November is one of my favorite months of the year. The light looks different to me, there is a closeness and coziness that shifts in, and I become even more present to how my year has been, what I have created, what I have let go, and my gratitude for it all. Plus, I love to entertain and throw a good party, so Thanksgiving Day is right up my alley!
While I’m very excited to spend the day with friends and family, my inner child is most excited about the sweet potatoes.
Earlier this year, I sprouted organic sweet potatoes and planted them in my garden. They have gone absolutely wild, and have produced large, sweet roots ready to harvest. I’ll be digging them up and serving them with our meal farm- eh, backyard-to-table style.
And then there are the “WTF” moments.
There will be wine, turkey (well, tofu actually – I’ve been a vegetarian since 2012), and family.
But really I mean the inner WTFs.
You know, those moments when our perfect teachers show up for dinner and point out the inner work that we still have an opportunity to handle.
I once saw a cartoon of a Buddhist Monk and his Guru sitting on a mountaintop. The Guru said “You have one final test on your path to spiritual enlightenment.” The next frame shows the monk with a total look of despair on his face as he is surrounded by the chaos of drunk, judging, yelling family members at Thanksgiving dinner. It’s funny because it’s true. And it’s perfect because it reflects to us our opportunities to learn and grow.
Practice Self-Care amidst Chaos
Here are a few tips to support you in practicing self-care throughout the holidays – “E.A.T.”:
- E – Embrace your limits. Need a breather? Politely excuse yourself for a bit of quiet time. Even 5 minutes of alone time to re-center can bring things back into perspective about what is true for you.
- A – Ask for or offer help. Hosting can be stressful, and sometimes in our act of loving and wanting to serve, we may forget the gift of receiving. Ask for help and delegate tasks. If you’ve been invited to someone’s home, offer to help. If your hosts need it, they will most likely rejoice in accepting your offer. And you get to be in service, which is wonderful.
- T – Try to look for the humor. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously. One of my favorite quotes is “If it’s funny later, it’s funny now” (John-Roger). Take a tiny opportunity to look into the future and imagine yourself telling the story while surrounded by people hysteric with laughter. Then, bring that humor into the present moment. It will diffuse any negative perceptions of the situation and invite in grace and loving.
Whether you’ll be enjoying wine or water, turkey or tofu, or family, friends, or fur-babies, I’m wishing you a love-filled Thanksgiving season. Do or create something that brings your inner child joy. I’ll be harvesting sweet potatoes…