Monday, November 30, 2015

Finding Balance during the Holiday Season

 by Brittiney George

How is it possible that the holiday season can feel both energetically exhausting and exhilarating?  Both joyful and stressful?  Feel simultaneously warm and cold?  Maybe it is because the holidays ask us to do two extremely different things: (1) tap into our childhood and see the world through the eyes of a child again, and (2) continue to act like and make decisions of an adult.  This experience can shine light on parts of our lives currently – and within our childhoods – that felt extreme (good or bad).  We become consciously aware of our current life and often compare it to the life we thought we would be living or should be living right now.  In that moment our subconscious belief systems can get kicked back into high alert.  Some familiar phrases that might resurface: 

·      Get Control of Yourself
·      Get it Together
·      Keep it Together
·      Shut that Down
·      Let it go

All of these phrases indicate that something is out of balance and we are trying to figure out a way to respond to feel safe or fit in to our given environment.  There is an energetic release or movement that needs to happen to reset the scale back to even.  During different times in our life, the way we did that may have differed:

·      Tantrums:  The ultimate energy buster in a world that feels out of control, proportion, or too much (too fast, too loud, to unpredictable).  Tantrums allowed us to naturally get the extra energy/noise off our system:  If I am expected to take it all in, than I also need permission to let it all out.

·      Rebellion:  When we learned that tantrums were no longer acceptable by society or in our family, rebellion kicked in.  We still needed an energetic release, but the form of it changed.  It may have been quiet rebellion, or loud in your face rebellion, but either way it was our way of trying to gain back some control, let out some steam, or have our voice heard.  We got the message that we needed to keep it together but were still missing the staples, tape, and glue (aka support or internal resources) necessary to do that.

·      Peace:  Peace is the place where tantrums & rebellion meet and become friends.  Instead of fighting about whether we should or shouldn’t feel how we do, instead of second guessing why we feel that way when those around us don’t, it becomes knowledge.  Tantrum and Rebellion both may still be there, but they are not at war, they are sharing their knowledge about why it is upsetting, what it is throwing us off balance.  It becomes insight and space to acknowledge what we need.  In the acknowledgement of that information….even if you don’t know what to do with it…the energy can flow more easily, emotions can flow more naturally.  You are not getting shut down, tuned out, or broken into pieces by it all.  Now you have choices.  Now you can move.

So this holiday season I wish you acceptance of all of who you are so that your system can truly know balance and find its true peace:

Peace.  It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble,
Or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things and still

Be calm in your heart.”-unknown

Brittiney George is a Movement Practitioner offering Rubenfeld Synergy, Infant Massage Education, and gentle, exploratory movement classes at The Resiliency Center. She co-leads Connection, Expression and Movement (CEM), a monthly workshop series focusing on body-mind integration. To learn more about her practice and services, contact her at 610-389-7866 or

Wishes for a peaceful and picture­-imperfect holiday

by Jen Perry
Ahhh, the holidays and its food, family, and friends. A beautifully laid out table, happy children, civil and perhaps even engaging conversation. We all have a perfect Hallmark­worthy picture of it floating around inside our mind. Can you conjure up yours? I know I have one: my great aunt’s lovely antique china, candlelight, gracious conversation about all that we are thankful for. 
The challenge with our idealized images is that reality often just can’t live up to them. Our human minds make it truly impossible. Whether gleaned from hazy memories of yesteryear or from yearnings in our hearts for just how it could be, these are fantasies. You see, if we have ideas about the perfect day or perfect dinner (or perfect partner, or perfect parent, child, job, or . . . really the applications are endless), then our minds act like a scanner constantly searching the situation for things that need to be fixed, done, changed, or otherwise wrestled into the idealized image. It’s exhausting. Out of the myriad of details before us, it takes just one to “ruin it.” One child’s temper tantrum, one sharp word from a loved one, one burnt pie ~ you get the picture. And THAT is actually where the freedom lies. 
Try this: take your most precious, perfect picture and allow life to happen to it. You may find the results difficult or you may find them hilarious. In my case, that antique table I mentioned? Well, it literally collapsed mid-meal this Thanksgiving with no warning. 
The carefully prepared meal, well maintained china, flowers and candlelight, glasses of wine and cider, and all the silverware came crashing to the floor. A child howling, guests staring in disbelief, and one alert responder racing around as if the torn photo could be repaired. 
2015 is now a year for the history books in my family. Fortunately, we can laugh about this one. 
One of my favorite sayings is: “Peace: It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” I encourage you to take your picture perfect image and your idealism and let life, or gravity, have its way with it. Holding onto our perfectionism, scanning life, real life, for all the ways in which it doesn’t measure up, is not a peaceful or present way to live. These perfect pictures we hold up – of a holiday, a spouse, the future, a child, even our very selves – they block us from seeing the real moments and people before us as they are in all their imperfect splendor. The relief after the surprise of it all falling apart is pure, pure magic. And a gift: the gift of a broken table, a broken picture of perfection is a gift of presence and peace with what is. 

Jen Perry, MSEd, MA, LPC is a licensed professional counselor and peaceful parenting coach. She teaches mindfulness and self­-compassion to people wanting more peace and calm in their hearts. Her next 6 week class offering, Beginner’s Mindfulness, starts January 11, 2016. Space is limited to 6 so reserve your spot today by calling 215­-292­-5056 or emailing