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“Start where you are….”

My friend Michelle Latimer posted this as her facebook status, and it really hit home with me.  As we enter into the week of Thanksgiving, I found myself this morning feeling overwhelmed, and honestly, a bit grouchy because I was pulled in several directions at once (I know, can you IMAGINE??).  You know, kids home for the holiday (need I say more?); me, making sure the menus and food are planned and purchased perfectly so I can go into the Day of the Steaming Pans “stress free” (Yeah, riiiiiggght), and – oh – dogs barking wildly AT the kids while my husband (who works from home when he isn’t traveling) is invariably on a conference call, and needs the house to be quiet.  GAAAHHHH!!!  And, it’s only Monday.

But Michelle’s words, Start Where You Are, resonated with me.

I googled it, and discovered it’s a book; well actually, a few different authors have written books by this title.  Wise and inspiring words, for sure.  But the one I went to was by Pema Chodron, “Start Where You Are:  A Guide to Compassionate Living.”  

It’s on my To Read List now.

I’m reminded by these words that I’m just doing the best that I can, each day.  Those who I come in contact with, whether family, friends, total strangers, are just doing the best that THEY can.  But I’m inspired by these words:  “embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives.”  Hey, let’s CELEBRATE them!  Be thankful, and learn.

Thanks, @jigtvlady.  I needed to see that today!

Day of the Steaming Pans

Thanksgiving oven

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is The Day of the Steaming Pans.

“Excuse me??”

Yep, Day of the Steaming Pans.

I grew up in a small town in Montana.  Every Thanksgiving, my grandparents would come to the Wild Wild West from “Back East” to visit, and spend Thanksgiving with us.  As if it weren’t exciting enough to have them come to stay, we would then have literally DAYS of preparation leading up to Thanksgiving.

I mean DAYS.

In my family, the day before – Wednesday – is known to this day as The Day of the Steaming Pans.  Our preparation would be at a crescendo on this particular day.  My grandmother and my mom would be up early, cooking, cutting, preparing, flying around the kitchen.  On every burner of the stove, there would be a pot steaming…. Full of boiling potatoes.  Creamed onions.  Green Beans.  Yams.  And on and on, all day….one pot would come off, another would go on.  I loved watching them, laughing, talking, tasting, and occasionally we’d get to try something.  Mmm, and the delicious smells coming from the kitchen were enough to make your tummy growl….

I’m busy this week planning and preparing for my Day of the Steaming Pans.  I wonder if this were a national holiday, if the stores would be closed??

What are your favorite memories of Thanksgiving?

Aloha begins with self….

Beautiful words from Bula Logan, Lomilomi and La’au Lapa’au (Herbal Practitioner), from my Little Book of Aloha by Renata Provenzano:  “Aloha has to begin with self.  You have to love yourself, you have to want to heal yourself.  Any aspect of dis-ease is a lack of aloha.  Aloha includes all the things aloha means, there is all the respect.  When you have respect, you start to heal.  When you have lokahi (peace or unity), you start to heal.  The answer is when you look INSIDE yourself – do you feel good about yourself, are you secure of who you are, are you aware you CREATED everything you WANTED to create?”

Be mindful.  Be intentional about who you ARE, and love who you are.  You get to choose.