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Finding Joy Amidst Struggles This Christmas

By Lisa Brick

Shortly we will be celebrating Christmas

We will be with family we haven’t seen for a while as well as family we see every day.  Some of us will be without family we used to have who have passed on, moved away and aren’t able to make it back, or dropped out from fall out.  When you have an accumulation of people you have an accumulation of energies. We used to call these “personalities” yet they are really much more than that.


We are affected and affect each other in three ways:  we feel neutral, we feel some level of uneasiness, or we feel affirmed and relaxed.  We even flip around through all three with the same person depending upon the conversation and our reactions to what is either said or not, done or not, and how it was said and done.  The holidays and the energies they bring to us are an opportunity to practice how to learn to generate the very peace, beauty, and love with which we yearn to be filled.


There is a tool, the MIFR, which when utilized can support you in creating the wonderful  "feeling experience" of the Christmas of your dreams.

The MIFR consists of of four steps: MINDFULNESS, INQUIRY, FOCUS and REFRAMING. Whereas the Swiffer is a tool with which to clean a floor, the MIFR is a tool to wash clean the thoughts, feelings, and actions that lead to uneasiness, anger, resentment, and upset and allows us to dance on the newly cleaned surface.  While to be expert at using this tool takes practice, even as a novice you can wipe away a great deal of gunk.

Christmas Dreams

Here’s an example of how MIFR works.  Aunt Sally comes in with a one way conversation all about what’s ailing her.  She doesn’t ask about you or the kids.  When she looks around she makes a comment about how you haven’t replaced that worn chair in the living room yet.  You become mindful that you are feeling smoke escaping from your ears.  You are experiencing a set-up. She’s stuck being Aunt Sally but you aren’t stuck in the set-up anymore.  You have a choice. You inquire of yourself what other responses you can choose from since she’s there with her self absorption and complaints and will be the entire evening.  Shift your focus onto what you want for this Christmas; peace, love, and joy. Aunt Sally may not be able to shift her energy yet YOU CAN.  It’s like a Nike ad, JUST DO IT, even if your mind is telling you you don’t know how.

She can remain just as she is and as she isn’t and that energy can roll off you like water off a duck’s back.  You can feel her energy and leave her to it.  Simply by not responding to her in kind is showering grace.  You don’t have to and can’t fix her.  She doesn’t need to be fixed, just allowed to be who she is free of your judgment and resentment.  When you free her from it, you have freed yourself from being stuck in feelings that dampen or  ruin your Christmas!  Now you can reframe the story and keep centered in the Christmas of your heart.  You can even look at Aunt Sally, smile, and tell her that is your very favorite chair and invite her to experience how comfortable it is, while you walk away to greet the next soul at the gathering in peace,  love, and joy.  THIS IS POSSIBLE.  THIS IS HOW TO HAVE THE CHRISTMAS OF YOUR DREAMS, by being what you desire.

The specific steps of  MIFRing  are:

  • MINDFULNESS – As you become mindful of an upset (a set-up you’ve fallen into time and time again), recognize that when you feel energy/attitude coming at you, THEY aren’t doing it “to you”. You are doing it to yourself in the face of an external trigger.
  • INQUIRY – Assume responsibility for how you are feeling and see what story you are telling yourself in the presence of this energy.
  • FOCUS – Remember that your objective is to be peace, love, and joy. What other’s say, hear, and emanate is about them. What you hear, say, and emanate is about you
  • REFRAME – Listen with awareness rather than judgment. Tell yourself a new story which will lead to positive feelings towards yourself, the others, and your environment, and take creative empowering actions.

christmas holiday

A note to those serious about truly enjoying the holidays this year, treat yourself well with sleep and nourishing foods consistently, being conscious that both sweets and alcohol in quantity dulls awareness and can lead to serious “sugar blues”.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”.

– Mahatma Gandhi

 A blessed Christmas to everyone of every faith or non-faith.

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