what I am resisting. Then I let go of whatever that is. ‘The only freedom is freedom from resistance’, says Abe and I think that’s a good bottom line for the upcoming holidays.
    Of course, in Aus we don’t have Thanksgiving per say, and I do live 18,000 KM from my family of origin so that’s a DNA buffer zone extraordinaire! I will see my son’s family around the summer solstice which puts a big smile on my face. All is well!
    Let go of resistance and allow people to be as quirky and funny or heated or gloomy as they choose. Isn’t it great we have a choice!
    Love to everyone,
    PS. As Richard Bach said, ‘There is no situation too big you can’t walk away from it.’ That’s a choice too.

  • Indeed, Pernille, it definitely shows I don’t have a 100% clean and clear vibe! Something kinked up somewhere …

    Could be a good opportunity to look at that.

    Thanks for sharing the suggestion of acceptance. I’ve found I’m usually really good at that – can’t see exactly why I got so hooked here.

    But I definitely got hooked.

    It was temporary. I felt kind of sheepish when I woke up this morning, but .. still, it seemed a good learning opportunity, and I would hate to miss that! 🙂

    Thanks for posting, my friend.

  • Hi Jeannette, this post is very interesting and I’ve enjoyed reading all the wise comments.
    I couldn’t help wondering for a moment why you’ve created this situation and attracted this person into your life (haha!)
    The coping strategy that works the best for me is acceptance! – accepting that other people are different than me, accepting that their opinion doesn’t always match my opinion, accepting that they see things differently, not “needing” us to agree. They are OK, I am OK – everything is OK 🙂 – Pernille

  • Ooh, Kendra, I love how you’ve trained your family: “my parents know that I will not entertain a conversation about politics.”

    Smart answer!!

    This is new territory for me with this family, and I think I may very well adopt this same training program. ha

    Although sometimes it DOES feel good to stand up for what I believe – I recognize now that it really is just a belief I hold, not a truth (how can I know the truth?). I’ve got some Libra in me, and I think we might like to argue opposite sides sometimes. Or is that just my excuse for bad behavior?

    I don’t know.

    I sure appreciate everyone’s pitching in on this conversation! I’m learning SO much!!

  • Kendra says:

    Well, being the youngest by FAR of 4 girls–the others being 7, 14 and 16 years older–I learned early on that political conversations should NEVER be touched. I can’t tell you how many times I would be stuck–STUCK!–in the car for 3 hours on the way to our family reunion when my oldest sister and her boyfriend battled with my dad on some topic. And this happened SO many times when I was a kid that I grew utter repulsion for political arguments with family members. Now that I’m older, I have stronger political views (many of which oppose my parents’ own) but I really just make a point to NEVER talk politics unless it’s good (“So Mom, just wondering…as a Republican, what do YOU think of Palin?” “Well, I don’t agree with some of her views, but I think she’s a breath of fresh air!” “Wow, that’s great Mom!” End of conversation. Do I mention that she’s dumber than a 3rd grader (see Olbermann’s Countdown on that–hilarious!)? No.)
    And my parents know that I will not entertain a conversation about politics. I just choose to not partake. There are many things I love about my family, and arguing isn’t going to make it any better. We won’t change each other’s minds. I WANT to sometimes–trust me–but it’s not worth it. So, never having gone into it, we can just enjoy everything else together. So my advice would be to steer clear as much as possible. Maybe send her an email talking about non-Obama related topics to set the tone for a nice Thanksgiving, where you can also have an Obamaless meal. Maybe to some that seems strange, but honestly, I find it much easier to leave it all at the door when I have opposing views from those I love. Although I will engage when a now-Texan classmate posts a “yes on 8” picture as his profile pic on Facebook (grrrrr). But if I were to have Thanksgiving at his house…better left unsaid.

  • I’m sharing your kind words with Russ, John, as I know he appreciates hearing that I don’t always paint him in a negative light. ha

    (His employer blocks access to this site, so he can’t read it for himself.)


    Do I sound like I enjoy/appeciate that?

    I might sometimes. 😉

  • Peregrine John says:

    Holy smokes. There is so much in here, both the article and comments, that I don’t know where to begin! Considering that it’s 7:30 in the am-I-alive-yet morning and my first cup of tea hasn’t kicked in, I’ll leave it for later. For now I’ll just totally give away my own punchline by saying (1) thank you for sharing all this, and (2) Russ is a bloomin’ genius.

  • You know, Jessica, I might still be in the stage where it feels good to rant and rave about her a bit more before I turn the spotlight on myself. lol

    I feel silly admitting that, but … there I am! And guess what … I LOVE that about me. (Clients are laughing out loud right now, I bet.)

    Completely agreed that family gives us great practice and training ground for walking our talk!! And for that, I AM truly honestly grateful.

