Ok, here we go! As we launch into the holiday season there is a feeling of both excitement and anxiety. Like life itself, it’s overwhelming and wonderful, painful and beautiful. It’s just concentrated and therefore extra intense, which requires a tool-kit for grounding and feeling. This tool-kit starts with the intention to let go of our expectations and surrender to the experience in front of us. This means seeing people (our family) instead of judging them, it means feeling fully (the whole range of emotions) instead of hiding. After the intention comes the practice, and then the remembering. The practice is about taking a breath before we ring the doorbell and remembering our intention, it’s about feeling our feet on the ground at the Thanksgiving buffet and remembering to be grateful for the offerings in front of us. It’s about looking into the eyes of our family members and remembering that they are on their own path, for better or worse, and need to be seen and not judged. The practice is also about reverence for ourselves and our own experience - not avoiding, but accepting. We can tune into sensations in our body - heat in our chest or belly, clenching on our jaw, tension in our forehead or neck. These can clue us into our feelings and when brought to our consciousness, we can allow them to fluidly move through us without attachment, or getting stuck - physically or mentally. The remembering is about coming back. It’s when we are having a conversation in our minds about an annoying in-law or challenging sibling - we realize where we are and take a breath. We remember our intention to soften around judgment and do so in both our mind and body, on purpose and proactively. With all that, we take each and every day, holiday or not, one day and one breath at a time. It’s not about perfection - a perfect holiday, a perfectly grounded self, a perfect turkey. It’s about being engaged in the process of living, learning and cooking. That’s all.