*Note: this post is a condensed version of the Coming Out Gold Podcast Episode 7 found here.


November is over and December has raced upon us with maddening speed.  For many people out there this means there is suddenly an elephant in the room.  We can ignore as many do, or we can call the thing a thing.  Any guesses to what this elephant might be?
The Holidays.


when the holidays are hard

The holidays can be so hard.  It gets dark in the middle of the afternoon leaving some struggling with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  Everywhere you look people are gathered, families are circled around the table, and romantic dates galore as engagements are at their highest each year. Ads run non-stop telling us what we need to be happy this Christmas.  They fill our minds with expectations, and the more-more-more mantra is incessant.  Credit cards get swiped, and debt piles even higher sucking any bit of joy from the gift-giving process even though you may be working 80+ hours to afford life.  Mailboxes can flood with photoshopped families while you look down and see you are in the same sweatpants as yesterday.  The calendar gets overrun with obligations, and the holiday go-go-go has left you crying no-no-no!
For those of us who don’t have lives where the holiday looks the way the world says it should look, a weight and sadness can fall heavy on our shoulders.  The holiday happily ever after can feel like happily never after.  This is the dark side of the holidays no one likes to talk about.  It is the elephant in the room.  In my life, I have come to understand that what stays hidden makes us sick, but shining a light on things brings healing.  I am hoping that together we can shine some light into the lives of others this holiday season.  
Can we all admit that the holidays can be hard?  They can be mess and stressful and disappointing.  They can be trauma triggers.  And also they can be beautiful and magical and precious and holy.  Both can be true.  Neither is right or wrong.  They simply are.


keeping your peace is possible

I love the holidays and start binge-watching Christmas movies on Hallmark the last week of October, and I am not ashamed to admit it!  I love the traditions and twinkling lights, yards full of decor, the smell of real trees and freshly baked treats, festive sweaters and peppermint mochas.  It is my FAVORITE time of year and, without question, Christmas is my favorite holiday. And it is also a time of year when I struggle because my life doesn’t have all the things I wish it did.  This makes it hard sometimes.
The truth is many people in this world aren’t surrounded by family, don’t have 23408 invites to holiday gatherings, and don’t have the financial means for buying all the media tells us we need to have a happy holiday.  It is so hard, and a season that should be overflowing with peace, love and joy can feel more like pain, loneliness, and lack.  (SIDE NOTE: If you need professional help to navigate this time of year, give yourself the gift of a good therapist.  Therapy is a blessing, and I believe this world would be better if more people had it!)
In episode seven of my Coming Out Gold Podcast, we will tackle this topic head on.  I want to make sure that those of us on the fringes or in a rough season and those with a Martha Stewart meets Norman Rockwell holiday which leaves you stressed out have some tools in your toolbox to navigate this season well. I will give you a strategic plan for surviving the holiday with your peace intact.  And we will learn to chase down joy!  Take a listen and let me know your thoughts! And be sure to download your free reminder below of how to keep your peace this holiday season!


How to keep your peace this holiday season

Keep this little cheatsheet somewhere you can see it so that when the holidays get hard, you can use these tools to find more peace.