I just wanted to send a heartfelt thank you for being a part of my world. Either directly or indirectly, I want to thank you for opening my newsletters, coming to my classes, joining me in meditation classes, and cheering me on as I learn, grow and teach. Thinking about what I am grateful for, I am astonished at how many things both big (food on my table) to small (the beautiful Fall leaves). Equally as important is how important you are, and all the other people in my life, who care deeply about life and mental health, just like me.
Thanksgiving Day is just 2 days away. Many people might be dreading the people they will spend time with, the political differences that might show up, and all the family "stuff" that just seems to linger. Some might be completely stressed about entertaining, the perfect recipes, table decorations, how clean the house is, what to wear. There are people out there who won't have the same amount of food on the table, if any.
I was recently introduced to a book called The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker. What perfect timing just before Thanksgiving. Though I haven't yet read the book, I listened to her podcast which I'll post below. It was so incredibly inspiring. In the opening of her book it reads...
"(Priya) argues that gatherings in our lives are lackluster and unproductive - which they don't have to be. We rely too much on routine and the conventions of gatherings when we should focus in distinctiveness and the people involved. At a time when coming together is more important than ever, Parker sets forth a human-centered approach to gathering that will help everyone create meaningful, memorable experiences, large and small, for work and for play."
She further states that a gathering is when 3 or more people come together. It can be a home gathering, work gathering, or even just being at a grocery store. It's the intention of how you want to connect that makes the biggest difference, it's a mindset and mindshift.
This year, I've set an intention to gather my family for connection and belonging. My table isn't decorated, my house is clean enough, the menu simple, the time together will be the focus. I want to listen more than speak, hug, and let every person know that they belong and are welcome. None of it feels stressful, as it has in past years.
With that, I want to wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving, if you celebrate! If you don't, remember the next time you plan to "gather" with a group of 3 or more anywhere, your intention of being there is where the magic happens.
Here's the link to the podcast. It's about an hour so listen on the road, while cooking, or just laying on the couch giving yourself time to relax.
All my love to you and yours,