There seems to be some conflicting opinions about the best way to go about approaching the Thanksgiving dinner table:
1) Calm down, eat it all, don't feel guilty, just enjoy
2) Stay away from the carbs and sugar, don't overdo it, think first, make up for it later
If either of those approaches works for you and will help you to stay on track with your personal philosophies and visions, then go for it. I'm never one to command adherence any one regime.
Because what's become important to me is how I want to feel.
If Aunt Jenny's sweet potato casserole is so damn good that you find yourself drifting to the table for a third helping, simply ask yourself
How am I going to feel after eating it?
If you answer is guilty, gluttonous, or regretful, then by all means -- do one thing first:
Thanksgiving is not ONLY about the food. It's about togetherness. Gratitude. Connection. Reunion. Celebration.
Sit down next to Aunt Sally and ask about her chihuahua. Make yourself a tall spakling water with ice and lemon. Offer to clear some empty plates. Teach your niece how to draw a handprint turkey.
On the other hand, if you can sense that the third helping of sweet potatoes will make you feel nourished, content, energized and relaxed, then by all means -- eat up.
Once you become clear on how you want to feel, and what steps you can take to help you reach what author Danielle LaPorte calls your "core desired feelings," you can more confidently begin to make decisions that will get you there.
My core desired feelings for this holiday are
Rejuvenated. Connected. Spiritually well-fed.
I know I'm going to dig into that cranberry stuffing like it's my job. I recognize that, by the end of the day, I will want to feel the gratitude surging.
May you feel grateful, too.
P.S. For more on Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map book, journal, and other delicious bits of inspiration, click here.
Physical play and imaginative activity are essential for the rapidly developing bodies and minds of children. I've always loved an opportunity to get silly and creative, and as a mother of two active little girls, I find that my own soul is replenished when I play and create with them.
Before I was a mother, I taught Spanish to sweet and eager little learners at the Waldorf school on Maui, HI. There, I dived headlong into the Waldorf ideals of hands-on discovery, daily rhythms, and the inclusion of movement and repetition, as well as the importance of art, song, and encouraging warmth.
I led several camps at the school, from Spanish camps to cooking specialties. It warmed my soul.
When I moved to Idaho I began teaching exercise to mothers, and once my own children outgrew the stroller I stuck with moving the bodies and minds of women, because that fills my soul as much as working with children did.
Now that I have my own space to use, and have children who want to use it, too, I am happily diving back into a kids' camp session. I am SO excited!
In the Silly Shakers program, I will combine rhythmic song and dance (with instruments!), parachute play, and even gentle yoga, for a sweet and effective play time for little ones. My goal is to give a 45-minute class that encourages a head-hands-heart connection while stimulating freedom of expression and simple, happy joy.
The inaugural 6-week session will begin on Tuesday, November 18 and will run until December 23. Classes will meet at the studio from 10:30 - 11:15 on Tuesday mornings. Parents are welcome to participate with their children (aged about 3 to 6), or drop them off.
Space is limited and is already half full. Register today! I can't wait to shake my sillies out with your children.
P.S. I am happy to host private Silly Shakers/studio space rental for birthday parties! Contact me to learn more.
Emily Nielsen, CPT, is the owner of Fit for Motherhood, LLC, mother of 2 little girls, and an optimist by nature.
All posts © Emily Nielsen