Choice and Self-Trust through the Holidays

I am so excited to introduce a special Mama’s Comfort Camp teleclass with my friend and mentor, Jaya the Trust Coach.

Jaya’s teachings were instrumental in my UnGuilt Trip (that’s what I call my recovery from postpartum depression and anxiety), and in keeping my marriage healthy during the time DH was working towards getting his Tenure at Cornell (they don’t call us faculty widows for nothing, you know).
Jaya is an expert at teaching people how to trust themselves, the universe, and the process, especially in hard times.

When I noticed that many of the threads in the group last week had to do with holiday stress, I had an overwhelming urge to teach a class that would demonstrate how to use one of my favorite self-help tools: The Work of Byron Katie: the 4 questions that turn everything around. I think of this method as a fundamental self-healing tool, a comfort skill that should really be taught in middle school. Every human should have this in their toolbox! (yes, I feel strongly about this.)

And I learned this tool from Jaya, (and Jaya is a Mama’s Comfort Camp member, and I have a feeling she would do a better job teaching this than I would), so I asked her if she’d be willing to teach y’all how to use this super effective, almost deceptively simple method of questioning our stressful thoughts and finding ease for what is, especially when what is hurts. She said yes, I happydanced.

So I present you with this special teleclass:

Choice and Self-Trust through the Holidays 

(A Mama’s Comfort Camp Teleclass of comfort skills for happiness, yay!) 

Why a Teleclass?
Jaya is right here in Ithaca, and it is oh-so-tempting to hold a live event together. But we want to make this tool available to Mama’s Comfort Campers everywhere, thus we are choosing to hold this class via conference call.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 12:30pm EST. Call recording is included in the class price, so while live participation is encouraged, it is not required for you to benefit from this event and learn this skill.

Where: The comfort of your own phone, via a conference call service. (Your regular phone charges may apply. There will certainly be an American number, and I’m working on getting other international access numbers for Australia, the UK, and Israel. Let me know if you’d like me to arrange for other international numbers).

How this is going to work:
  if this thing has your name on it, is calling for you, etc. you’ll click on the paypal button, and buy your spot in the class. Paypal will redirect you to a password protected web page.
There you will find  the conference call access numbers and a couple of  PDF worksheets that we will be using during the call. You can help yourself to the worksheets and and start using this method in advance (which will be great if you can swing it, and no problem if you don’t touch this stuff until the class itself.) This password protected page will also work as a discussion space for submitting questions in advance, in case you can’t make the call live, or would rather not speak up during a conference call.

At the time of the call, you will call the number provided, and Jaya and I will be there, waiting for you and the rest of the callers.
You are not required to participate live, just listening is perfectly fine. If none of the callers would like to be coached live, Jaya will coach me and my stressful thoughts (yeah, i still have some left…) and we’ll work through the questions that would be submitted in advance on the class page. The call will last for about 75 minutes. A link to the call recording will be available for download on the class page the next day.

Just so we are clear: Jaya will be teaching the class, not me. I am going to be there the whole time, and I’ll introduce her and the method, and then pass the mic to her. She is brilliant, you will love her. I’m likely to interject here and there, but I’m not the one teaching this class. I will start offering teleclasses of my own teachings in the new year, but learning from Jaya is a treat I’m thrilled to be serving you with.

Ready to join Jaya and me for this class?

Your investment in Self-Kindness is $18, it gets you access to the class via conference call, the worksheets and discussion page, and a class recording you can use to revisit this information any time you want.



More about Jaya’s Parenting Coaching:

All that ever keeps you from clear parenting is a thought.

And thoughts can be questioned. Thoughts can be changed.

Some of the thoughts that get in our way are actually well-intentioned, sound concepts about parenting.
There are so many valid ways to parent. We know we’re onto the right way for us when we’re operating clearly and lovingly and feel good about the whole thing. When our minds are clear, we know what to do. And what we do may change from one moment to the next, depending on situational factors, the needs of our child, our own needs (and blood-sugar levels, and how much sleep we got last night), and much more. What’s possible with a clear mind? What if we could drop our concepts and meet each moment with clarity, trust, and an open heart?

More on this page:

And here is an excerpt from Jaya’s December newsletter, and look, it’s related to what we want to do!


