While I spend a week at my parents' house, gathering with my immediate and extended family for Thanksgiving, I felt the need today to give myself some reminders.
A permission slip for myself, if you will.
I am allowed alone time.
I am allowed time to do what nourishes me most.
Leaning into dedicated me time, and virtual time with friends, is not selfish -- it can actually nourish the time I have with family so that I can be more clear and present.
I have opportunities -- many of them -- to see how I show up with the people who have been around me for most of my life, and with whom I have the deepest patterns.
I have the opportunity to notice.
To not put extra pressure on myself to immediately change everything, and also to notice when I am able to shift how I feel and act. To try on new ways of being as inspiration arises, and to not feel that I have to be or act in completely new ways.
I have the opportunity to celebrate the small moments.
Like asking my dad more questions instead of coming from a place of assumptions. Of adopting a curious stance to what lights him up and getting to see into his day-to-day life as the treasurer for the Hilton Head Heritage Library.
Like savoring time with my mom, talking about cultural appropriation over grilled cheese sandwiches with tomatoes.
Like receiving the joys of the hectic energy of lots of people making (and giving commentary) on brownie making.
I have the opportunity to learn where I've come from -- what I want to keep and what I want to shift.
One of my meditation teachers, Ethan Nichtern, and other spiritual teachers I've had, talk about how being with family is one of the most difficult arenas for spiritual practice. The last frontier. That if you feel like you're doing "really great" with your practice, maybe it's time to go home.
I am blessed in that I love my family and they're good to me. And, in many ways we're really different, and it can feel challenging.
I recognize and honor that people have a wide variety of familial and relational constructs, and sometimes it may be the most skillful decision to completely cut oneself off from one's family. Or talk everyday. Or somewhere in between.
Everybody's journey and what you'll need to remind yourself of is your own.
What do you need to remember when you're with family?