Well, the holidays are upon us and sometimes that means a lot of undue stress and often a lot of "shoulds." You should eat this, should do that. I find that it's easy to lose sight of what they're really about. For me, it's less about tradition and more about gratitude. So here's my list for this year. Hope that you'll find some good stuff in it.
I AM GRATEFUL
1. For my community
There was a time when a friend gave me what I lovingly refer to as a kick to my head. He essentially turned what I thought I knew about where I fit in this world on it's head. He taught me that I am the one in charge of my life. I get to chose who I surround myself with. It seems silly now, that it took me so long, but since I changed I've never felt more supported or loved.
2. For family
I had parents who supported my creativity and got me help when I struggled in school. Parents who were divorced but never bad mouthed one another. Parents who put us first. My brother and I were close and remain that way. I feel like I won the lottery when it comes to family.
3. For my body.
In a culture like ours we're often taught to be thinner, prettier, more perfect. So we learn to place our focus on the parts of ourselves that aren't some crazy standard of "ideal". Lets redefine that shall we? We are amazing and beautiful and perfect how we are. We have brains that think and lungs that breathe and the power to change our world and our lives just in how we perceive things. I went to fashion school and these completely distorted images are exactly what we're taught. Yep, we're shown as designers to idolize and support the completely impossible figure. Crazy isn't it?
4. For auto correct fails.
Looking for something to make you laugh after your big Thanksgiving meal? I highly recommend these Thanksgiving inspired Damn you auto corrects. (If you're the type who doesn't like cussing or dirty humor you might want to move onto the next one.)
5. For music
Have you ever noticed it's ability to transform and connect us? You can be listening to the same thing as someone miles apart and it's as if you're in the same room. There's a lot of power there if you'll let it in. Ever notice how sometimes a song will come along that makes your day better, fits your mood perfectly, or makes you crazy. Remarkable it's power isn't it?
Can't. stop. listening. to. Shakey. Graves.
6. For my mind
We have an incredible ability to dream and create. Sometimes I find myself getting frustrated because I don't have the mind of a lawyer or a doctor. Occasionally, I'll catch myself feeling small or inadequate because of that. (I'm from a family of lawyers.) I'm learning to step through those feelings though and realize that my creative brain is equally as powerful, just in a different way. I wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone thinks the same so why not celebrate those differences in each other, and most importantly ourselves. Some of history's great creative minds share their tips on inspiring your own creativity in this article from The Guardian.
7. For the lightness and darkness in all of us.
There's a polarity there, we can't have all days or all nights. The balance of our everyday also exists in us. To know the dark and cultivate compassion in that space allows me to more emotionally feel the light.
8. For Animals
There's a reason that funny dog, cat, goat videos are HUGE on the internet. They make us feel good. So, here's a few to get you started.
9. For Connection
We have the ability to connect with each other. To find common ground. To love deeply and experience it all. To adventure and learn, to drink fully off every moment. Filmmaker Jason Silva has such eloquent words...
10. FOR YOU!
It's because of your support and your belief that I'm able to do what I do. For me, that means being able to express my self, allow my brain to creatively problem solve, to create. I hope you know that I think of that and am grateful everyday.
What else would you add, leave a comment below and share with me what you're grateful for!