It was a beautiful Sunday at home, a house warmed and decorated for the holidays. I began to look about the kitchen cabinets in search of some readily available ingredients in order to create the impossible meal that is rich in protein, low in fat, high and fiber and pleasing to our taste “bugs,” as my six year old calls them. I find myself pausing and temporarily ditching my scavenger efforts and begin scrolling through Facebook.

During my absent-minded scrolling and sprinklings of “likes” I scroll past and back up to what appeared to be a support fund for someone that looks very familiar. Dreadfully, I discovered it was in fact the person I thought it was initially. How can this be? He and my husband were quickly establishing a solid friendship and making plans to travel internationally together. My heart sank. I was also stricken with the painful reminder that this month (December) marks one year since my cousin and friend’s husband passed away, both unexpectedly and prematurely.

A day later (Monday) I find myself contemplating a meme that I saw recently “enjoy this season and count your blessings because not everyone will make it to the end of this year.” At first it seemed, to me, to be a bit abrupt but then I found myself mulling over its meaning. We all know that the holiday season can be trying and people might experience tumultuous behaviors, find themselves working long hours, possible financial woes, tempers might be flaring, triggers might be happening and what’s worse, potential damage to our relationships both personally and professionally.

I believe that I am not alone in sharing the desire to experience a peaceful and joyful holiday season and prevent or rid myself of any negative interactions, yet I know that’s not always possible. So how do we deal with holiday headaches and hardships and still make room to feel joy? 

Well, for one, we can certainly remember that….“behind every complaint is a disappointed high dream,” now you might be wondering, well what does that mean?  Occasionally, we are in the process of “dreaming”/hoping for something or, fearing the worst…sometimes this is caused by people dealing with external conflicts outside of the system you share…perhaps at work, at home, a committee, a club, etc.

Here are a few examples of dreaming:


High Dream:  I would love to take two weeks PTO at the end of this year.

Low Dream:  I won’t be able to take additional time off due to year end goals and agendas

If I unfold this, I can recognize that, by delegating tasks and work-loads (and possibly even asking for forgiveness ahead of time) that I might be able to take a few days off of work at the end of the year and as a result I will return to work with my batteries charged and my creative juices flowing.


High Dream:  I would love to take my family to Hawaii and enjoy a Hawaiian holiday “Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day,” feel free to share this dream with me!

Low Dream:  Due to budget constraints I will not be able to take a family trip this year for the holidays.

Again, If I use unfolding techniques, I can recognize that I might, and should be able to plan, in the new year, a trip to visit the islands in 2020 and then I have something to look forward to all year long.

So…what did I discover? What is possible from here? 

Relationships are inherently creative — they produce something; even my relationship with self. Sometimes I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom take it (quickly, name that classic novel) but what I just did was simple and reassuring and instantly made me feel lighter about myself, my decisions, my actions and my approach to the holidays.  So, when you anticipate that conflict might arise with a colleague, co-parent, co-founder or co-coach, or like in my case yourself, you might find it helpful to get curious about their dreams.  High Dream/Low Dream is a solid tool that supports me in making relationships inherently meaningful.


Amanda Perales
CRR Global Staff Member

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