Reprogramming for the Holidays

Most of us are aware of the programming we've received throughout our lives. Various messages embedded into our psyche about how the world should work and how we should be. We grow up and discover these messages, their roots, their depth, and we work towards rebooting, redesigning, and reprogramming ourselves.


Part of me dreads Christmas. It’s a holiday filled with triggers, and the buttons of my deepest programming are set off. Another part of me is thankful for this time, as it forces these yet to be faced programs to surface. During the holiday season, I fondly think of the honest and funny quote from one of my greatest teachers, Ram Dass –

“If you think you’re enlightened, spend a week with your family.”
Ram Dass, once known as Richard Alpert, author of Be Here Now, Be Love Now, and others.

To prevent myself from slipping into my judgmental programming, I remind myself of truths such as this. We are blessed to have our family, not for the more obvious reasons of love, support, comradery, and sense of belonging, but also because the ultimate button-pushing-trigger-happy human beings in your life are those closest to you. And they don’t even know it most of the time. That’s why it’s so beautiful! And depending on your bend, hysterically funny!


More words of wisdom from Ram Dass come to mind when attempting to find the blessing in your button being jammed in at Christmas dinner –

“When you know how to listen, everybody is the guru, speaking to you, it’s right here…always.”

Ram Dass at the foot of his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, also known to his followers as Maharaj-ji

There’s not much wiggle room with the word always. No ifs, ands, or buts about it people, they are all gurus speaking to you right now. But can you hear the message? Can you sift past your emotional reactions, overwhelming thoughts, deep set programming, and find the guru’s words? No, it’s not easy. If it was we would all be enlightened, flying around, reading each other’s minds, and bored with this existence. We are not masters of this reality. Nor have we yet mastered our human predicament. And that’s why it’s all so interesting, the known, the mysterious, all of it! So when you’re debating if this is the holiday season you'll finally reach over and strangle that loved one, call upon Ram Dass’s infinite wisdom. Laugh at how ridiculous these buttons and programs are, and love how fortunate we are for having family, for having these souls travel this journey along our side and challenge us to continue growing. Leaving you with one more quote from Dass to contemplate as you enjoy any remaining days with those who may push your buttons –

“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.”
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© 2020 by Amanda Catherine Yoga