Thanksgiving is just around the corner. You can tell because social media is filled with daily gratitude posts and Starbucks is serving both pumpkin spiced lattes and peppermint mochas. I’m on board with all of those things, especially the gratitude. We live in a culture where the focus is often on what we don’t have than what we do have and most of us “struggling” financially in costly Silicon Valley still have more wealth than most of the world. It’s really nice to see the focus shift to appreciation even for just a short time each year.
That said, as we approach the holidays, let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. Staying in a place of gratitude can be really challenging when the responsibility of cooking a huge meal for twelve is solely on your shoulders. Or when you feel obligated to spend thousands of dollars and a ton of sanity flying the family across the country to see the in-laws (as delightful as they may actually be). Or when Aunt Em is demonstrably offended by your vegetarianism as she passes the turkey. (It’s not personal, Aunt Em! Really!) Or your brother who just can’t get enough of telling racist jokes...Or simply just navigating the aftermath of breaking your baby’s routine. Even if you are filled with gratitude, even if you are blessed to be in a family with very little drama, the holidays can bring up all kinds of difficult, crazy emotions.
That’s normal and that’s perfectly ok.
In my own case, it’s my yoga practice that has supported me to get to a better place with these sorts of issues that the holidays bring up. A strong mindfulness practice, knowing how to ground myself- first physically, then emotionally, and recognizing what is known as “maya,” the illusion that distorts our perception of reality, have all helped me to open my heart and enjoy the holidays more than ever. It’s what leads me back to a joyful, abundant state of gratitude.
Like most yoga teachers, I felt called to teach because of the huge impact the practice has had on my own well-being. It has allowed for deeper connections with my partner, my children, my extended family and friends and most profoundly within myself. It’s deeply fulfilling to watch my students actualize these connections in their own lives.
And so I offer up a special Thanksgiving practice on Wednesday, November 22 at 9:00am at Blossom. This class is open to all members of the community- it is NOT specifically pre or postnatal, so it’s a great chance for those of you who have aged out of my other classes to practice with me once again. (Limited childcare is available onsite for a small fee.) We will focus on grounding, heart-opening practices so that we have the tools to tend that elephant in the room on Thanksgiving Day. Find nothing but joy in connecting with family and friends this holiday season! Let your yoga practice be your guide!