The holidays can be a double-edged sword for many. It brings up a little bit of everything: food, finances, family, and friends. The big F’s, as Katie would say.
I think there a powerful tool available to help everyone navigate times of upheaval: gratitude.
When we take the time to be truly present with where we are, who we are with, and what we are feeling, we won’t get swept away in the chaos. If you are focused on the present, you won’t worry about how things ‘should’ be and instead can stay grounded with finding the good in where you are right now. You can access all your senses, enjoy the moments, the food, and the tradition a bit more.
When you access the attitude of gratitude, you can just be. There’s no more need to change or compare. You can recognize that still small voice inside yourself. You can settle into that deepest, purest, most loving part of yourself.
This week with Thanksgiving on the horizon, food can become a big hang up for people. Big meals can turn from a place of abundance and good company, to a place of guilt and shame.
Instead, I offer you an exercise in mindfulness this season.
Take note of the tastes, the smells, and the sights. Savor your food, especially those special treats that only come out at this time of year. Instead of making foods off limits: enjoy them. Savor them. Be present with them, without the guilt. When you are able to truly taste and savor a food that you’re craving, you’re more likely to be satisfied after just one or two. When you make something off limits, you’re more liking to end up binging on that food later on, because you felt deprived. Enjoying your food while you eat it will give you a deeper feeling of pleasure. That’s often what’s lacking during a binge: you are no longer present with the food and therefore need more of it to satisfy your craving.
It’s a beautiful time of year to be around loved ones and eat really delicious food. Allow it to be a joyful time. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or even kind of crazy around the food, just come back to that attitude of gratitude. Write down or make a note of all the good things in life. Take space and time for yourself. Recognize the many ways your life is blessed, and know that you are a blessing to so many others.
Live in that space this season.
What are you most grateful for today? I’d love to hear!