Tips for Wonderful “Learner Holidays”

Marilee Adams

Dec 16, 2013

The holidays are fully upon us! They can be both wonderful and challenging – a recipe with ingredients of joy mixed with stress.  With our families—or even old friends– have you ever marveled that no matter how much progress you’ve made in your life, old patterns tend to mysteriously resurface during the holidays? This happens even with our best intentions to behave differently!

What can we do to transform our experiences of the holidays so they really are wonderful and full of good spirit? How about some “mindset preparation?”  We prepare travel arrangements. We prepare food.  We prepare gifts.  Why not prepare to have a “Learner Mindset” holiday?


Here are some tips that can make a real difference—ways to use the Choice Map and some questions to ask yourself.

The main tip involves the Choice Map. Either keep one handy or better yet, memorize it so you can picture it any place and any time you want. Then, during any interaction you can picture the Choice Map and wonder:

  • Am I on the Learner mindset path or the Judger mindset path right now with this person or situation?
  • Where would I like to be, both for myself and for the other person(s)?
  • How can I get there—and make this good for all of us?
  • Am I listening with Learner ears or Judger ears?
  • What Switching questions would help?
  • What humor and good will can I bring to this interaction?
  • Who do I choose to be—moment by moment—with this person or situation?


Here are some other questions to ask yourself to help prepare and actually accomplish having holiday experiences with family or even at work that are positive and fulfilling:

  • What would the most wonderful holiday experience with my family and/or friends look like and feel like? What specific experiences and interactions would make me the happiest?
  • How can I make the holidays a time of genuine gratitude and connection?
  • What old patterns do I want to change that would be good for me and others too?
  • What might family members or friends say or do that would trigger my Judger mindset?
  • What Switching questions can I ask myself to keep returning to Learner mindset?
  • For each person who might trigger my Judger mindset: What do I appreciate most about him/her? What compassion can I bring to them and to myself?
  • Whom do I want to acknowledge, forgive, or just authentically share more of myself with?
  • What relationships do I want to deepen and strengthen? How can I summon the courage and willingness to do this? What rich rewards can this bring to us all?
  • What kind of support do I need to fulfill these kinds of intentions?

Since you know yourself and the people in your life better than anyone, what questions can you add here that could make the most difference for you personally? I suggest “brainstorming” some questions to ask yourself to prepare for a “Learner holiday?” Make   this list as long a list as you can. A few of these questions could actually turn out to be transformational for you and those around you.
We’d love to hear from you how you used these tips, what questions you asked yourself and what happened.

We wish you a warm and wonderful holiday filled with love, gratitude and appreciation.

– Marilee  and the Inquiry Institute Team

Written by:

Marilee Adams

Dec 16, 2013