Hoiday Stress Busters

Nine meditations to help you get through the holidays with your sanity intact:

  1. Too many parties to attend
  2. Fighting the traffic
  3. To decorate or not to decorate
  4. The shopping experience
  5. Gift-giving expectations
  6. Unbendable family traditions
  7. The demands of meal preparation
  8. The temptations of the season
  9. When work gets in the way
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The Way of the Warrior

#9 - When work gets in the way

Some of the most frequent and volatile differences that come between partners in a relationship - regardless of the nature of the relationship - are based in how much work interferes with the relationship. When one of the partners is left at home waiting for the other to arrive, it's a conflict brewing.

On the other side of that issue is when your employer or associates expect you to work above and beyond to the detriment of family and personal life. How to balance our work obligation with personal commitment is the real challenge. Of course, the holiday season only adds to that pressure. The obligatory parties and dinners need to be considered, but more importantly, the family events can be impacted as schedules fall by the wayside.

Balance is the answer to this kind of discord. Unfortunately, there is always someone caught in the middle. Is that you? Or is that your partner? The pull from work obligations is offset by the pull of family obligations. And the resulting stress only gets more oppressive if you can't come to a balance. The process of achieving this balance can take a little effort and an open mind.

Take the time to release your tension, find your center and enter into a state of deep relaxation. For several moments attend to the breath as it comes in and flows out drawing in relaxation and releasing stress. When you are ready as indicated by a loss of body awareness, see yourself enjoying an afternoon with a loved one. You are sharing the company of someone you know and perhaps love and the time spent together is deeply enjoyable.

As the visualization progresses, your time together feels precious and value-filled. The feelings are neither desperate nor clinging. The comfort you feel in each other's presence is smooth, quiet and filled with a deep love that goes beyond that normally felt in a romantic relationship. This love goes deeper and in a different direction from anything you have ever felt before. It has a spiritual depth that keeps your attention in the here and now because it's unimaginable that this love could be repeated in the future and you have never been felt this deep, unconditional love before.

The depth of feelings is endless and it carries a trust and loyalty that completes you. It is the completion you feel that makes this relationship a trusted entity and seems greater than the sum of the parties involved. You will leave this imagery now but you will carry the trust you feel forward with you.

Now you will build a new visualization of yourself working at your job. You feel how much you enjoy your job and there is a sense of accomplishment and skill. This feeling generates a confidence that keeps you solid. Your skills and talents give you a full sense of achievement and you feel that you fit well with your managers, associates and co-workers. The flow of communication is easy, dependable and reliable. And you are made aware of how valuable you are to the team, which adds to your satisfaction level.

You realize that you have fulfilling relationships with those in your workplace and at home. The closer you become to the people in each environment, the more comfortable and open you feel both at home and at work. There is full satisfaction whenever you are at home with your family or at work sharing creatively with your co-workers.

The result of the completeness of these relationships in your life both at work and at home is total freedom. You can be wherever you want and feel completely fulfilled, knowing that whether you are home or at work, you are happy to be with everyone.

Because of the equal satisfaction felt in your two worlds from your healthy and balanced relationships, your choices of spending time at work or at home are made easily. You feel no undue pressure from your workplace at a time when the holiday season calls upon you to spend a little more time with family. You are able to feel totally comfortable in scheduling your workload to accommodate your time with your family and friends. By the same token, when your work requirements increase from time to time, you know that your family and friends understand because they know you are going to share your time fairly between work and home. This is the balance you have been seeking.

For a few minutes, take the time to move back and forth between the two environments, home and work. Feel the relaxed, open and comfortable way you have of relating to everyone at work and at home. When you know that you have managed to create strong, positive and balanced relationships in these two most important areas of your life, you feel that you can growth in health and self-awareness where you might have felt stilted before.

Resolve to take these new feelings into your world as you bring yourself back to body awareness. Your feeling of deep relaxation and comfort in knowing that you have achieved balance in areas that might have caused you discord and discomfort before is carried into your day.

Enjoy the holidays, working and playing with equal joy.

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Chesa Keane has taught meditation and self-help for more than 30 years. To learn how to meditate the right way, using guided meditations, go to: www.meditationwarrior.com.