Just a friendly reminder… you don’t have to do it all. Yes, I know it’s the holidays and the possibilities to “do” are endless. You can make homemade gifts, homemade cards, and dozens of homemade cookies. You can decorate your house inside and out. You can say “Yes” to every invitation, even two or three in a single evening! You can continue to go to work, run errands, do chores, spend time with loved ones, and add all the holiday expectations on top of that while continuing to have the same 24 hours in a day that you had before the holidays came along. Yes, Dear Susan, you can hustle and bustle the holiday season away… or you can be gentle with yourself and let go. BE.
You imposed the high expectations on yourself and you are the only one who can give permission to lower them. Be realistic, be present in the moment with loved ones, and most importantly, BE.
As Lyn Cox reminded me today, we are human BEINGS not human “doings”. Allow the stillness and tranquility of winter to permeate you. Rest, relax, and rejuvenate for while the daylight is returning, this is the time to go within. Trees lose their leaves and the sap slows. Animals tuck in for long winter naps. You need that, too. BE.
There are a few holidays that we celebrate in the US that don’t resonate with me. Columbus Day, commercialized Christmas, & Thanksgiving. “Thanks Giving” is a great concept; however, our version of it is a bit Euro-centric, to say the least.
I recently discovered a book titled 1621 Thanksgiving: A New Look, published by the National Geographic Society. It caught my eye because it’s so different from the Thanksgiving books I was exposed to as a child. Instead of a group of Pilgrims dominating the cover, this book has a beautiful photo of a Native American woman on the front. It was written by the Plimoth Plantation (that’s how it’s spelled in the book) in collaboration with the Wampanoag Indian Program Advisory Committee. Wow!!! A book about Thanksgiving that Native American people co-wrote. I eagerly devoured the story, confirming that it isn’t the pilgrim-version of Thanksgiving that I want to celebrate… it’s the Wampanoag-version of “Thanks Giving” that speaks to my spirit. Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday; it’s a way of living in gratitude all year long.
I don’t need to wait until the 4th Thursday in November to express gratitude for all those I love dearly, my health, my cozy home, my backyard retreat that nourishes both people & native wildlife, art, Mother Nature, & countless other things that mean so much. My Thanks Giving ritual will occur far more often.
May you have a happy Thanksgiving & many reasons to give thanks every day of the year!