Today marks the official start of the holiday season for me. It is the Monday before Thanksgiving and you can feel the festive energy in the air. People are excited for a short work week, over eating, watching football, and spending ALL their money on shit they don't need but are convinced they can't live without (word to the wise- budget your Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday spending). We (me, Drew, Bre and Jamie, the friends we are staying with in Colorado) also watched The Family Stone last night, AKA the best Christmas movie ever; I cry every time! That movie gives me all the holiday feels and makes me want to dress up in over starched shirts with draped bead necklaces like Diane Keaton *sight*. We may or may not have also watched Holiday Inn the night before and How the Grinch Stole Christmas the Sunday before that... What can I say, we are really feeling the holiday spirit.
Years ago, when The Curated Life started I wrote down something I was thankful for every day in November, it kept me sane in a time so filled with transition (having just moved to LA). This year I find myself in a similar position. Thanksgiving is approaching and my life is completely untethered from the usual routines and rituals which have kept me grounded in the past. If I am not careful, if I loose myself in the sea of unknowns, the untethering can feel over whelming. And so, in this moment, when life threatens to pull me away from my self I will take a deep breath and choose to remain present and in my body.
Making a gratitude list, writing down the more contended points in your life, writing what you are thankful for, may seem a bit antiquated or inauthentic when you begin, but I can promise you that by the end you will feel a wee bit better about things.
Today I am thankful for...
The cold mountain air.
Seeing snow fall lazily from the sky last week.
Good coffee and beautiful coffee shops.
Fires in the fireplace, crackling and popping merrily.
Good wine... really feeling the reds atm.
Being in Denver/Boulder for the last few days.
Going into the mountains (thankful we didn't die or get stuck in a snow drift).
God, the Divine force in the universe, providing, being present (even when we don't feel it).
The air filling my lungs.
The clatter of the coffee shop wrapping around me- a familiar clatter of ambient noise and distant conversation.
Thrifting- v into it rn.
Beauty- in all things. The face of the older woman across from me. The mountains outside the window. The laughter of the little girl enamored with the world around her.
There are ways of living, like great rivers, we are pulled into their flow. Some times the waters are slow and easy, at other points they are unsettled, full of debris and danger. During this holiday season may you choose the quieter river, may your heart be merry and light. May you not be anxious about all the 'to-dos' and other debris that can fall into your flow.
Today, in this moment, I must choose ease, I must choose gratitude, the debris of disatisfaction and distraction is looming on the banks of my internal flow. I will choose, to breath in and breath out, listen to the sounds, listen to my heart, inhabit my body. "Never underestimate the power of presence" Rob Bell said that YEARS ago and it has always stuck with me. In a season so focused on presents, perhaps it is better to change your focus and dwell on the presence of those you love- near and far- and the presence of being in (and within) yourself.