Dear friends, with the passing of another year, you and I are offered the gift of a fresh start, a new chapter in the book of life.
In hopes to gain a clearer vision for the year ahead, I have been deeply reflecting on 2021, feeling into the challenges that have filled not only my life but all of those around me.
As isolating as our lives have felt, there remains a shared sense of community as we are all in this together. A remembering that we are each part of the whole. Again and again, we are asked to show more compassion for one another, to raise our awareness and respect each other's differences.
Through layers upon layers of change, one atop the other like an onion, each layer is woven into another texture, taste and emotion. I realize this is a path I have never traveled before and the way that I choose to walk it matters. I am reminded it is fear that keeps me from living in the present and keeps me stuck in the past. It is time to soften and allow the pattern to rearrange itself into the next chapter that is my life.
In the next chapter, rather than setting goals, I have decided to "live the questions."
I hope my sharing will invite you to pause and ask yourself the questions – ask your own questions...
Christmas has arrived on schedule, bringing the gift of past traditions, new ones being created along the way, and the ache for loved ones no longer here. Still, Christmas remains wrapped in dreams of sleigh rides in the snow, the gift of spirit and carols being sung around the tree.
What a beautiful and wondrous season it is!
There is a glowing fire amongst the brick hearth, snow-like lights glow amongst the trees, my fur baby nestled in his bed and me in my cozies. I have begun to deck the halls of my cozy beach bungalow.
As I start to unpack the tiny glass treasures, a beautiful gift sparkles before me. It is an ornament given to me by my mom and dad. In my father's handwriting, it says, "Where there is family, there is always Christmas." His very words leap from the page and into my being. He is still sharing the spirit of this special holiday with me.
Light fills my heart and is symbolic of love both past and present and countless treasured moments that weave themselves together in the tapestry of Christmas past. Thank you, Dad, for your legacy of love!
We all need the reassuring and healing messages that treasured rituals provide.
As you go about making it the "perfect Christmas" for loved ones, make sure to pause for the silent and holy moment within, where "all is calm, all is bright."
One of the most important aspects of traditions is they provide us with symbolism. I feel that we all need symbols, like a trusted guide post lighting the way as we move forward through the tapestry of our lives.
May your holidays be filled with tradition as a symbol of light, and the celebration of Christmas is one of eternal love, hope, peace and goodwill to all!
Thank you ALL for being a light in my life!
"Live in each season as it passes; breathe in the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit." ~ Henry David Thoreau
December is upon us, and if you're like me, you're wondering, where has this year gone? And what even happened?
I'm pretty sure we can all agree the past twenty months have brought unforeseen change and added stress as we continue to navigate uncharted waters.
I want to take this time to thank you for reading my letters. My hope and goal are to grow a community that supports, educates and uplifts. As women, we live in a time when we need each other more than ever before. Yes, you gentlemen too!
It's easy to forget how meaningful and powerful the practice of cultivating gratitude is in our lives, particularly during times of stress. Yet, this is when we need it the most. Perhaps, gratitude is most transforming in the midst of discomfort and chaos.
I've observed this in myself. It's easy to be grateful when all is well and going my way. But for gratitude to transform our lives, we must embrace it in times of hardship.
So, when you're feeling down about all the things that are not going right or how you'd wish them to be, remember the power in noticing all the little things that are going right; we just have to remember to look for it. It is always there. There really is so much beauty and joy to be seen and felt in our daily lives, but we must be present to these gifts.
Gratitude has the power to fill the void of uncertainty and transform chaos into peace.
When I feel even the smallest amount of gratefulness, my inner smile returns, I take a deep breath and believe in a brighter tomorrow.
Reflections for December:
My wish for you is that your December be wrapped in peace, love and joy, and your path lit by divine light!
We often practice rituals without even knowing it. The very fact that you woke up this morning and delighted in your favorite cup of coffee can be a ritual by the attention/intention you give it. To be fully present in the moment makes it all the richer.
Rituals are a bridge between our inner and outer worlds and remind us that we are part of a greater design. Our minds and bodies crave consistency. Rituals give us something we can count on in this ever-changing world. They also connect us to nature and the changing of the seasons.
