Multi-colored corn? Huh?
Let me explain.
Sometimes I forget to make it really really clear what drives me to do the work that I do.
But Thanksgiving has always prompted me to dig deep (even when, as a child, I was pretty resistant to it — like when my mom made forced sharing a part of the meal and a prerequisite to getting the food on the table).
So with our national day of giving thanks looming, I wanted to express a little bit of my own sense of gratitude — my thanks to my clients and to the women who have chosen to hear from me via this blog or my weekly newsletter.
This year, I am thankful for:
My clients: the women who put their trust in me, who let me guide them in how they think about their bodies and their clothes and in making decisions about how they present themselves in the world. Each of them is wonderful and unique, like the richly varied colors in an ear of corn or the fleeting beauty in a snowflake.
Their spouses and partners: people who appreciate their partners and offer their appreciation, too, for the work I do with them.
But enough about me, let’s talk about you! Let’s ALL be grateful for a few basics that I think we take for granted. Like, for instance:
Kindness. The kindness of strangers, people who carry out small acts of just-plain-niceness that make our lives just a little bit better. (For instance, the bus driver at my children’s school — always ready with a wave or smile.)
Generosity. The patience and graciousness of the people we encounter during routine business transactions; sure, there are definitely stingy, crabby, and/or doltish people out there, seemingly always ready to dish out a dose of grumpy, but what about the ones who go that extra mile to provide help and guidance?
Let’s see. What else? Oh yes …
Our bodies. Yes, our bodies! We are so harsh and critical about our bodies. I’m in a great position to hear the worst of what women say, especially about themselves. Can we agree not to be (or at least try)? Instead, how about being thankful for our lungs that breathe, eyes that see, ears that hear, legs that take us where we want to go. As for our bodies’ “flaws”? Let’s not forget what that body is capable of, not least of all birthing and feeding babies. There’s beauty and capability in everything we do, see, hear, taste, touch. Let’s stop being meanies to ourselves and show ourselves the love instead.
Our stuff. The bounty of our natural environment and our own personal small lived worlds. Of course, Thanksgiving is an ode to this bounty (and the shopping frenzy that follows on its heels is something of a consumerist, dystopian version of the Thanksgiving plenty and feasting … but that’s probably another blog post). I’m naturally a big complainer, often talking about how I need or want a new this or a new that. But the truth is I have so much stuff; if I got rid of even half of it, I might not notice. Don’t get me wrong — I love my new beautiful things just as much as the next person, I just don’t need a constant supply of it, because when I do make myself stop to look around me, I see bounty everywhere. That’s what I’m focusing on this holiday.
Our selves. Every day I meet women and men who have huge gifts to offer — their smarts, their experience, their quirks and interests. How great is that?! So many of them underestimate their talents and skills, their overall, unique, sheer wonderfulness.
Too often I also find a way to be a downer, either about myself or about other people, places, or things. When that kind of mood strikes, lately I have been trying something new. Every time I feel a little stressed-out or peevish, I take a few deep breaths. In between each one, I think about one thing I am grateful for. Is it a miracle cure? Definitely not. But I find I am a little bit less out of sorts afterwards.
So … that’s what’s on my mind this week.
What do YOU have to be grateful for this season?