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Bringing the old, beautiful realm of Holy Night, echoing with ancient voices, rustling with intimacy’s passion, luminous with stars.
Cradled in darkness, be restored to the embrace of mystery.
Glory wakes here.
Let it kindle your joy.
Wishing All a Very Blessed, Happy and Joyful Holiday!
With record snow falls today it was a just the kind of day to round up some friends and available family members to go snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, or if neither were available, a well boot-up hike- though you hustled a bit faster to keep up.
Usually the skiing kicks in later this month, right around Christmas break and throughout the rest of the winter, whenever good snow and tracks are easy to find or make. And living in a metro-urban city hasn’t stopped this faved activity in the least, although we are fortunate to have patches of wooded areas and a major lake providing a spectacular view in any season. I think we were all captured by Winter Solstice awe, and yet conscious of a special someone who is still not with us- yet.
Gathering at the last minute, though for some was not possible with the drive, was one of those quirky “T” (moi) -things I end up being happy I did. Making vegetarian chili with eggplant subji (the eggplant… ahem, was leftovers, but no one complained) and the chili-cheese cornbread finished with barely a crumb left in the pans.
And though the dishes have been cleared, the last to linger have left safely, I’m not quite too tired as I type this.
I’m intentionally and slowly appreciating this past evening, and find an email with the day’s horoscope, equally perfect to tie into the meaning of the past day for me from a dear friend who is also, like myself, an Aries:
Feeling Earnest –
You may already be feeling your brows furrowing today as you notice your serious attitude. Because you may be looking at life from a weighty perspective, you could be feeling earnest. Life can indeed be worthy of solemn appraisal at times, and allowing ourselves to interpret situations from this standpoint may give us valuable insight to draw upon in future days when we are feeling lighter. As we follow our intuitive guidance, we will naturally shift from this mood when the time is right, so we mustn’t feel guilty about losing the edge of intensity whatever the circumstances seem to dictate. As you seek to honor your inner guidance and seek balance in your life, today gives you the opportunity to experience a perspective of depth that may serve you well in the future. Though our goal in life may be happiness, we can have times of serious contemplation of weighty subjects without it meaning that we are off the path. Life requires balance and sometimes that involves experiencing darkness in order to understand and appreciate the light. Without the contrast, life can lose its meaning. It is perhaps an unfortunate aspect of the nature of the material world and its dualities. So today don’t fight the sober mood, but instead learn all you can from it in order to allow it to infuse your happier times with a new depth of meaning and your life with a greater understanding of balance.
Even though both our daughter’s are well beyond the fantasies of a “real” Santa, the story of the Tomtem, mythical Finnish elves, (and these days what I would give for a Tomtem to help cook and clean!) and snuggling up to endlessly open each envelope within Tolkien’s Letters From Father Christmas, the magic and our imaginations still shine with wonder and grace for the season– no matter what.
The Spirit of the Holiday is quite powerful if you take the time to remember and reflect on what truly is important and meaningful. Such a simple and beautiful gift to give oneself, but not always easy to do.
‘Tis the season of gift giving and ever-expanding commercialization of Christmas as we modern people know all too well. This busying and running here and there has robbed the “sacredness of the season” as I refer back to the wise words of John Matthews:
This season our wish is for our youngest daughter to really begin believing, once again, within her own inner gifts, her endless possibilities to live a full and happy Life, without ED. That she can accept herself as she is, feel safe, trust herself and others, allow her body and mind the time it needs to heal; and acknowledge her own true needs.
It again, seems so simple.
I also wish for all of you to give yourselves the gift of time to listen to your own true needs, find an inner abundance of Peace and Love, and allow time and space to fully ENJOY this holiday season!
* Many Heart-Felt Thanks to all who have emailed and written with your thoughts and support! We feel very blessed to have such caring individuals in our lives– especially at this time– THANK YOU! Marielle the gift-basket was so incredibly generous and such a surprise…. words can’t begin to convey our appreciation. -XO*
Yes, it’s already December and I’m still concocting a various array of T-Day leftover meals. The latest- and hopefully the last turkey creation!- curried turkey potpie was a hit, but with one plate empty at the table.
