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I don’t want to take Thanksgiving or Christmas for granted this year.  I don’t want to rush. I don’t want to feel obligated either.

I want to appreciate each holiday for the spirit in which it was created. Last year during this time was difficult. The emotions I’d been through helping my friend losing her son and burying him was spiritually debilitating. I went through Thanksgiving and on into Advent on auto-pilot. Sensing the joy of the season at the edges of my day but never able to grasp it to hold tight within me.

peanuts monkey mindEvery year I mention how difficult the holiday’s can be for those who have suffered through traumatic experiences of abuse or death of a loved one. Smells, songs, memories…they all can trigger an emotion that can send one down into what I call a ‘rabbit hole’ of debilitating thoughts and anxiety.

An integral lesson I’ve learned this year is putting a stop to that ‘monkey mind’ when it threatens to head down that rabbit hole. It takes practice, patience and the will to want to move forward.

In order to ‘stop’ I focus on the simple blessings around me in that very moment.

The weather.

The person I am with, is it a friend? Spouse? Family member? If I’m not with anyone I might consider those I love that are closest to me in my life in the moment. How grateful I am for their love and friendship.

I think about my boys and the young men they are becoming.

The fact I am where I am in that very moment…is it the office I’m blessed to have? Is it out running errands that I am blessed to have the ability. Is it walking my dog for which I’m blessed to have the love of a pet. Am I in church for which I’m blessed to have the strength and comfort of my faith.

Am I in my kitchen for which I’m blessed to live in my home.

Am I sitting in my living room looking at a warm fire on a cold night for which I’m blessed for the comfort of a simple pleasure.

Drinking a cup of coffee or tea…or a glass of wine?

simple blessings overlookedIn this moment you can stop reading this blog, look up from your computer, iPad, phone, etc and make a mental note of a simple blessing in your life. Making a practice of doing this when you aren’t triggered helps in the moments when the trigger is closing in.

A simple blessing for me in this very moment is writing this blog. Putting my thoughts into words is comforting…knowing it might help some one else is a gift. Thank you.

May you and your loved ones celebrate a week full of simple pleasures and blessings this Thanksgiving!!!