The presents are almost wrapped. What has needed to be mailed is long gone and on the way to others. Food is in the fridge waiting to be chopped, mixed and baked. The tree is up and we managed to get all the lights working and did not find any broken ornaments as we went through the bins. The small little details that make it feel like Christmas. The moments spent picking out new cookie recipes to try this year with my son as he says they are all his favorites. It is familiar and new at the same time.
There is a lot on my mind this holiday season. It is not thoughts of what I need to do because well that list is always rolling around in my mind and on some piece of paper I laid somewhere. This is bigger though. It is an anticipation of what next year will look like, what we will experience, how we will grow and be changed by it. These are not anxious thoughts but rather calming, hopeful thoughts I have while mixing eggs and sugar for another batch of cookies. It is the thought of hope for more sweet moments like this and new experiences that enrich our lives.
I had a goal this year of focusing on wellness. That was a nice goal that took a virus, economic shutdown and masks to make me actually focus on it though. It took me changing how I went about living every day for me to recognize the time I had to no longer make excuses. It took toilet paper shortages and threats against food supplies for me to realize where I could make changes in what I fed my family and myself. The worry and stress over survival and safety among so many factors this year made me turn to exercising to improve my health. While 2020 presented so many challenges around our world, it personally gave me what I needed to do instead of just talking about it.
Against the backdrop of news, social media bullying, my own worry of safety and survival I appreciated things on a new level this year. I realized how fortunate my family was to be able to weather this storm of a year. I also realized how vulnerable we could be and what needed work to protect us further. I deeply appreciated friends who didn’t let differences of opinion politically or otherwise separate us during this year. There were some sad losses but I saw strength in a lot of relationships on a new level that deepened my connection to others. It all cumulates to this very moment seeing cookies bake for baskets I will share with others. A small kind gesture that we are still whole and here together.
There was so much time this year spend at home and I’m not sorry about it. I think we spent it living well in this house we have turned into a home with times spent together making memories, laughter and meals. There were times on the front porch watching sunsets and our son riding his bike, there was time in the kitchen making meals and washing dishes, more time in the backyard watching tomatoes grow and throwing the ball for the dog. There was time this year we may not have otherwise spent together. For that I am thankful and feel it has helped me live well this year.
In a year where so much went crazy I think we are ending it with a renewed appreciation for what it means to live well. So much of my view of living well was spent balancing those ideas against the demands of working and navigating daily life. This year though I got to really tip the scale to what was important to me and see new possibilities of how to expand it. Work was still there. Life’s daily demands were also still there but I found new ways to balance them, not let them dominate my days and take in those moments where I could design them to fit my needs. If 2020 were just a regular year I think I may have missed those opportunities.
If you had asked me at the beginning of 2020 what living well naturally meant I would have told you balance. After learning the lessons of this year and seeing what it has meant I now know balance is just one piece of that answer. Certainly we must balance a lot in our lives every day and that will always be the case but it is not all to give a complete answer. It is multifaceted and bigger than just learning the artful skill of mastering balance. It is small choices, big decisions, daily practice and intention. Yet it is deeply personal and life changing when it all comes together.
I feel in my heart the joy of this season. I appreciate deeply the time I was able to be at home with my family this year and the friendships I enjoy in my life. It has been a year of challenge but one of appreciating blessings and seeing the good that still exists in the world. I believe I have made significant progress on my goal of wellness that would not have otherwise been possible if this year had not happened the way it did. Wellness included redefining the balance of what it means to living naturally well and realizing how much more work I need to do in this year to fully experience it.
Living naturally well is living well right now. It is enjoying the sweet moments as they happen and not looking to schedule them in for later or wait until we get the perfect photo of them. It is creating the experiences of living every moment aware of life happening and actively being part of it. The ability to redefine our life to support having more of these moments and sharing them with those we care and love is the work of creating that naturally well lived life. Balance just means we have found peace in all that we have to and want to do every day. Balance is the negotiation of our time to fit everything in whereas living well is the extension of balance to make all of it feel good to us.
Going into 2021, I have hope of better from 2020 but I also see new work of enriching wisdom of what it means to live naturally well. I am excited to explore the basics of learning not just to balance but to enrich, developing luxurious elements from simplicity, of sharing and growing to the point holiday joyful feelings are felt year round. There is shiny moments now that I truly feel in my heart as a result of what I learned this year. It is what gives us the energy to go forward to build on what feed our soul. To shine naturally is as much a feeling as it is effort we experience from putting action to our dreams in building them to come true. We must do much more than just balance them in hopes they will one day transpire but rather we must live well every day as if they are already true.
Join me starting in January for a year of blogs focused on Living Naturally Well. Monthly themes will focus on different aspects of what this topic looks like and how we can establish more of it in our daily life looking beyond the limitations of balance to create more of what feels good in body, mind and spirit.
Coming soon at dragonspitapothecary.com
Happy Holidays and my best wishes for you and your family to have a beautiful natural holiday season.