Create holidays that nourish you...

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday: gathering with friends and family to celebrate our blessings, to enjoy one another and delicious food (please let the food be truly delicious and not lukewarm).  My mom's stuffing recipe is one of my favorite dishes on earth, I look forward to it every year.  
    A few years ago I was home in Seattle for Thanksgiving.  This particular year had been a tough one. I'd gone through some huge ruptures in my life, ended a very toxic relationship with a family member and my body was releasing all the stress/sadness/fear I'd been holding onto since I was a little girl. Because I set such a firm boundary, because I finally protected myself, my system was trusting me and at long last my body could finally truly relax and release.  I had bronchitis for six weeks (in chinese medicine the lungs are grief...and boy did I have a lot of grief to move through). So when Thanksgiving rolled around I planned on seeing how felt. I had a number of wonderful invitations to join friends around their festive and loving tables.  Did I want to be around people? What felt best for my body and soul?  
    So here we are Thanksgiving day and I just kept staying in bed.
I slept and slept and read historical romance fiction and slept some more. I meditated. I slept. There may or may not have been a shower. I was delighted, ecstatic, giggly. I shuffled to the kitchen to grab a Kind bar at one point to ease the hunger. In the early evening I emerged from my bedroom in total joy and calm. I popped open my laptop and found some new healthier versions of cakes, cookies, bread recipes because when I am happy and full of love I bake and create sweetness and then share it with others. At one point I spilled my glass of red wine on my laptop and fried it. Shit. I freaked out a bit and searched on my phone "red wine on keyboard" followed the steps I found, set it aside and then kept baking using my phone for recipes. 
     I was in such joy and flow it didn't derail me and I baked until 3am.
    I don't remember all the details of how I spent that day but I remember this. It felt divine. Perfect. There was no other place I wanted to be. And I was utterly, delightfully at peace with it.  It was exactly what my body and soul needed and by getting in approval with that I had a totally joy-filled day. 
    So follow your pleasure, follow your truth, reclaim your wild and do Thanksgiving, the holidays, your birthday, every day your way. In doing so you set more and more people free to follow their own pleasure which creates more true joy and connection in our world...and that is something to be truly grateful for. 
    What can you do this holiday season to be in your pleasure? To honor your truth? Say no to travel? Head somewhere warm? Homemade gifts? No holiday cards? Stay inside all day binge watching Jane Austen movies? 
    Only you know what is best for you.

I chose this photo because I remember how nourishing it was to make this in a cooking class I took in Valpariso, Chile. Pastel de Choclo (Chilean Corn pie). Comfort food all the way and so so delicious!

I chose this photo because I remember how nourishing it was to make this in a cooking class I took in Valpariso, Chile. Pastel de Choclo (Chilean Corn pie). Comfort food all the way and so so delicious!

So that happened

And I'm still not sure what all of it was. A week in the desert with 65,000 people committed to radical self expression and inclusion. More please. More fresh coconuts being handed to me, more freshly peeled cucumbers sprinkled with salt, more gatherings at The Dusty Swan Irish Pub for a jam session, more Disco roller skating, riding my bike across the playa in a sand storm, sitting in an art installation prairie church at 4am, hugging strangers as they sobbed in the temple releasing their broken hearted pain.  More singing "Eternal Flame" as I zipped across the playa on my bike at 2am, more foot rubs, More intimacy, laughter, dancing, 20 piece live bands, Johny Cash being blasted from a wild west saloon car.  More furry boots, high fives, contact improv dancing, afternoon naps in hammocks. More love. Yes.

On Sunday night thousands gather in total silence to watch the Temple- full of thousands of photos, poems, mementos, writings - burn to the ground. All of that pain alchemized by fire into love, forgiveness, and release.  As the ashes were carried off into the night sky I was touched by the cycle. We come from the earth, we return to the earth. And during our time here, what would make it sweeter, kinder? Where can we create more gentleness, more connection, more love?  How can we create more intimacy, vulnerability, respect for mother earth and her resources?  How can we love bolder, braver, more full out?  How can we radically self-express ourselves in our day-to-day life?  

What can you release today? Let the fire transmute into love?

For me, I am taking more risks with my love, being more direct in my communication, in my needs, singing out loud as I go my daily walks, buying more flowers, appreciating the little things which then fills me up so I can give more love, letting go of all that no longer serves me and brings me deep joy.  I hope today brings you much love, freedom, magic and more. 

Temple Burn

Temple Burn

Temple at sunrise

Temple at sunrise