It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Spiritual Self-Care Tips For A Stress-free Holiday

meditation-picture-id452584597 SIX SPIRITUAL SELF-CARE TIPS

The beautiful contradiction of the holiday season is this: We have an internal longing for peace, reflection, and harmony… yet our calendar (and our families!) often can send us in the opposite direction! As a result, holiday anxiety is a real thing this time of year. 

The gap between our expectations (“We need this to be the best December ever!”) and our reality (“What? We can’t have the annual Ugly Holiday Sweater party, my mother is still haranguing me about my partner, and our company is looking at layoffs?!?! Happy f’ing Hanu-Kwan-Mas!”) can create even MORE drama and stress. 

It’s easy to feel like we’re failing, or we’re not enough, or that life (and our jobs, and our families, and our friends, and our cooking, and well, everything) just sucks.

As I got older, as genuine loss and tragedy accompanied many of my family’s holiday events, we sat down with a good helping of sorrow, loss, fighting, and booze passed around the table like a bowl full of mashed potatoes (accompanied with a nice ladle of guilt and shame!). We wanted to create something different, but we just didn’t know-how. Outer conditions told us what our life meant. We didn’t know about the tools we needed to create an inner shift that would allow us to show up differently for each other. 

The more stressed we are emotionally and physically, the more likely we’re going to fall into old patterns of behavior and thinking. That’s why it’s critical that you take time, push the pause button, and find nurturing ways for managing holiday stress.

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332 Hits

You Never Know

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"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is Thank You, it will be enough." —Meister Eckhart


I've Been Thinking...

How are you doing?

Let’s pause together this morning. Let's put our hands over our hearts, close our eyes, and breathe. Was the holiday a lot? Was it not enough? Did people come? Are they leaving now? Did you travel? Was it stressful? Did you Zoom? Was it weird? Was it surprisingly okay? Was it all of the above and more?

Whatever it was, it’s behind you. You are here. We are here together. Let’s hold space for one another. The so-called holiday season is upon us and we are going to need each other. We are going to need each other to be kind. We are going to need each other to be understanding because things are going to be different.

I know you might be saying to yourself, “Here we go with different again. I don’t want any more different. I miss things the way they were.” I get it. I feel you. I understand. But as I wrote last week, we have to focus on the way things are now and the way they will be. You have to take care of yourself and prepare yourself.

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352 Hits

The Perfect Gift You Can Bring Is Your Heart

dinner The Perfect Gift You Can Bring Is Your Heart
"At this table, everyone is welcome. At this table, everyone is seen. At this table, everybody matters. No one falls between." -Idina Menzel


I've Been Thinking...

Everyone I’ve spoken to this week has told me how overwhelmed they feel. They are, of course, talking about the holiday season and not the impeachment hearings (which would overwhelm even a constitutional scholar).

To each of them, I said: “Believe me, I get it.”

I tend to feel overwhelmed at this time of year, too, which is why I’m going to share a personal story this morning that I hope might ease what you’re feeling and carrying with you right now. It might just reveal that the perfect holiday gift is closer than we realize…

So, there I was early Monday morning in the TODAY show makeup room, chatting away with Laura and Mary (two talented hair and makeup magicians), when a text popped up on my phone.

It was short. Three words to be precise. “This is you!” it said. It was accompanied by something to download, but no surprise, I couldn’t figure out how to download it, so I just went on gabbing.

Then Hoda burst into the room.

“Did you hear the song I sent you?!” she squealed with delight.

After I explained that I couldn’t download It, she insisted that I stop everything and listen right then and there. “It is you!” she repeated.

Hoda pulled up Idina Menzel’s new Christmas song, "At This Table,” and as it played, my eyes welled with tears, and goosebumps formed on my arms.

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Holiday pleasures: the anti-guilt trip!

Holiday pleasures: the anti-guilt trip!

A spot-on post from the archives: be kind to yourself this holiday season! Have fun. Savor those special treats! I wave my magic culinary wand, thus decree. Enjoy! :)

Why do we do it? We have this tendency over the holidays to put ourselves on a LONG nonstop guilt trip, like a first class ticket to Hong Kong and back, on the most expensive airline you can imagine. We splurge and purge AND beat ourselves up over it. I have a better idea: find a way that works for you to relax and enjoy life! If you have a brownie, enjoy it! And so you don’t massively overdo, and truly feel awful, plan ahead.

If you’re throwing the party, do what my friend Julie does and anchor your table with soups! Julie puts one on either end of her buffet, with lovely 5-ounce glass mugs, and peppers the rest of the table with different morsels (not mountains!) of yum. Hot smoked salmon. Serious mouthfuls of baked goods (she’s a fabulous baker). Beautiful cheeses. She replenishes as needed, rather than start with overwhelming masses of food. I watched how her guests interacted with all the tempting offerings this year, and noticed people kept filling their cups up with soup. The conversation flowed happily, and no one felt compelled to say, OMG, I’m going to pay for this! 

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2260 Hits

How To Stay Sane During Holiday Season

How To Stay Sane During Holiday Season

Holiday season can be one of the most challenging and intense times of the year.

As much as you may love them, one of the most difficult things can be spending extended time with family members.

It’s sometimes those that you love and have the most history with are the ones who are able to trigger you the most and push your buttons.

There’s a saying, “If you want to see how enlightened you are, spend the weekend with family”.

Consider this: Your family members are also souls on a journey dealing with their own lessons in this lifetime. You attracted each other’s souls because there are certain lessons you have to work out. And that the family members who challenge you the most are actually your greatest spiritual teachers and growth opportunities.

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2159 Hits

5 Time-Saving Hacks for Ayurvedic Meal-Planning

5 Time-Saving Hacks for Ayurvedic Meal-Planning

Life can get hectic, especially in autumn — a time of new school assignments, demanding projects at work, and the beginning of the holiday season. When your schedule is slammed, it can be hard to find time to prepare healthy, balanced Ayurvedic meals. Ironically, this is likely when you need them most! Delicious, well-spiced, cooked meals help to balance the doshas and create harmony in your mind and body.

While you can’t always prepare a full, Ayurvedic spread, there are some helpful, time-saving hacks that can help you — and your family — to eat well on the go. We’ve shared a few tips below, drawing inspiration from Ayurvedic chef, writer, and artist Miriam Kasin Hospodar, author of Heaven’s Banquet: The Maharishi Ayurveda Cookbook.

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1319 Hits