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Viviana Gesyuk

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The Silent Stress of the Holidays

Thanksgiving is coming up... I've noticed that this time of the year "feels like" it gets faster and faster, fuller and fuller. It's almost as if I’m not wanting to really acknowledge the holidays are almost here, part of me is saying, “WAIT, I’m not ready yet”. Ready for what?, I’m asking myself now.

For me the holidays bring memories of sweet family gatherings, Thanksgiving for my mom’s side of the family is the biggest celebration. As long as I can remember we’ve gathered in LA, Seattle, or here in Berkeley... all 20 or so of us coming together like clockwork to celebrate our family, our togetherness, our traditions, our oneness, our belonging. For me, when the holidays approach typically it hasn’t brought up a feeling of a challenge or cause of stress. And it has been a time of our annual family check in, taking stock of where we have come, what we’ve gained, and what we’ve lost, noticing what has changed. The silent challenge is when we show up in a way that doesn’t fit the norm of the family we are set up to feel that we don’t belong. It’s just human nature. Belonging is something we hold onto more dearly than our safety. It’s human nature to fight for our belonging as history shows us through war. So when to belong to your family means you must be a certain way, showing up in a different way consciously or unconsciously there is a threat to your own belonging.

This is when we often hide from who we really are in the moment and may regress back to the 5, 9, 12, or 16 year old that once lived with their parents. This is when we notice the old fights coming back. Some of that regression is fun, like having mom take care of you, but for some the regression can be a painful experience of not taking care of your own needs, or not truly being yourself. Showing up embodying the person you are in the moment can take courage if it means not being like who your family expects you to be. And it’s a great eye opening experience if you’ve ever tried it. With the right resources and support it can be an experience that can lead to opening ways of being with your family beyond what you thought was possible. New fuller ways to connect with your loved ones that in turn may give them permission to do the same.

When I first sat down to write this article, I was in a bit of denial that I had any stresses to worry about for the holidays myself. But I can now think back to times I didn’t feel safe to fully express the current me, there was a definite fear of being judged. This year, I’ve gotten in touch with the sadness of the fact that this year my whole lovely family isn’t gathering. My family is in transition, my grandparents are getting older and not able to afford helping all of the family with travel costs, my cousin just got married and has a new family to meet and create new traditions with. And the tradition that I've experienced for my whole life is silently fading. There is sadness here. Taking the time now to really feel into that gives me the opportunity to plan for a thanksgiving day that is fuller, more consciously present to what is. There is a tendency to stay busy to ignore the harder feelings. So I take this time to take stock now, before the holidays, asking myself these questions....

What am I letting of?

What do I want to bring in?

How can I experience the holidays that honors who I am today and honors my family who they are today?

What can I harvest from these questions?

I’m excited to give myself this gift of nurturing what is best for myself and family.
How about you? Would you like more resources for more ease and grace in your family connections?
I invite you to take the time to ask these questions of yourself. I also I invite you to gather next weekend with in heartfelt community for a wonderful three day restorative retreat, “Harvesting Gratitude"(November 21-23). Get present and conscious to your needs around the holidays and soak up the self and community nurture that will be surrounding you.

Don’t consider the holidays stressful? Would you enjoy a fuller, richer, more depthful celebration and connection with yourself and loved ones? Would you enjoy connecting with amazing facilitators and like-minded community for personal growth and a restorative weekend in nature?

If this sounds good, you can get more info or Register Here:

In love,

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Get Nurtured and Ready for the Holidays: Are the holidays stressful for you? Do family gatherings bring up anxiety? I invite you to join us for the Harvesting Gratitude Retreat coming up November 21st-23rd with, Tahil Gesyuk, Scott Catamas and Emily Orum.
Give yourself the gift of restoring yourself in time for holiday family gatherings. This will be a restorative, healing, and highly experiential weekend full of simple and powerful tools for navigating the stresses of the holidays.
You can save money by registering by Nov. 10th Here:
Come to one or all three days of restoration and experiential learning in a gorgeous wooded estate just an hour south of SF.
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It's the time of year again, holidays approaching, does that stress you out? We've prepared a wonderful relaxing way for you to connect with community, restore, and gather some amazing tools for navigating the holidays. 
 - Are family gatherings and the holidays a source of tension for you?

- Are you or loved ones repeatedly triggered into old patterns and arguments and would love to learn tools for breaking through them?

- Do you want to improve your body-mind-spirit connection?
- Do you want more tools for self-healing & management of stress?

- Can you imagine having more energy and compassion approaching the holidays if you gave your self restorative weekend retreat first?
Relax into the peace and joy of a loving community, gorgeous location, and abundant resources for self-nurture and experiential learning. In renewing your body, mind and spirit, You will be filled and ready to give back to your friends and loved ones...
For this unique retreat, we have four talented facilitators coming together, to offer our best tools and practices.  We will be at a gorgeous estate with amenities including a wood sauna, hot tub, sun deck, pool and immediate access to a redwood forest.  You will gather resources for nurture and navigation of the holiday season. 
In this deep dive of experiential learning you will...

Explore and understand how your and your other's trauma triggers work

Practice Compassionate Communication to ride the tricky conversations and holiday triggers with more ease and grace

Connect to Source, Self, and Others through powerful practices of sound healing and meditation practices

Release Outdated beliefs and patterns and Bring in & Affirm What YOU Want!

Release body tension from new or old layers of trauma in your body through a combination of Yoga, Tai Chi, Toning, Sound Healing and
Psycho-somatic Exercises.

Teach your body to let go of tension as a natural impulse

Express your Authenticity & Truth with community support and witnessing 

Don't forget to Register here! >>
Our team includes Viviana Lahrs, Tahil Gesyuk, Emily Orum and Scott Catamas.  You will also have plenty of time to enjoy the retreat location and to integrate your learnings with...

*Spacious and comfy areas for lounging and connecting
*Relax by the pool and generous decks with gorgeous wooded views
*Optional nurturing and fun group evening activities including: Authentic *Expression Forum, Biodanza, Cuddle Yoga Sutra, and/or massage jams
*Evening star-gazing and Saunas
*Schedule private session(s) with the preferred facilitator of your choice! 
Save the dates: November 21-23!  This Event will sell out. 
Register early! >>

When: Friday, Nov. 21 from 10 AM thru Sunday, Nov. 23 7 PM

 People can attend for one, two or all three days
Where: Peaceful Retreat Estate, Woodside, CA
 (20 miles south of San Francisco Airport)

Excited to be gathering with such loving and talented facilitators AND the beautiful nurturing retreat program that's being offered!
In love and connection,

Tahil and Viviana
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Buddies at Urban Adanah
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