Less Stress, Greater Choice

Stress is optional.
For the record, stress is hardly ever a given. In war, maybe—but in holidays? Have we gone insane, treating a time of vacation, sacred celebration, gift-giving, and downtime with loved ones as if it’s a time of war? If nothing, as Byron Katie teaches, is inherently stressful—our thoughts about what’s happening make it stressful—then we have, as a culture, a boatload of crazy, stressful thoughts about the holidays.
Choice antidotes victimhood.
Those familiar with my work have probably heard or read my words about choice as an antidote to victim mentality. I talk about cultivating a consciousness of choice, getting 100 percent behind your choices, and finding whatever fragment of choice you have in any situation that seems to give you no agency. It’s hard to be a victim, or to be focused on what someone else or life is visiting upon or withholding from you, when you’re firmly planted in choice.
Choice antidotes stress.
Here, I offer choice as a potent antidote to stress as well. There’s certainly overlap in the realms of victimhood and stress. It’s stressful to be a victim, and we’ve come to accept, as a culture, that we’re somehow victimized by the great bogeyman of Stress, a monstrous force that’s somehow beyond our control. Our language, the best cue to alert us to our victim mentality (“I have to, …” “I can’t, …” “I’m stuck with …” “It all falls on me,” “It’s too much”), equally serves to show us where we’re allowing the holidays (or anything) to be defined as stressful: “I have to go to the office party,” “I have to host my in-laws,” “I have to buy gifts for, …” “We need to make this really special.” Actually, you don’t have to do those things, but you may certainly choose to do them—or not.If attendance at the party isn’t or doesn’t seem to be optional, then by all means, choose to go. Choose it because you value this job: it’s worth it to you to attend the occasional required gathering. (You could just as well choose to quit your job, or to simply let your boss know you won’t be attending and stay tuned for what happens next.) Choose to visit or host family because you want to foster connection with these specific human beings, and this season looks like the best time to put that into action. (Do I need to say it’s a valid option not to visit or host them?)
Duty and tradition aren’t choice busters!
I urge you to remember you have choice, and to apply it. So many people automatically go by duty and tradition to plan their holidays. If this is you, consider this: You get to define duty. You get to follow, toss out, or recreate tradition. If you want to continue to visit certain people during this time of year, that’s a fine choice. But it is a choice: embrace it as such. You’re someone who wants to do his or her duty, who wants to follow tradition. Maybe other things motivate you: you don’t want to be disowned, or you don’t want to deal with disappointing your family or having them be mad at you. Any number of factors may inform your choice. (These factors can be questioned; they can also simply be noted.)

All things considered, you’re still in choice. Don’t lose sight of this! It’s an option to disappoint, or to anger, or even to be disowned. Do realistically note that you may equally disappoint or anger family members in your presence and participation! And if being disowned (or some less extreme family relationship threat) is a land mine in your reality, then it’s probably a series of land mines that a whole lot more than the holidays could trigger. You get to choose how and whether to let tricky issues inform your holiday choices.

If you choose to host or visit family—whatever your reasons—get 100 percent behind your choice and stop talking about everything that’s hard or tricky or a pain about it. Remind yourself that you actually want to be with family for the holidays. Become a master of extricating from the experience all there is to enjoy.

Ask yourself clarifying questions.
It may help to consider more deeply why you choose what you choose. How does it serve you to maintain good relations with those you work with? Can you best do that through sugar, alcohol, and tiresome conversation? What do you value or even love about being with family? What is it doing for you and yours to take a trip during vacation time? What’s behind the choice? A very simple question to ask yourself is, What do I hope to get from this? A nice follow-up question would be, Is this the best way to get it?

Clarity helps you get behind your choice.
If you’re out of touch with the underlying aim or value, you may sabotage the very thing you’re after. For example, let’s say you want your kids to have grandparent time. If you focus on everything your parents or in-laws do that make you crazy, the kids may get grandparent time, but they may also get a confusing experience of divided loyalties; they may wonder if it’s really okay for them to cozy up to these people you seem to despise. … Choose clearly and consciously, and get behind your choice by connecting to, speaking about, and interacting with what you love and appreciate about these grandparent figures.

Read the rest of this article here.


Ready to join Jaya and me for this class?

Your investment in Self-Kindness is $18, it gets you access to the class via conference call, the worksheets and discussion page, and a class recording you can use to revisit this information any time you want.




*When we met four years ago, Jaya had a different business name, and she took on the name The Trust Coach after I pointed out that this is her gift. I love love love naming things, like groups, classes and businesses, and I get much joy from knowing that I came up with a name that helps this special teacher find her right people in the world.

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3 Responses to Choice and Self-Trust through the Holidays

  1. “Less stress, greater choice” is really a nice article. I really like when people looking into the heart of the problem like Jaya did in that little post. I don’t even know what would we do with our lives if we didn’t had life-coaches. No for real, nowadays no one will go to psychologist just for little help in developing of his or her character. So, it’s really important to have people like you or Jaya to keep us update with good advice.

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