The holidays are often a time of joy, cheer, and uplifting moments and moods. They take us out of our normal routines and give us the opportunity to show others how much we love and care about them. This can be through gifts and more deeply, through acts of kindness and giving. Sometimes, however, unexpected events – such as deaths, illnesses, accidents, and more predictable experiences, like the anniversaries of loved ones’ deaths or previous hurtful memories show up as uninvited “guests” for the holidays. Often, we don’t want to experience sadness, grief, and perhaps anger or traumatic memories during this time of year that’s supposed to be happy. Yet…we do.

Over the past several weeks, I learned of the somewhat unexpected death of a close friend’s husband who I knew well, and the very unexpected death of my neighbor’s 26 y.o. son who I’ve come to know in Vegas, and had a health scare myself. First shock and disbelief, then my old friend Grief arrived. Our feelings such as grief, fear, and anger are like uninvited guests that arrive at our doorstep. What do we typically do when they knock? Do we ignore them and pretend we didn’t hear the knock; put headphones on to avoid it; tell them to go away, they’re not welcome here; or do we run out the back door:) Less frequently do we open the door and kindly (and sometimes, bravely) invite them in. So we can get to know each of them, and perhaps befriend them over time. All of our feelings serve a valuable purpose in our lives. And they are invaluable guides to what is healthy and right for us… 

Ways of Building A Relationship With Our Feelings

There’s a beautiful poem called the Guest House by Rumi, which I often share with my clients, included below. It invites us to practice a welcoming and loving relationship with our feelings. I recommend you read it several times over the course of a month to let the depth and wisdom of his words sink in. 

Click >>> GUEST HOUSE by Rumi

After reading Rumi’s poem, reflect on which guest feeling may be showing up most for you now during the holidays. When it knocks, what do you currently do? If you welcome it in and give it space to Be, wonderful! You are honoring your feelings. If not, what if the next time it arrives unannounced, you pause and thank it for caring enough to show up? Consider putting one hand on your heart, and asking it what it would like you to know…about your Self, situation, or life. Then listen closely. ❤️

Next Steps

Consider journaling about whatever feelings are arising for you during this holiday. Let your Self write for 10-15 minutes freestyle, without thinking about what you want to specifically write, and do it nonstop. Use a timer if you like. Let your heart share freely without any judgment – trusting there is no right or wrong way to do this. Afterward, if you like, read it and see if you discover something new or unexpected. Often there’s a pearl or two within:)

This week, notice which guest feeling you have the most difficulty welcoming in. Ask your Self what it is about this guest in particular that makes it difficult. Is it that you feel embarrassed or ashamed when this guest shows up; that you were taught a “nice” person shouldn’t have such feelings; or that every time this guest arrives, his/her friend Fear is also there? What is one small step you can take toward making this guest feel a bit more welcome… at least opening the door a crack. ???? Wonderful gifts come over time as we do!

Email me at or use the CONTACT PAGE if you would like to create a happier and healthier relationship with your Self, and feel more confident as a result! We can have a relaxed conversation and decide whether therapy or coaching would be best.

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