Today I bake cookies and pies, one of my favorite things to do. Then, we head over to our neighbors to begin celebrating. Our festivities begin tonight.
I am enjoying an early Christmas gift, a teeny-tiny video camera so I can practice my speeches for Toastmasters. I am not the most technologically-minded person but this thing is tiny and I can hold it in my hand and record and delete, record and delete. We had a small group last night and yet the speeches were again fascinating. One new member spoke of his adventures, including holding a twenty foot long anaconda. Another spoke of John Muir and his impact on CA. Since I went early to Muir Woods yesterday to be there alone, I could relate to his words that to go "out" is really to go "in".
The theme last night was appreciation. The toastmaster for the evening, pointed out that this time of year we tell people we appreciate them. Maybe we could tell them all year. Maybe we could tell ourselves how much we appreciate ourselves.
One woman spoke of her two year old grandchild and how he is an example of mindfulness. She suggested we each live like a two year old. I don't think she was suggesting we throw food on the floor.
There is so much to be grateful for; there is so much to hold as tragic.
I am enjoying the book Silence by Robert Sardello. It is about listening to Silence, deciphering and unfolding the wisdom there.
He suggests a meditative exercise to practice each day for five minutes. It is a way to feel and connect with our own rhythm.
Say: "I enter the silence." Then, "I enter the silence." Then, "I enter the silence."
That way, "We begin to anticipate Silence as the most important aspect of our conversation with others. We find ourselves inclining toward this element as the way, the only way, to be in connection with the soul of another person. We come to feel such a connection as far more important than our curiosity, intellectual ability, need for affirmation, or anything else we might bring to what seems like a simple conversation."
Bake. Savor. Appreciate. Joy!