Keeping the Holidays in Perspective

So, with Christmas only a few days away, I know that some people are already tensing up and choosing sides and rehearsing anticipated battles in their heads. I am fortunate to have never had that problem, but there are many people who see the holidays as a time when they are forced to spend time with people they would prefer not to be around. I get it. Last Christmas their Uncle Jeeter drank too much and threatened the parakeet with a carving knife. The year before, their sister gave out gifts that were aggressively...well, thoughtless. A huge bag of white ankle socks were given to someone who hasn't played a sport in forty years. Every child under ten got a bottle of hand sanitizing gel. And the year before that, Grandma announced that, yes, her oldest son really was her favorite child, and her other kids could leave the dinner table if they didn't like it. I get it. It's tough. But there's a trick to dealing with it. Almost an optical illusion, if you will.
     Maybe a dozen years ago, I learned how to see auras. It was so much simpler than I expected. And so easy to do, the more I did it. The very first requirement was that I accept that there actually was something there for me to see. All I had to do was read enough accounts of other people seeing them, to believe they existed. Once the belief was firm, I was ready to tackle the mechanics. In James Redfield's book, The Celestine Prophecy , the reader is told to hold their hands palms up against the backdrop of a white ceiling. Then you soften your focus and view the glow that outlines your fingers. Very quickly I was able to see the glowing outline and the wisps of energy that elongate between your hands when you move them apart. I was like a kid with a new toy, looking at auras constantly. Once I saw my own, I knew what to look for when trying to view someone else's. It became a hobby, a way to keep myself awake and amused while sitting in meetings at work, or at Daley Plaza, waiting to get picked for a jury. I tried to share my new parlor trick and teach others how to do it. But some of them wanted to stare really hard, which never works. Seeing auras is a gentle, passive thing, more about allowing than forcing.
     Which brings me back to Christmas and how much better it would be if we would soften our focus on those who tend to drive us nuts. Our entire life experience is a matter of perspective. Sometimes, just the slightest shift can reveal magic and wonder we never knew was there. Or, if you can't imagine that, know that you can at least blur out the flaws for a few hours. Think old Hollywood, Lana Turner and  Bette Davis glowing ethereally behind a camera lens covered by a scarf or smeared with Vaseline. Or think diversion. Instead of focusing on your cousin's hairy mole, try giving your attention to that weird laugh of hers that always made you laugh with her. Catch Uncle Jeeter before he grabs the knife and get him to tell some of his funny stories  about the years he spent in the nudist colony.
     Just don't let him take his clothes off.
     Good luck and Merry Christmas. 

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