Before Anything Else On Thanksgiving Day…

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year, Thanksgiving.

I get all kinds of sentimental, giving lots of hugs and I always put way more than one thing I’m grateful for in the gratitude jar.

But, here’s my confession.

I didn’t used to look forward to this holiday. As a matter of fact, holidays in general used to feel intense, anxiety provoking and even sad.

For years I didn’t take care of myself and piled way too much on my plate, by the time the holidays arrived I felt more burnt out than an overcooked Turkey.

On top of that, losing a family member makes the firsts – the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas, the first Birthday, etc. feel confusing; both gut wrenching because someone so dear to you is missing and delightful because people can be extra joyful.

Can you relate?

Grief, doesn’t always come in the form of death. It could be grieving a past relationship, friendships, a previous job, an old home and even an old lifestyle.
Whether you’re grieving or not, I want you to know – you’re not alone.

We all have our ‘stuff’ around the holidays.

Two things to keep in mind.

1. You just never know what someone is going through, so be compassionate and kind whenever and wherever you can – even when someone acts like an asshole.

2. That compassion includes yourself, speaking kindly and lovingly to yourself allows you to be more present and have more fun with your family and friends.

This holiday season, I hope you’ll honor where you’re at. Wherever that is. Not trying to change it, compare yourself to others, or wish you were someone else. 

You are where you are and that’s exactly where you need to be, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. Please trust that.

Celebrate your life and how amazing it is, if you’re loving where you are. Give yourself a high five in the mirror for resilience if you’re in the middle of a ton of changes.

Life is one helluva a ride. We all go through our share of ups and downs. The good news, none of it’s permanent.

The more willingness we have to honor ourselves and where we are, the more we’re able to lean in and trust ourselves. The bonus, we end up trusting the way our lives are unfolding; even if we don’t know what’s around the corner.

As you embrace the hear and now, no matter how kumbaya that sounds, the more ease you introduce into your very precious life. I don’t know about you but I’m all about some ease.

So, before you even open your eyes on Thanksgiving morning, I’m encouraging you to take a moment. Keep your eyes closed, put your hands over your heart. Whisper “Thank You” to yourself for who you are, for how you show up in the world and to the Universe for this precious life you’re living. 

Honor yourself. With your eyes closed, say 5 things you’re grateful for about YOU and why you’re grateful for them.

Those could include, “I’m grateful for how I’ve embraced changes in my life and in turn allowed myself to settle into the life I’ve created.” Maybe it’s, “I’m grateful for how I’ve shared what I believe in, even when it’s been scary and in turn I trust myself and feel more confident.” Perhaps it’s, “I’m grateful for how much I’ve grown to love who I am as a Mother and in turn I feel more relaxed in my new role.” Say whatever feels authentic to you.

I’m going to nudge you to give thanks to your body, for showing up for you over and over again. Because it’s your vehicle for this gorgeous life.

You are a beautiful, loving, inspiring, creative, brilliant, truly incredible soul and your presence in this world makes a difference.

This time of year, it’s easy to look around us and give thanks to all the people and experiences in our lives and that’s so important. I hope you’ll include yourself in that gratitude.  Without you, those things – relationships, children, experiences wouldn’t exist in the form they do.

I’m sending you a massive, loved filled hug from Charleston.

Wishing you and yours the loveliest Thanksgiving.

Gratefully,

Ash

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