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Posted by on Dec 23, 2023 in Featured | 6 comments

Merry Christmas Time To Shine

Merry Christmas Time To Shine

It occurs to me, this year especially, how valuable communication rituals are.  What we talk about, we get better at. What we get better at, the more freedom, creativity and connection we have. Hopefully, discussions are happening around our dinner tables that will keep us better connected by helping us to understand our differences and the unique ways we experience some moments.  Who doesn’t want to live and thrive unburdened.  Our Shine can do with a little polish sometimes.

It starts in the way we bring up our kids. Research supports the ritual of shared family dinners as a means of helping our children to feel less stressed both academically and socially. The more we teach our children that their thoughts, feelings and needs are valued and understood at home, the more they are primed to expect the same at school. The more ease and connection they have with their teachers and friends at school, the more easily they will learn. Through family conversations at dinner time, we teach them how to engage in open conversations and to trust themselves enough that they will value their experiences and be motivated and better equipped to have tough conversations.

The holiday season is a time of year when families and friends come together to share.
During this season, we have a wonderful opportunity off-load resentments or hard feelings through engaging in healthy conversations aimed at seeking deeper understanding of varying perspectives. With the many social opportunities and more contact, you may have this season, why not try to clear up any unresolved misunderstandings? Why not head into New Years with a fresh start and burn resentments of the past?

It’s just plain stressful to carry old burdens.  If it’s not worth talking through things directly with the person who upset you, it may be time to just let what ever it was go. It takes huge energy to carry resentment. You’ve got to ask yourself sometimes, why do you care so much about that negative position? And guess what…troubled emotions can have negative impacts on your overall health. There is research to say chronic stress upsets our hormone balance, depletes our positive hormones, and damages our immune system (2022). ( ) If you don’t feel resolved about something with someone,  and you can’t let it go, this may be a good time to go for a walk to clear it up.  Otherwise, make a new commitment to put down that heavy cross you have carried… have you noticed, martyrs always die!

CCFR folks! Crap is crap. Flush it. Recycle it, or don’t take it on in the first place.

In every religion there are built in rituals to help us let go of the past and to lighten up. Hannukah is celebrated through lighting of candles and saying prayers—such a powerful way to be intentional, to light the wishes of good will and care. Christians celebrate the coming of the Messiah through the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Sadly, with the Middle East in a hot war, and with the Russian-Ukrainian war continuing, it’s been tough to celebrate freedom and joy this year. But we must. Our joy and natural tendency to goodness and care will help us all heal together. I know that sounds naïve, but you just must look at a newborn child to see the natural goodness within humankind.

Let the energy of a child’s innocence and joy light your sometimes heavy heart.

My hope is that we can level up love during the coming year… in our prayers, in our actions, and through the expression of our inherent generosity of spirit.  Our world is a good place, with good people… just like the message in one of my favorite holiday movies “Love Actually”… “love is all around us”.

Let’s bring in the New Year with healthy conversations that bring unresolved issues or conflicts to peaceful conclusion.


Here’s how:

  1. Identify your feelings in your body (where in your body do you keep anger or resentment?).
  2. Take time out to breathe, tap, or shake off negative emotions so you can come to the table unburdened.
  3. Start your conversation with something positive that lets the other person know you value them… you just have one thing that has tripped an emotional cord of yours.
  4. Talk about the issue (just one thing.. no laundry lists). The goal is not to flood the other person with a long list of deficits… the goal is to feel resolved on one issue.
  5. Ask the other person what they heard in what you said.
  6. Ask the other person what their perspective is on that same issue. How do they feel about it?
  7. Talk about what would help you both. What can you do differently to get better together?
  8. Make an action plan together. (Maybe you could check in once a week on that issue? Or just check in again at the end of the day on how you both feel having talked it through?

The goal is to find peace, ease and meaningful securely attached relationships. Guess what… the more securely attached you feel in your relationships, the less conflict and drama you will have in the year ahead.

May we all have ease.

May we all have peace.

May we all have love.


Merry Christmas & may You shine even more brightly in our New Year!


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  1. Lovely and wise dear friend, so great to see this posting to better help us all celebrate our Christmas and joy of friendship. xoxox

    • Merry Christmas dear friend. Looking forward to a wonder full year ahead. xo Jo-Anne

  2. Thank you Jo-Anne for this very insightful post. It is so difficult to know how to bring up hard topics or emotional ones with family. Thank you for these suggestions my wise friend.

    • You bet Darlene! It’s a time of year that highlights love and what may still need resolution. Sometimes rituals of letting go really work too! When understanding is just not possible, it’s just a good goal to not carry the problem forward. Release for peace!! As long as we all promote healthy conversations, we will never replicate the Middle East’s 75 year war! Peace, Love, and Thriving for all.
      xo Jo-Anne

  3. very hopeful message, Joanne, and good timing. See you soon, love Carolyn

    • Thanks Carolyn.. what a year. Thanks for reading my blog Carolyn.. one of my favorite Cousin-In-Laws. May the year ahead be healthy, happy and joyful. xo Jo-Anne

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