What can you let go of this Thanksgiving?
Yesterday I was listening to WNYC’s All of It and the guest was talking about Thanksgiving recipes. He mentioned the mental shift that has happened since the pandemic and how we can reevaluate what we want this holiday to be. He was speaking in terms of food, what recipes his family would let go of and what essentials they would keep making the holiday easier and less stressful. A lightbulb immediately went off for me. What habits or behaviors can we let go of to make Thanksgiving less stressful?
The pandemic has created a mind shift for many. People are reevaluating how they work and how they live. This examination of the essentials can pair down what is really important to us.
We all have our supreme vision of what Thanksgiving will be: all the food will be fantastic, everyone will get along, the house will be completely clean, the kids will be smiling and happy, but the reality rarely measures up. What is really most important to you about this holiday? If one dish isn’t perfect, does it really matter? What will the kids remember most?
What I learned about my daughter is that what she really wants most is to spend time doing things together. It makes her happier than any toy, doll, book, or tv show. I have decided what is most important to me this Thanksgiving is that we do things together. Cooking together even if it means the kitchen becomes a complete disaster. (She likes to clap her hands together with flour on them and yell it’s snowing!) I also want us to have time to do some crafts together. She loves crafting. All though I am far from crafty, I love looking at our creations and remembering the fun we had making them.
I invite you to reexamine how you think things should be this Thanksgiving and look at the reality of how they often are. Think about what brings your family the most joy and do those things. Let something go that you dread or makes you feel stressed. I guarantee that no one will miss it or probably even notice. It might bring you great joy to break with tradition and do things differently. It could be like a breath of fresh air.
In Chinese medicine Fall is the season of metal. The metal organ pairs are the Lung and Large Intestine. The emotions of the Lung have to do with grief. More memories of grief may rise to the surface in the fall. The emotion of the Large Intestine is LETTING GO. An essential part of the grieving process is to let go of those we have lost.
Meditation on LETTING GO
I invite you to take a moment this Thanksgiving to think of all of those we have lost to this pandemic. We have lost 773,000 in the United States. We have also lost opportunities, experiences, visits with loved ones, and chances to make memories. Take a few breaths to feel those losses. Then take a few breaths focusing on the exhale. Breathe out through an open mouth and let it all go. Let the past go. Let the loss go. Let the pain go. Let the stress go. Breathe in and draw your shoulders up. Breathe out and let shoulders drop,1. Breathe in and draw your shoulders up. Breathe out and let your shoulders drop, 2. Breathe in and draw your shoulders up. Breathe out and let the shoulders drop,3. Breathe in and feel your body relaxed, calm, released. Breathe out and let go.
Take time this fall season to embrace the energy of letting go and you might just feel a little more free and lighter.
In health and wellness,
Dr. Bethany Leddy
Dr. Bethany Leddy, DACM, Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist
119 W. 23rd St., Suite 407
New York, NY 10011
273 Columbus Ave., Suite 6A
Tuckahoe, NY 10707