The holiday season is filled with family gatherings, acts of service and gift giving, and a pause from the pulse of our busy lives. Yet with all of the gatherings and events, we can find ourselves clamoring for space, a breath of fresh air to release natural tensions that arise.
This Thanksgiving brings its own set of nuances with family members and friends who may not agree on recent national and global political outcomes. Tensions have run high. As we gather collectively, how can we create spaces of connection in the midst of distress?
The Core of Gratitude
Gratitude allows us to find spaces of mutual connection where there might be separation. While creating our own gratitude lists leads to self-fulfillment, communicating gratitude to others can serve as a common ground, where connection can grow.
Attending a holiday event is festive, but that one loud guest may be nails on a chalk board. Whether the conversation has shifted or there is too much overstimulation, take a break from the festivities. Create and keep your own boundaries for the space you need. It may be as simple as a deep breath or quick walk.
The Power of Ritual
Creating something sacred out of the ordinary brings into focus the “why” of the holidays. Let the list of to-do’s fall away, and individually or collectively let the ceremony move naturally. Lighting candles, inviting everyone to speak, or letter writing can become rituals to fall back on.
Thanksgiving is a time of invitation, for all guests to sit down for a meal, to step back from the impulsive reactions of the day, and to remember the core of our lives so that we may move forward with more intentionality.