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Navigating Holiday Gatherings: A Guide for Letting Go of Expectations during the Holidays

In my infancy, I found myself soft and vulnerable, entirely at the mercy of my parents’ wishes, lacking control. Though unable to think for myself, my mom and dad’s love and care supported me, and life nurtured me. Over the years, I mastered the art of paying attention to the silence between two thoughts, elevating myself above the realm of thought and emotion.

This project became the gateway to discovering the most productive and effortless way of existing and functioning in the world—a magic key unlocking a portal to another dimension. This fresh perspective, I call: “thoughtless awareness,” not only revolutionized my life but also became the defining lens through which I perceive everything.

The brilliance of thoughtless awareness lies in its universal accessibility; it’s ever-present, right behind your eyes. It has evolved into my go-to superpower, the Basis of Operation (BOA) shaping everything I undertake in life and business.

My previous way of being proved ineffective. Most of my time was consumed by overthinking, judgment, reactive behavior, constant complaints, and self-deprecating thoughts. I found myself submerged in a sea of negative emotions, causing frustration, disappointment, fear of survival, a lack mentality, low self-esteem, limiting beliefs, and unrealistic expectations—symptoms akin to mental illness.

Someone once remarked that suffering is necessary until it isn’t. I eventually grasped that my mental suffering was a product of a dysfunctional mindset; suffering was no longer a requisite.

Nicole’s Story:

A friend, Nicole, eagerly accepted an invitation to a neighbor’s holiday gathering, envisioning intimate conversations over coffee. Upon entering, a blaring TV and distracted guests disrupted her expectations. The evening unfolded in chaos, with everyone engrossed in their phones and a lack of genuine conversation.

Stop Should-ing on Yourself:

Nicole subjected herself to unnecessary mental stress by clinging to strong expectations. Consider if she had maintained thoughtless awareness throughout the entire visit.

A Reappraisal:

Imagine how things might have turned out differently for Nicole. She could have entered the home without preconceived expectations of cultural norms or conventions. Accepting the situation as it was, she might have enjoyed the moment, remained grounded in her presence, and listened without needing recognition or validation.

She could have risen above the chaos, maintaining balance and poise in thoughtless awareness, letting go and relaxing into the situation, departing in peace, without complaint or frustration.

Going beyond thought and emotion takes practice, but the payoff is monumental. In thoughtless awareness lies wellbeing and inner peace.

Everything is a Construction of Mind:

If I asked you, “If you had a choice, would you choose a dull mind or a sharp mind?” You’d probably opt for a sharp mind. But be cautious—you might cut yourself. Our minds fragment reality, preventing us from seeing the big picture. We get entangled in thought, making it too real. Most thoughts consist of fantasy and daydreams, mainly about the self.

Upon closer inspection of your mind, you’ll realize that infobesity and mind-wandering don’t serve you well, causing unhappiness, stress, and anxiety. Calming the mind through concentration results in long periods of stillness, absent of thought.

Operate from the field of pure awareness, absent of all thought. Don’t eliminate thought—the mind is a powerful tool. Instead, make thoughtless awareness your basis of operation, recognizing its stark difference from operating solely out of thought.

You can be like a child again, letting go and trusting that life supports you, knowing that most things work out for the best.

WARNING: You are NOT in Control:

To sum up, I want to share the wisdom of John Roedel:

“You are living on a spinning wet rock of a planet that resides next to a constantly exploding fireball in the middle of an ever-expanding universe, filled with mysteries beyond your wildest imagination. As you hurtle through the great expanse, cohabiting with billions of people who have free will and their own experiences shaping their perspectives and beliefs, your soul resides in a delicate engineering marvel—a physical body that could produce its last heartbeat at any given moment, what about your existence makes you think you have any control?”

As the holiday season approaches and you find yourself at your aunt Judy’s house, slow down, stop, and remember thoughtless awareness as she serves you your favorite food in the whole wide world—instant mashed potatoes from a box.

Happy Holidays to All my Dear Friends!

P.S. I’m a songwriter and musician. I wrote and produced this song to help remind you to stay in thoughtless awareness and Simply Be. If you’d like to support our work why not buy a copy by clicking here >>