Happy Holidays!

It was my intention to write a new article this week for December’s newsletter. I had the topic all picked out and have been thinking and preparing for my writing. But as I sit here watching my kids play in the backyard, running around with the dogs with general pre-Christmas glee, I’ve changed my mind.

 Now that the time for writing has arrived, I’ve decided to follow my own advice I’ve given to so many parents this month. Put away the computer, and spend time with your kids this holiday break. So rather than spend half a day writing, I’m re-sending my holiday message from last year and going outside to play.

 Much love to you and your sweet families this holiday season. I wish you lots of fun, snuggles, laughter, and days full of pj’s and fuzzy socks.

 ”I Forgot to Remember”

When my daughter was younger she used this phrase during her “a-ha!” moments. I thought it was adorable then, but as I’ve reflected on family and the holidays over the past week preparing for this newsletter, I was struck by the truth in this statement.

It amazes me the ease with which mindlessness creeps into our daily lives….how quickly we can move from feeling enlightened and inspired and connected to “normal.”

Some of us do a better job of maintaining perspective than others, but for those of us who aren’t practicing daily meditation or hungrily reading self-help books it can be a challenge to stay connected and purposeful in our relationships and in our work.

The truth is, it often takes a wake-up call to get us there. Whether that be a terrible tantrum, a terribly close call, or a terrible tragedy. Shifting from mindless to conscious never comes faster or with more ease than these moments where life challenges us to be brave and open our vulnerable hearts to the world.

These wake-up calls bring us feelings of overwhelming, heart-bursting gratitude for our loved ones and the beauty in this world…and are always accompanied by the tentativeness of it all, the vulnerability we all share, the fear of loss. That feeling is connection, in its purest form.

True connection can feel scary, because it acknowledges the deepest needs we have for each other…those we keep protected, hidden from view.

But it’s this connection that charges our life, brings us the greatest joy, fills us with a richness of heart that defines the vitality we’re all seeking.

So the challenge for all of us is to create our own wake-up calls. Whether that be from gratitude exercises, meditation, check-ins with a friend or partner, or seeking some other source of support that keeps us present.

As we move into the holidays, let’s all be aware of the copious amount of “moments’ we have at our disposal with our friends and loved ones over the next few weeks.

And for those of you who will carry an ache in your heart and be painfully present to not having those moments with a loved one you’ll be missing this holiday, let those who love you in….and open your heart to them. There’s comfort and healing there for you.

 And as we all move into this holiday season, let’s not “forget to remember.” Let’s bring presence, not just presents, to our families…because connection, presence, and generosity of love are truly the best gifts of all.

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