Happy Thanksgiving: Celebrating the Seasons of Life!

The Sun Coming Up

The Sun Coming Up – Thanksgiving Morning 2014

The sun came up over my backyard white weather-worn board on board fence welcoming the day.  A cool 55 and breezy for those of us in the Broward-Dade locale. Today is Thanksgiving. Traditionally a holiday of family, food and lol–football. For many a tradition that includes Macy’s parade, whether viewing from the living room television screen or huddled on the street watching large balloon characters & turkeys tethered by ropes, colorful marching bands in their best regalia, high kicking Rockettes and ornate elaborate extravagant floats, all symbols of things we have grown up with and love. Tradition. It is all around us. We love it. We live by it, and we look forward to ‘ours’ each year. Right? But what happens when we don’t fit in to the likeness or painted image imprinted in our minds-eye?

If change is the “new normal” and it’s affecting all parts of our lives, then I guess we should expect our holidays to take on a new look and feel. However most of us have strong resistance to change. The memorable Norman Rockwell painting has all but vanished in most nuclear families. We live and work in all parts of the globe; not everyone can always “get home.” Family dynamics change through divorce, death, marriages or downsizing. Sometimes the next in-line no longer desires to carry on the family tradition, refusing to pick up where Mom left off.

Cheers, Friends, Seinfeld, Mash  sitcoms or the Star Trek series Next Generation helped visibility demonstrate family doesn’t necessarily stay confined to those in our biological circles.  As dysfunctional as the characters were at times, they cared about each other in times of need; mimicking life? Far truer and closer to our reality than we probably realize.  If, TV parrots life: Modern Family represents a new example, would you not agree?  Holidays, like life, evolve the way our life does. It may begin the years we’re in the dorm at school, in a particular neighborhood,  or within a close circle of friends.  Life just happens. The evolution is simply where we are in the moment writing our script in own personal movie–or sitcom. My own life and family looked very different 15 years–or even 30 years ago than today, and completely different than growing up.  I would say in a much better, and healthier view of the world.

I am meeting friends at one of my favorite restaurants, in walking distance from my home, near the ocean. I will talk to my boys–now 26 and almost 30 on the phone who live thousands of miles from each other, and from Florida. I will make a call to Seattle and talk to my parents, divorced, but still living and touch bases with my siblings. I will send and receive Thanksgiving texts and talk some more on the phone, and visit nearby friends, but mostly I will enjoy the day. I refuse to dwell in ‘what could or should have been’ and simply enjoy the moment and company of others–laughing, sharing stories and having gratitude for today.  Creating new traditions again. It is a no-muss, no-fuss kind of year. What is important is embracing our life NOW and enjoying what is.

We are always at choice point. I encourage you to create something new and different. Reach out to someone less fortunate. Play golf, do something that you enjoy. Perhaps, take in a movie. Each Holiday has looked very different in the last 10 years and I am okay with that–in fact embracing what comes in an adventurous–let it unfold kind of way; expectations gone.  Be mindful, our holidays and our tradition can always look a number of ways. Be happy where you are right now, evolve the way your life evolves. Next year will be different.  When the artist begins with the blank canvas he or she is in the process of creation. Be the artist.   Choose the colors you love.  Paint your portrait with any colors; joy is all that is required.  Use pastels, watercolors or oil. Use your fingers, sponges or a brush. Metaphors for the seasons of our life. Create something beautiful with what you have today.  I plan to and so can you!  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Happy-Thanksgiving

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Just Saying . . . Can We Put Down Our Sword for Peace?

Love and RelationshipsConflict: It’s all around us. How do we have peace in our world, unless we begin with our own family, friends, co-workers, clan, village or tribe?  It must begin with us at the simplest and yet most difficult place- our own lives; within our self.  Peace lies at the heart and foundation of our health and well-being; emotion and disease are closely related.

We must remember it is our commonality-not our differences that we must choose to see.   Bringing conflict to our awareness is necessary as we head full steam ahead into the holiday season; a difficult time of year for so many.  But, does it have to be? Can we unlearn and re-write our past? I believe it is not only possible, but with intention we can and will get there.

What if we could listen and did not judge or try to solve each other’s “problems’?  Instead, coming from a place of compassion and tolerance when the one sitting across from you is negative and in pain?  Are several hours of empathy too much to ask? Perhaps watching a favorite game on television or taking a walk together?  A practice of one small act?

And what does this mean for the macrocosm of our world that is also our home? We hold out the elusive word “peace” like an obnoxious red neon sign in an all-night diner which glows and blinks in the clear glass window every day, but I ask you, how can we wish peace for the world, when are at war-at odds-or have such anger towards a father, mother, brother, sister or ex-spouse or at ourselves?

Is it the expectations that we place upon others?  The imaginary fairy tale

running in our head we believe as truth and resist with our will and ego never to let go?  Does the anger and hate of another caused by abuse, violence, neglect  or our limiting beliefs of what “should be” restrict and severs this peace and love? Is it the emptiness in ourselves that scares us most or a mirror we hold reflect where the biggest challenge lies?  Always within.

As we move into the holiday season, I would challenge you to look at the most difficult person in your life through a different filter and lens.  Are you able to do such a thing?  Just as a photographer make decisions shooting a photograph.  When you change your lens, the lighting or the background, the photograph will appear much different; there can be no other outcome.  The outcome for you will be different too.We must start within our own hearts and own families-our toughest lesson, right?  And, if we can move there-even if first to a place to neutrality-we not only change ourselves, but we change the world.  (Two + Two only equal four when the two is ready.) Are you ready to be that two-the “two” of change?  When we move from our need to be right (beliefs) into gratitude, and then to love everything changes.  Because, in the end, love is all there is.  Just saying . . . it’s up to us. “Inspired Wellness Within”~Cathy, HC

 

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