    Thanks for helping me see that, Jessica. 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    Well… I guess I’d like to remind and remember to see the mirror!!
    Any conflict is merely a reflection of our inner world, right? Also, a mirror to show us more of ourselves. If we step back and see it more like a movie, ha! It doesn’t even have as much charge because we can reflect and with fun curiosity ask “what can I learn about myself?” or “How can I love and accept myself more?”.
    The reason I say love ourselves, is because it isn’t about the other person! It is a mirror… well more like smoke and mirrors because what we see isn’t as clear as it could be. That’s why I like Debbie Ford’s Shadow Process (her book Dark Side of Light Chasers). Those opinions, traits, and actions that we don’t like, or find conflict with in others, is merely what we don’t like about ourselves. When you dig deep enough you can find it.
    So yes, I get that we want to keep our vibe up, but often times it happens at the expense of having kinks of resistance. We resist conflict. We could instead dissolve it in the light of seeing ourselves for who we truly are- made up of the dark and light! Not sweeping it under the rug or forcing the positive vibe to mask what lies underneath.
    I agree that sometimes it is just “too much to deal with”. Sometimes all it takes is a shift in perspective and we can see these conflicts as opportunities to get more intimate with our inner world. Also, it gives us a chance to stand stronger in our authenticity- how are we supposed to strengthen our ability to stay in a good vibe regardless of outside drama other than practice. Well, our family is often our #1 place for practice!!! 🙂
    We had a recent political clash that got pretty ugly at a party for my youngest sister. It was um… very uncomfortable. I was so concerned about everyone, got wrapped up in it, and all of a sudden the intensity that I felt about wanting good for all these people I realized was just want my soul was wanting for ME. Duh. So I will help heal them, by healing myself. Yup. The hopo’ono thingy again. Geesh I love how all these things come full circle. Amazing.
    WOW!!!! I hope everyone has a deeply self discovering holiday!! Oh yeah, and FUN too!!! All I know is I will be missing my baby sister! And it makes me realize I am missing ME. It is so true. 🙂
    Thanks everyone!! Peace & Light, Jess

  • I like your holiday style, Kristy! Kudos to you for so easily finding the enjoyment of it!! I might channel you next week, if that’s okay. ha!

    And Bridgette, it’s interesting, because I think she might have actually said that to me at one point (agree to disagree), and yet … and yet we do. lol

    I listened to some more Abe that really got me lined up on this … Jerry saying something to Esther about how every solution is preceded by a problem. And the deliciousness of solutions are well worth the problems.

    Helped me see it all differently, and to be much lighter about it.

  • Well, I couldn’t ask for better company than YOU, Melodie! lol Glad to know I’m not alone in this.

    Thanks for posting!!!!

  • Agree to disagree and don’t discuss it anymore. It sounds like you both like each other, so agree to focus on your common ground (or at least stay away from this loaded issue). You have both made your arguments, no one is changing their minds, enough said.
    We have this issue in my family–and we have all agreed that we enjoy each other much more when we don’t discuss politics in “mixed” company. We recently had a family get-together and while most of us were elated about the election and would’ve loved to discuss it, we didn’t out of respect for the other family members who weren’t quite so excited. Instead, we play games and argue about that. 🙂

  • Kristy M says:

    I’m spending Thanksgiving with just my mom and the pets in FL which is really exciting (she is not really close to her side of the family and my dad lives in the Bronx). I’m planning on one day throwing a huge holiday party is my killer NYC apartment (when I get one, that is!) some day for my friends one day :). I’ve never had the ‘traditional Thanksgiving Family Gathering experience’ really but last year my friend cooked dinner in his Queens apartment which was amazing except he put a lot of turkey on my plate and I had to tell him I was vegetarian but his other food was amazing :). Despite that its always been non traditional I have ALWAYS loved the holidays especially in NYC now.. its SO pretty! Its the best place to be for the holidays (I might just be biased haha). The best thing to do is make the best out of what you have because when you do that things turn out amazing.. I know all my holidays have been.. especially surrounded by a purring cat, barking chihuahua and chirping bird 🙂

  • Melodie Leidich says:

    I really enjoyed your post, Jeannette! I have similar issues with family… I get it!
    I grew up in Dallas, Tx. in a very backwards family. I moved to Northern California when I was 19 and quickly realized there was an entirely different world out there! And I have grown to love this area – mainly for the diversity it offers me and now my own children.
    Holidays are always interesting… but especially after the election we just had! I have already received email jokes from family members – all of which I have quickly deleted but not responded to. But I AM irritated!
    The holidays will be interesting… to say the least. I wish us both all the best in dealing with it in the best way we can 🙂 – Melodie

  • Ariel, I’m really liking the idea of bringing a nice gift – talk about an energy shifter! At least I think it could be …

    And your comments also made me think that, honestly, if I were a Republican in Utah and Obama just got elected, I’d probably be cranky too.

    Thanks for pitching in, Ariel – I really appreciate it!!

