The holiday season (whichever holidays you celebrate) is so magical because they ask us to stop and celebrate something. It’s such a relief to raise our noses from the proverbial grindstone and take a step back to count our blessings, express gratitude, spend time with loved ones, and relish our abundance.
What are your holiday traditions, and what are you most grateful for?
This time of year we are often sharing a big meal with family members and loved ones, exchanging gifts, and decorating with winter greenery. What we are grateful for usually includes our loved ones, our material comforts, perhaps our good health, or maybe even our connection to the Divine.
All of these blessings are possible because of Earth, our mother.
Our turkey and side dishes. Our gifts. Our material comforts. Our health. Our home. Our loved ones. Even the prophets that we may hold in esteem walked on Earth, which for many of us also represents our primary sanctuary.
Holidays are a great time to remember all of what we are grateful for. This year, we should be especially mindful and aware of Earth’s continued love and generosity to us when we need it the most. So much has been taken away or lost, but Earth is always there. She can’t be taken away, and she won’t, because she is our mother.
But I always wonder why we have to wait for holidays and birthdays to remember our gratitude. The pandemic is an especially good reason to be grateful for what we still have (glass half full), and many of us even have extra time to reflect on our good fortune. Even those of us who have experienced loss, we still have so much compared to so many of those who are less fortunate.
Gratitude is an important practice that should be attended to on a daily basis. Science shows that a daily practice of gratitude and/or appreciation for what is good improves our sense of wellbeing. Environmental psychology also shows us that connection with nature also improves our mental and physical health; why not combine the two and spend time feeling grateful and connected to Earth? Pray or meditate for her good health too for she needs our prayers now as well.
Make every day Thanksgiving. Make every day the day you celebrate your loved ones and the divine force that inspires you. Make every day the day you make intentions for a better, more meaningful life. Make every day Earth Day and Arbor Day and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day and Valentine’s Day and your birthday and the birthdays of those you love.
Despite the turmoil and chaos of 2020, we have much to celebrate and to be grateful for. We are never alone for Earth is always with us as well as the loving force that connects us all.
When we feel the presence of Earth and the love, we cannot feel fear, loneliness, or deprivation, for we have everything we need.
So when I say happy holidays to you, I mean happy Celebration-of-Everything-and-Everybody-Day!
I’m celebrating you, right now.
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