Cooling Your Emotional Hot Buttons During the Holidays

Each of us has had the astonishing experience of making a positive shift
in our internal world and having the outer world suddenly change. One of
the quickest ways to intentionally achieve this shift is to examine our
emotional hot buttons - the unattended places inside ourselves where we
easily become flustered, angry, jealous or otherwise intensely triggered
by other people. This very human dynamic is a clear sign of projection.
And no time of the year puts projection at center stage like the
holidays! One of the simple explanations for this phenomenon is that we
spend more concentrated time with greater numbers of people: namely, our
families, friends and co-workers. There are so many tempting
opportunities for our egos to jump into the fray, so to speak. There may
be a particular relative whom you only see once a year, and the
emotional state this person evokes in you might be described in one
word: dread. However, this week's newsletter (and my upcoming radio
show) are meant to assure you that emotional freedom during the holidays
can be yours, and you can love the ones you're with! Here's where it

When I'm training coaches or leading The Shadow Process, I always start
by exploring projection. Projection is the involuntary transfer of our
own unconscious beliefs and behaviors onto others, so it appears to us
that these qualities actually exist in the other people. Put simply, we
see in others what we like and don't like in ourselves. You can be
sure that you're projecting whenever you find yourself blaming,
gossiping, making others wrong, defending a position or convinced that
if something "out there" changed you would be okay. Think of someone who
really pushes your buttons. It could be a parent or another relative, a
colleague, a media personality, or a politician. No matter how certain
you are that this person is the cause of your strong reaction, consider
that they are simply a mirror, embodying and reflecting an aspect of
yourself - or a hidden belief - that you have denied or rejected. What
is this reflection showing you?

Owning our projections requires us to take responsibility for what we
call forth and see in other people. It means that when we are affected
by what's happening in the outside world (how people are acting or
organizations are operating, for example), we look inside ourselves
first, rather than trying to make others conform to our standards and
expectations. And as we take responsibility, it is also vitally
important to meet ourselves with the utmost compassion and
understanding. It's essential that we treat ourselves with kindness as
we acknowledge and own the interpretations and perceptions that may have
caused us (and other people) a lot of pain.

Instead of giving your power away to the external world, look inside
yourself. Welcome opportunities to embrace, own and forgive yourself for
what you discover, and begin to see people and situations as they really
are. I promise you that by being faithful to this self-observation
practice you will regain the immense power that you may have temporarily
given away.

With the holiday season just around the corner - with all its anxieties
and stress, as well as its blessings and joy - let yourself be deeply
nourished by this truth: When you make peace with your inner world, you
will shift what you see and experience in the outer world. In other
familiar words, let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Take Action Now!

I heartily invite you to join me for my radio program this Thursday at
2PM Pacific titled "Love the Ones You're With." As we approach the
holidays, this show will be an opportunity to join the discussion -
either by listening to the people who, uncannily, call in with your
issue or by calling in yourself for one-on-one coaching with me - in
order to lessen your resistance and soften your heart. Let's look
together at how these next six weeks can be a pleasurable, easy and
unforgettable time of fun and celebration. Please see the information
below. And if you can't listen live at 2 PM on Thursday, you can catch
the replay later than night, just check the schedule on

Debbie Ford


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