  • Ariel says:

    I would bring her a really nice gift. Something just for her that will really knock her socks off. And maybe include a peta t-shirt or something that will show her how much you have in common. Also, give her a really long hug!! She sounds like she could use one.
    I have to say, I’m having a really hard time imagining anyone not liking you Jeannette! Maybe she was sending those e-mails in good fun! Yes, you can retell the story like that.
    You are master manifester. I am looking forward to hearing how it goes!!

  • Tami, that could maybe be considered a holiday coping skill, huh: “the art of ignoring.” lol

    Ah, the laugh feels good. Thank you!!

  • Tami says:

    Ahhh the holidays….my sister is in town this week and this weekend I got an earful of all the things she thinks I am doing wrong since I lost my job and how horrible I am as a mom….now if that doesn’t make you want to run as far away from the Thanksgiving table as you can- I don’t know what would- BUT for right now- I have to go the “ignore route” I have so much drama going on and I have a dream job to manifest! It has been hard enough for me to pivot with the stuff I have going on anyway without adding MORE negative. I have been resisting the urge to tell her- hell no I won’t be there for Thanksgiving- have fun…but that would hurt more people than it woould help me- pass “the pen of writing good stuff about someone” and I’ll get started!…..

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey there,
    Just wanted to say that Obama has been pretty clear that although he needs a hypoallergenic dog for his daughter, he wants to get a shelter dog.
    My dog is a hypoallergenic, non-shedding cockapoo who was rescued from a shelter and then given up for adoption on craigslist all before he was one years old. (he’s stuck with me now.)
    It is possible to have both and he has said he wants a dog that is a shelter dog. I am sure the many shelters in this country will be able to offer a dog that meets his conditions.

  • Focus on the Pie … Melissa, you’re hilarious!
    I think that would be a successful ticket for anyone who felt challenged for family interactions. for anyone who’s looking to add a spiritual power player to their rolodex. (Although Meliss wouldn’t call herself that, I suspect.) Congrats on launching your new practice, girlfriend!
    In considering the verbal outburst disorder, it’s easy for me to see that both she and I experience it at times. Love that I can see that in both of us! lol
    Thanks for posting, Melissa. Please come back again, and when you do, use your “Miracles and Pie” signoff again – I love it!

  • I will share with you my strategy. It’s called – Focus on the Pie!
    My family is famous for the Pumpkin Chiffon Pie served only at Thanksgiving. We refuse to show up if there’s talk of “no time for the pie” or god forbid, someone forgot to buy the heavy cream to make the real whipped cream.
    When we were kids we played a family soccer game every Thanksgiving with my older cousins. Everyone played, and there were only two rules “no crying, and get back up”. It was more like rugby at times, like when no one was watching my brother closely. I will tell you, I don’t remember anyone not enjoying dinner after banging up a few knees and getting out some energy. And if your big cousin got kicked in the shins for trying to break around you too many times, that was OK too! No rules, remember. We spent dinner talking about the game.
    These days, there’s no soccer game. So we focus on the pie.
    And thinking that your SIL has a “verbal outburst disorder” probably wouldn’t hurt, either.
    Miracles and pie,

  • You know, I just listened to Abraham talking about Esther and Jerry’s monster bus awning problem. About how they keep telling the story of its malfunction, and by telling that story – well, we know what that does.

    But Abe talked about how they’ve learned to DELIGHT in the story – in the humorousness of it all. And I SO get that.

    I just had a great dinner with Russ where we both laughed at this story I’ve been creating, and I LOVE that I can enjoy the challenge of it.

    It’s like Abe said, we wouldn’t want to wish away the very things that inspire our new desires.

    Amen to that!

    PS – thanks for the big fat hugs, Tia!!

  • Tia says:

    Wow! You sure did a number on yourself J-girl! Its cos you are so passionate about Obama and life in general.
    What you can do is focus on more of her good qualities, love your own passion and make it all about the dinner. Make a pact NOT to talk politics at all. And stop thinking of dinner as a battleground where you have to be a storm trooper or put out fires?
    How lucky are you to have a yummy dinner cooked for you and her to have family to do that for? For you both to have foster kitties n dogs and have that in common with each other? To actually have food to eat when people are starving the world over. To have family, in-laws and all invite you over socially and not have them burn or torture you to death as in many countries around the world?
    How trivial and small are these fights and arguments when compared to the blessings in our lives and how easy to get caught up in it all? How many people in the world would do ANYTHING for a meal, family, to have someone care for them?
    When there is conflict I would say “I love you and I’m sorry we don’t see eye to eye on this matter but that doesn’t mean I don’t care for you” If they take it on board, great. If not, that’s fine too cos I know I care. And someday, they will too.
    I bet you’re already at this stage now that you’ve calmed down 🙂 Bugs Hugs! I mean BIG FAT HUGS!!!

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