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Leesburg Lifestyle | October 28, 2019 | Article Lauren Giannini

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Holidays tend to run the gamut of great to gruesome, even at Thanksgiving, the traditional celebration of abundance in our lives. We go overboard planning, expect too much and/or prepare too much or not enough so that, of course, the airports are jammed, rental cars are scarce and/or you miss your flight. It takes effort to enjoy any holiday, especially if you’re doing most of the work, but here’s the bottom line: You’re worth whatever it takes so that you not only survive your festivities, but you also thrive on feeling that you truly have enough to celebrate a truly happy Thanksgiving.

Of course, we’re only human. Cindy Battino of Transformational Healing in Middleburg knows all about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to sharing your best self throughout the festive season. A survivor of extreme holidays, she’s experienced in helping people to keep their celebrations as happy as possible.

“Thanksgiving offers a lot of great things. People want to be around family and friends. Good food is a major part of holidays, which inspires people to be in a better frame of mind,” Cindy says. “For all the good things, however, there are the things that can sabotage the joy of the occasion. We tend to drink too much alcohol. We tend to forget how old we are so that when we get back to family situations, we automatically revert into old familial patterns and we act very young.”

A good day is one “when I can manage and overcome every obstacle put in my path with grace.”

You can plan to the nth degree or plan nothing. So many factors can affect the success of your happy holiday, and travel especially is a wild card.

“If we deprive ourselves of sleep and put ourselves into stressful situations—not expecting the unexpected, coping with long lines at the airport, sleeping on an air mattress—we’re going to pay for it,” Cindy says. “No matter how well you prepare, there might be delays, traffic, weather, all sorts of complications, and you have to be ready to deal with the unexpected.”

Holidays are a time of excess in food, drink, and emotion. When families get together, going outside for a walk and fresh air is good for everyone, especially when you have all those people and their energies packed into one house.

Children especially are vulnerable to the energy generated by a holiday.

“I like kids to be kids and to play, instead of sitting in front of DVDs for hours,” Cindy emphasizes. “Make sure they have an appropriate place to let off steam. If there isn’t a suitable yard, take them to the nearest playground.”

The big question is: What expectations do we have for happy holidays? Years ago, Cindy defined a “good day” as one when “everything goes smoothly and I get everything checked off my list,” she recalls. In practice, that didn’t happen very often. Now she defines a “good day” as one “when I can manage and overcome every obstacle put in my path with grace. The hard part is doing it with grace. A day when everything goes smoothly and I check everything off my list is a gift from God—those are the days I really celebrate!”

Thanksgiving fits into this transformational concept of redefining a good day as one in which you handle everything that comes your way with an attitude of gratitude. Everyone can learn to feel more self-confidence and self-worth, celebrate having just enough, and recognize and share their happiness with others. More goal-oriented people who find it tough to reframe their thinking may well need a happiness coach like Cindy.

“I’m a nudge; that’s why I love being a coach,” Cindy says.

“There are all sorts of ways of finding happiness in your life. But people have lots of great reasons why they’re where they are. Often, it’s fear of the unknown, and that’s where someone like me can help people to get unstuck. I teach relationship skills, how to speak your truth, how to communicate. I help by instilling self-confidence, helping you get to know yourself including what your fears are, what makes you happy—in short, understanding what makes you tick.

“You have to do the work,” she adds. “It’s easier than you think, and the rewards are harvested all year round, not just on holidays like Thanksgiving. People always say happiness is priceless, but so many stay stuck. Trust me when I tell you that the rewards you will harvest far outweigh the cost. You are so worth the effort.”