permission to be yourself this thanksgiving

by vanessagobes

Age-Maps-photomontages-05

Very cool age map photo by Bobby Neel Adams

I’m an adult.  A wife.  An experienced mother of several.  A spiritual seeker.  An educated woman.  But on family holidays I become the youngest of three girls.  An eight year old.  An oversensitive baby.  An insecure child.  A sloppy slacker.

So often when we reunite with family we regress to our youthful attitudes, behaviors, and sensitivities.  The oldest might start bossing around the younger ones, though their guidance is no longer needed.  The middles might perform for the others, demanding their time in the spotlight.  The youngest might be lazy, expecting the older ones to take care of them.  There are hundreds of roles that we take on, and often times the roles are not reflective of the people we’ve grown into.

Through mindfulness, there is a beautiful opportunity to release the roles of our youth and reclaim the essence of our present selves.  When we notice that we’re slipping into habitual patterns, we can take a breath and acknowledge the regression without judgment, then release the feeling and settle back into our present selves with confidence and ease.

A lovely way to kick off the holiday weekend is to meditate on joy.  By setting our frequencies to joy, we can filter our experiences through a sunnier lens and invite ourselves to engage in the best of what our families have to offer.  And as an added bonus, forgiveness and acceptance are more accessible when we come from a place of joy.

So take a few minutes before you engage with loved ones this holiday and connect with your heart, the sacred space where joy lives.  While you’re riding in the car, showering in the morning, stirring the risotto, or waiting for the next football game to start, take 10 minutes to meditate.  Imagine your joy as a beautiful light, radiating from the heart, and allow it to fill your entire body.  Watch as it extends through your fingertips and reaches far beyond your physical body.  End your meditation with a minute of toothy smiling then prepare to receive family and friends with big hugs and kisses, knowing that it’s okay to be who you are today, and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From mine to yours,

Vanessa