Life for our family, once again, is on temporary halt to regroup, realign, and reaffirm former, as well as new recovery priorities-goals; and up the ante a bit to get beyond the bump-in-the-road our daughter is experiencing wrestling free (though as of late, resembling more acquiescence) from the dangerous clutches of anorexia.
Ironically we were in this familiar territory the same time last year. And as a parent, when you’ve seen how far your child has come through his/her ED recovery, how hard the fight gets fought, seeing and knowing they can do it; it feels like suddenly your footing on that long arduous climb is becoming loose and weak. You’ve been tossed back down, the wind has been knocked clean out — “GASP!” Some confusion sets in, frustration, even some anger– “Damn you friggin’ (I use a word with a bit more gusto and power) ED!” It’s time to take action, as most of us know, eating disorders love the waiting-game, the delay, the postponing… we’ve already been there too.
Adolescence is a time of rapid growth and development, and a body taxed with an eating disorder at this time cannot do fully what it was meant to do normally unhindered. The reports regarding bone density and calcium loss within eating disorder sufferers are not new but it is a necessary reminder of the severity of this illness and why treatment should not be delayed, since significant changes do take place before decreases in bone structure become evident, and some of these changes can be permanent after a certain age.
Leftovers in this scenario can also be remembered as requiring 100% full nutritional support and adherence- without question, without exception. This time of year brings forth both a welcoming joy towards celebration with family and friends, but as well an unwelcome increase of stressors and worries that pose some unique challenges for those with eating disorders.
There has been a wide variety of posts and informational resources in this regard which is fantastic. One incredibly busy and committed individual interviewing as of late is Dr Cynthia Bulik, who is the director of the UNC Eating Disorder Program prompting:
Dr Bulik also continued with an “Eating Pressure” interview recently conducted by CNN worth viewing.
And there is an equally interesting qualitative study: “Total Control? Eating Disorders and Emotional Responses to Food” conducted by the University of Adelaide in Australia with the result podcast and interview available from CQ University’s International Program of Psych-Social Health Research Dept that looks at emotional responses to images of food presented to adults with eating disorders, and using the qualitative methodology to further measure and explore issues of self-control, food fears/responses, CBT-cognitive behavior therapy as a means to help adjust maladaptive ways of thinking and behaving. I think this could also be extremely beneficial to younger ED sufferers as well, and crucial for helping them deal more cohesively with their “fear” foods that many times get downplayed or ignored within many treatment programs by only having the patients eat the foods, or avoid them altogether in their meal plans.
And yet more leftovers, as lastly I found BBC’s-Radio4 All In The Mind Segment by Claudia Hammond insightful in regards to the variations in some residential programs and getting additional perspectives from patients who are going through the program, their personal thoughts and views. The “partnership” message from the Phoenix ED program in the UK director, Dr Thompson was also welcoming to hear in having patients play a significant role in their treatment and recovery process along with more collaborative and balanced strategies. The numbered tables that residents eat at are something quite interesting as well, with Table 1 being a level requiring most support and moving towards Table 3 with more independence, and thusly Table 2 being 50/50. I think to me what stands out is the ability to remain open to making changes and being creative in strategies, and not simply applying practices to ED care and treatment that simply don’t always work for the individual patient.
So while I’m still musing over Thanksgiving tidbits and at the same time putting up the Christmas lights and bringing out the boxes of holiday decorations, we’ll keep fighting and rallying behind our daughter to continue to move forward within her next level of recovery. Regaining some ground lost with deeper learning and strength gained (we all make mistakes and have setbacks- with or without an eating disorder!) We know we’ll get through this together and once again her place at the table will be filled when she is ready… until then leftovers may be on the menu for awhile.