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Holiday Cheers or Holiday Tears?

"During this time of giving, we should not place too much importance on material gifts; it’s our thoughts, words, and deeds that count. Sincere expressions of appreciation, praise, thanks, and an unexpected helping hand can be the most treasured gifts of all." —Reverend Earl Ikeda, “O Bodhi Tree, O Bodhi Tree”

Holiday Cheers or Holiday Tears? I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving in whatever way you chose to mark the day. Our little family of four was home and we made a traditional dinner, took a walk, and watched some funny movies. The day was oddly quiet, missing our usual noisy gatherings with friends and family, but I was grateful to have the four of us together and healthy. The holiday season of December will certainly be different this year. My usual norm of shopping, parties, and decorating for gatherings will change to adhere to health and wellness for our world. The noise, hustle, and bustle will be quieter and I will miss that part of my traditional holiday cheer. So I ask you this important question: Without the flurry of activity and distractions what is left? Listen to your heart. Perhaps this is the year we let go of our ideal expectations for the perfect holiday. Look into the quiet and find gratitude. The small things, the things that truly matter; our health, our loved ones, and what we can see and smell in the world around us. I encourage you to take the time to examine the quietude this year is offering. What small gifts has it shown you? Turn those thoughts into self-care by savoring the precious moments and feelings you notice. Let this internal joy bring celebration and gratitude into your mind even if they are fleeting. This year will be different but perhaps that is okay. Maybe this year instead of sending 100 holiday cards or flitting from party to party, we stop and sincerely appreciate and thank the persons who make you laugh or offer friendship with a handwritten note. Maybe this is the year you anonymously offer joy by paying it forward for someone who is food disadvantaged or quietly struggling. Do not dismiss this year but embrace it. Celebrate what you have and whom you love. Find your connections to your people through small gestures, video conferencing, texts of support, or a phone call. Admire the light brought to our neighborhoods during the dark season knowing that there is a whole community of persons out there stringing lights on eaves and trees who are also finding gratitude in the small things. This year may be different, but we still have cause for celebration. If you need help remembering what they might be I am always here to help you. Please reach out if you need some guidance. My training, classes, and life cause is to help you find peace of mind in your life. With a heart full of gratitude for all of you, Linette

Where I See Joy * Lights on my neighbors houses. * The birds eating from my feeder. * A bite of really good chocolate. * My sons tousled hair in the morning. * Deer grazing in my backyard. * Sipping wine by the fire with my hubby. * Smelling the cookies I am baking to to take to a friend. * Dropping a donation off at The Giving Tree. * Watching a toddler gaze in awe at a holiday display. * Thinking of you reading this list.

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