It is my wish for you, my patients, friends and colleagues, that you are able to enjoy this holiday season with health and self-care. The culture we live in places a special emphasis on the time between Thanksgiving and New Years. It can often feel packed, stressful, exciting, busy, commercial, demanding, magical, marginalizing or any combination of these! Perhaps even all of these! (Just a quick shout out about the revisionist origins of Thanksgiving: this a great time to educate ourselves on the actual history of the holiday and perhaps take a minute to learn more about our Native American friends, family and neighbors.)
However you choose to or not to celebrate this week, there is a lot of emphasis in social media on food. This can be marvelously nourishing or triggering. My wish for you is that you are able to really connect with your body and it's needs. That you are able to just truly enjoy this week without worry, fears or judgement around food. That you are able to just relax and really experience the bounty at the table - that you find plenty at your table this week. I hope you can turn off all the voices that are shouting at us right now to avoid certain foods, to overindulge, to under indulge, to restrict or to live in scarcity mentality if you have plenty, to shop with guilt if you are on assistance, to be with family if it's not right for you, to give if you have more needs than resources to give and so much more.
My wish is that it is a safe time for you to be truly present with your needs. To be able to slow down and listen to your body and your spirit. To take time to yourself if you need it, to eat more if you desire it and to be present with every morsel, to leave early if you want, to express joy with abandon even if not everything is joyful, to grieve openly those who are not with you, to be treated with love and respect.
And if it is a not a safe time for you to be really present with your body or emotions, that you are able to have compassion with yourself. Most of us truly want to treat our friends and family with lovingkindness, my hope is that we can give that same attention to ourselves. That we can witness our needs with kindness and care. Tomorrow is always a new day and sometimes what seems like a failure can actually be an opportunity to healing self-love. I'll share my own secret mantra with you: "May any suffering I encounter (my own or that of others) move through me like water and be transformed into compassion."