Just a reminder …
If you know me I’m not a big fan of holidays, and Christmas just about does me in .. I do like Thanksgiving, because it’s about gratitude. And (hopefully) reflecting on all we have and all we have to give. Not about unnecessary gift giving. Believe it or not I even enjoy hosting Thanksgiving (every few years ;)) although it is far from a Norman Rockwell painting. It’s more like everyone come (even though our house is small, certainly no formal dinning room). Bring one & all! One of my best memories is having one of the young coaches from my son’s football team, he was so thankful for the invite he pulled me aside to say “thank you so much for having me, my mom wanted me to give you a hug from her because she was so sad that I might be alone”. ☺️ Every Thanksgiving I have at least one major cooking mishap … like the year the turkey was cooking so slowly because the boiler pan that comes with the oven was on the lower rack so the heat wasn’t reaching the turkey! That’s how little I cook I didn’t even know it was there 🙄! We were supposed to eat at 5p, the turkey wasn’t ready until 10p 😮. We use our nice dishes, crystal etc. but I’m not embarrassed to admit that come dessert the paper plates and paper napkins come out! No more dishes please!!!
Leading up to Thanksgiving & Christmas all I can think about (along with the dishes 😉) is how lucky I am to have my health, my family, my friends, my cozy little house on the hill, the change of seasons, the sun, the moon, the stars, the trees, the mountains, the ocean (when I’m lucky enough to go) and of course my babies …
I am grateful for my limits
that teach me patience and pace
I am grateful for challenge, defeat, and loss
They teach me hope is not a light at the end of the dark tunnel
It’s the ember burning within me that I forgot to fan
I am grateful to my teachers
for introducing me to myself
I am grateful for my past
that has delivered me to my present
I am grateful for all I have found and all I have lost
Both remind me I can live with and without
I am grateful for silence and for laughter
And for my ears that can hear both
I am grateful to my heart
that beats and breaks and heals
I am grateful for the fullness of my life
For the brief, heartbreaking, heartwarming fullness of life.
— Jeannie Manchester
I can’t not mention that we should all be sending good thoughts, wishes, hopes & prayers to all the people suffering the horrible fires in California … and for all those suffering in the world.
Perhaps take some time during the holidays while enjoying time off with your family to discuss how your family would like to give this holiday season, whether it’s a donation to a cause you all feel strongly about, or “adopting” a family, or volunteering. I have a personal request, my dear friend (and first babysitter) Susannah, her husband is fighting colon cancer and is unable to work and they have two small girls. If you would like to help the donation request is below 🙏.
“The Santamarias remain grateful and moved by your support, prayers, and financial help. If you missed their Go Fund Me campaign, here is the site where you can help them. They are continually in awe of all of you, their friends and family, for your loving support through this time. Thank you for loving our friends well.”
In yoga we often end class with the mantra “may all being be free from suffering and may all beings benefit from the merits of our practice”. And by “practice” it doesn’t mean the asana (movement) practice of yoga but the love & kindness that contemplative movement & meditation hopefully bring, inspire & transpire into your actions with others and the world around you.
Let’s all remember this holiday season what it is REALLY about:
Thanks & Giving
In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices. Elizabeth Gilbert