By watching the constant shifts in nature, we realize our own cycles in life. By acknowledging them, we are reminded this season shall pass and be followed by another. Rituals provide us with a sense of renewal – time out of our everyday routine.
As a young girl, the season of autumn filled the air with excitement and anticipation in what was to come. The arrival of pumpkins, a school festival, decorations, delicious treats and free dress! Looking back, I see that the little joys and celebrations throughout the year lifted my spirit and filled me with a sense of celebration. There was always something to look forward to.
Stability and trust in the flow of life connect us to the past and the present. They invite us to mark special moments in our lives, adding deeper meaning and significance. They give us the gift of remembering and replenishing ourselves on the winding path of life. They are tools that give us the freedom to take responsibility for our lives' direction and purpose, co-create our own lives, and enjoy personally meaningful rituals.
As adults, what we choose to hold as sacred is different from our younger years. As life changes, so do our priorities. I feel the need for ritual much more after experiencing profound change and loss through Covid and the polarization we face as a global community.
There is no better time than now to choose the things, people and places that define what joy means to us. It is never too late to create new rituals and give yourself permission to let go of those that no longer bring you joy.
Invitation to Reflect
What does ritual mean to you?
What are some of the traditions or rituals you recall from your childhood?
Are there some you have chosen to keep, let go of, or perhaps simplify?
What are some of the traditions you have in your home this time of year?
Is there a ritual you would like to add to enrich your life as you experience more change?
Remember, rituals can be the smallest of things; the meaning we give to them matters most. They are personal to you and can be anything that holds meaning to you.
May you feel peace and comfort in choosing that which brings you the greatest joy!
"Armed with my positive attitude and inherent stubborn nature, I keep my mind focused and my life moving forward." ~ Amy B. Scher
Do you feel like it's time for something different in your life? If so, you're amongst many!
The Covid pandemic has forced many of us into change and the need to reevaluate the direction of our lives. Significant change never comes all at once, even though it may feel like it. Perhaps you lost your job during Covid like I did, bringing a radical shift in day-to-day living. Maybe you are one of the many who became a homeschooler or a caretaker.
Do any of these statements ring true for you at this time in your life?
I am not happy with my job.
It's difficult to make meaningful connections.
I'm searching for the missing piece.
I am not feeling good about myself.
I am not happy with my circumstances.
These feelings are challenging to navigate because we are not able to see a clear path or direction. Yet, if we pay attention to the feelings, they have an important message for us. They tell us it is time to reach for something else, that we are not meant to stay in this place. We are designed to continue becoming our best version of ourselves.
I recently discovered best-selling author Amy B. Scher. After listening to her podcast interviews and watching her videos, I felt lighter and self-assured.
I'd love to share her top three reasons why it's okay to change direction...
1. Change is inevitable
Let's face it; change is a necessity of life. You can't stop it, so why not change along with it? In fact, you should be more concerned if you don't want to make changes throughout the course of your life. When we change, we grow.
SUCCESS, in business, relationships, and life itself, comes from continuing to grow.
It's a natural part of life to evolve. That means it's perfectly okay to relaunch as you continue to evolve. And remember, if you get there and don't like it, pivot again! Look for what feels good and right, then follow that path.
2. Purpose isn't everything
You can have multiple purposes in life. As we change throughout our lifetime, our purpose changes with us.
Keep growing! Don't spend too much time and energy worrying about neglecting one purpose for another. And don't waste your resources in the wrong area because you once belonged there.
Trust that your true purpose is being true to yourself. When you do, the who, what and why will follow: WHO you serve. WHAT you're supposed to do. WHY you're here. These are secondary considerations. Work on finding your true self, and the rest will align.
3. Big isn't always better
It can be easy to get caught up on impact – is what you're doing going to be impactful? This perspective can hold you back. That's because you'll spend more time worrying about how you'll be received than doing what it is you want to do.
Instead, think small and start before you're ready. Think less about the impact of your change and focus on trusting that what you're feeling called to do will be impactful.
How does this work? If your change helps just one person in any way, even if that person is yourself, it's enough. Start with a tiny step. Just moving your intentions in a new direction, however small, is worth it.
Change doesn't wait, and neither should you. If it's time to move in a new direction, make the first step today!