What a hike I had on Tuesday morning! The snow gently dumped for 2 days and just like that, my little town was transformed into a winter wonderland. The oh-so-recently-bare trees were laden with white fluff from head to toe. On my way up and down the hill, each pause I took to catch my breath or look around, allowed the view of a perfect icy snapshot. A few days inside of this sweet and quiet snow globe were rather blissful. Snowmen and snowballs, board games and cozy fires, sledding at preschool and romping with the dog in her very first snow. (She loved it!) A wonderful way to welcome the colder months to come, and a wonderful way to greet the holiday season.
I have to admit, I’ve been stalling on posting a blog entry these past few weeks. Everything I write seems to be wrong. One of my biggest challenges is that I’m always trying to make everyone happy. At this moment in history when we all seem to be at odds with each other, I find it hard to put words to paper (umm, computer screen) without my inner critic halting me, afraid I might not say it the right way, or offend someone. Hey, don’t judge! We all have our hang ups! So with a little discomfort, I push onward, doing my best and learning as I go.
Waking up on November 9th was indeed, shocking to us all. Like many of us, I went to bed thinking one thing was going to happen, and just like that, woke up to the complete opposite. Its quite a roller coaster ride, taking in the daily events in the news and sifting through the often toxic social media. Yet we carry on, taking our kids to school, going to work, eating, walking, driving, and processing all the while. Pain and fear can seem paralyzing, overwhelming, so very very frustrating, and yet the earth turns, the sun sets, opinions shift, we are called to action, we are called to reflect, perhaps more deeply as a nation than ever before.
On this day of gratitude, Thanksgiving Day, I feel more grateful than ever to be following my heart, my calling, my dreams. I decide every day to focus on what makes me feel good, to seek it out as though my life depends on it, because it does! With passion, I commit myself to serving myself through serving others. I commit to compassion, empathy, love, peace, forgiveness, living my truth, speaking my truth. In my line of work, which is often (or will soon be) working with the sick and the dying, one of the most important things I can do is to listen. To listen without judgement, but simply to be an open and willing witness to a person’s pain, struggle, fear, story. I needn’t take it in or absorb it or feel pity for it. I can simply be present in its presence, with an open heart, and hold space for love. And just like that, healing can happen. Shit can shift. Shadows will always exist as long as there is light. And sometimes we have to deeply investigate the shadows in order to move back into the light. So today, I chose to feel grateful for the darkness. I lean in with curiosity. And with tenacity, I will investigate what makes me and this nation feel uncomfortable, understanding that this too is knowledge and necessary for growth.
Blessings to you! Enjoy the holiday weekend, and I hope we all can find ways to allow our hearts to feel full of Thanksgiving. :)
Hi, my name is Ali Dawson Gibson. I'm a healer, a singer and a teacher. This Blog, 52 Weeks of the Ledges, is from 2016 when I hiked this awesome Bristol Ledges trail once and week and shared my experiences. Enjoy!