How to Have Your Dream Family | Handel Group | Handel Group

Lauren Zander's new book

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How to Have Your Dream Family


I went on one of my favorite vacations two summers ago: my mom, my dad, my step-mom, and my in-laws all shared a house with me, my husband and my daughters. It doesn’t even matter that we went somewhere fun, where we watched sunsets from a boat and shared meals that we took turns preparing (though that was all amazing).

What matters is that this really was a dream come true for me.

But, I didn’t always have a dream about my family that looked that way. In fact, I specifically remember having a mini-panic attack about 11 years ago thinking that all my family members were going to be “forced” to be together when my husband and I got married. I was convinced that it wasn’t going to go well. How could all these people be together, in the same room, for one night?? I couldn’t imagine that, much less a week together! You see, I had made up in my own mind that people would be uncomfortable, that nothing would go right, and the whole thing would blow up.

That summer vacation is proof of how far I have come since I starting coaching. When you are in coaching, you not only deal with your dreams as a start, but you also begin to deal with your “why-nots,” as in, “Why CAN’T you have your dream?” My “why nots” were based on theories that I had about “how life works.” For example, even though I never articulated it, I definitely had the theory that “divorced people don”t get along.” And one that went “when your parents are divorced, you’ll never be together on the holidays.” In this case, I had already predetermined that family vacations and holidays were never going to happen because I had made up everyone’s responses, based on my theories, before I even asked anyone if they would come or how they felt about it.

Over the course of my coaching, I used the Handel Method to call out my “why-nots” so that I could begin to design and take action toward the family dream that included having my family members together for Thanksgiving, birthday party weekends, and vacations. This process included (and still includes) telling the truth about my dream, designing how things will work, admitting what a chicken I can be, having awkward conversations, making sure that I understand people’s needs and wishes, and compromising. Along the way, I get to write and experience new theories and negate those old ones. I am on a mission to have my daughters not even relate to “divorce” and “in laws” in my old way – instead I want it to be a no-brainer that the people who love you most are all together on special occasions. That”s MY design.

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So, like with any area of life, I challenge you to start by writing out a dream about your family. There’s no time like now to start to dream about how you want to spend the upcoming holidays! I challenge you to start to call out how your own thinking gets in the way of having that dream. What actions or conversations are you NOT willing to entertain because you’ve already decided how they will go? You will begin to see your roadmap for the actions you need to take in order to realize that dream. I promise that even if you get a temporary “no” from some family member you will feel better being back in the driver’s seat of your life, vs. thinking you already know.

Love,
 Angie