I've struggled with the holidays for a few years now.
For several years in a row, I was in the midst of heartbreak or let down, and the holidays just seemed to exacerbate whatever was there.
This is technically my first holiday away from family and in another country.
And I don't have a community yet. I thought about trying to host an American Friends-givng here in Aus, but in order to do that, you need, well... friends, and the skill and talent to cook an entire feast with one oven. (I don't know how people do it.)
So, I spent most of the day today alone, which was beautiful for so many reasons.
I let everything and anything that is inside me be felt, heard, and acknowledged.
I sat with all the fears and sadness and insecurities that keep popping up instead of distracting myself or pushing them away.
And I had some feelings of homesickness when I saw everyone's photos on the 'Gram.
My amazing sis-in-law announced her pregnancy, my older sister has a table that can sit about 1000, my baby sis has been chatting and texting me all day, and mmmm... my momma's mashed potatoes are gravy are the literal and actual best in the entire world.
So, I am just feeling today. Strongly.
But I am noticing that the more I allow the strong feelings to be present and felt, the greater my capacity grows to hold the feelings.
It's like all the intense feelings are transforming into yumminess as long as I allow them to be there. A certain strength comes after. A power.
But overall, I am abounding in gratitude. 2018 has been my year of living in, feeling and expressing gratefulness. (Maybe exploding in gratefulness is more accurate.)
When I started intentionally being thankful for every single thing in my life, for every challenge, for every celebration, for every blessing, for every person, every relationship, every heartbreak, every tear, every opportunity, everything that had come to pass and everything that was on it's way to me, my whole life changed.
I have some intense feelings about the American celebration of Thanksgiving, if I am being way honest. Not at all the point of this email.
But I will take the opportunity to share how gratitude has single-handedly shaped everything about my expression in the world.
Gratitude precedes the miracle.
I am so, so, so thankful.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading these emails, for sending me replies and messages, for being a part of what I am doing here. (Which, if you didn't get my last email, I actually have no idea what that is.)
I am cheering for you and your families as you sit around your table and share a meal.
I pray for an opportunity to be fully vulnerable and to share more than just the sweet potato casserole.
I pray you can share some of your soul because only there is where the medicine that every person craves and needs.
Real, intimate, vulnerable human connection.