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Happy Holidays ya’ll! My wish for each of you during this special time of year is perspective. Go seek it or better yet, allow it to seek you. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. And it’s easy to allow the extra list of to-do items to cause stress instead of bringing joy. So let’s flip it and reverse it!

  • Stay present
  • Honor the holiday
  • Receive grace

Need inspiration? I got that covered for you…

Eyes open to take in visible blessings

A gold colored menorah holds eight burning candles to celebrate Hanukkah. There are seven orange and one blue and the menorah sits on a wood table. Hanukah gives us perspective on the Jewish community.

In early December, my new neighbors invited me to celebrate the eighth day of Hanukkah. I was honored and excited to attend. I was told the night would be about light and peace.

In advance, I did a little homework. For example, bringing light and warmth into the home during the chill of the evening is part of the Hanukkah celebration with family and friends. After lighting the menorah, it was time to enjoy the latkes! The grace was simple yet special. Bless the food in front of us, the friends with us and the love between us. As we devoured our latkes with applesauce and sour cream, my neighbors continued to bless us with family traditions and favorite memories. Perspective: Keep your eyes open to receive blessings from new friends.  

Hearts open to receive teaching souls

A man dressed as an elf leans over a young man in a wheelchair. Both have big smiles, giving us perspective for the holidays.
Joy! Photo credit: Toni Hernandez
Six women pose with a man dressed as an elf. They are all smiling and standing against a beige brick wall.
The angel crew! Photo credit: Toni Hernandez

Midmonth, I volunteered to join a new friend to celebrate the holidays with the Pine Castle community. What an amazing day to engage, interact and serve. The loving souls who attend to the special needs of this community – Mary, Debra, Silvia and Helen – are the equivalent of angels. They know their member’s likes, dislikes, boundaries and yes, even when a member is testing you as a volunteer. These dedicated  angels with servant hearts share Voice (intentional cap!) with love and enlightenment. Thank you Toni for the inclusion with your extended family.

And a sweet highlight was the DJ. Ya’ll, seriously, the power of music? I saw SO MANY faces and spirits moving, dancing, bouncing, walking, nodding, clapping and smiling. Pure joy! Perspective: Keep your hearts open to receive the special people who cross your path.   

Ears open to hear wise storytellers 

My neighbors from my previous neighborhood have an annual ‘open mike and open jam’ soup party during the holiday. The house is packed with musicians, writers, poets and artists from all ages and backgrounds. The night is beautifully woven with poem and book readings, and musicians playing a variety of instruments. 

A close up photo of the kora, a musical instrument that gives us perspective on African culture. The base is round and brown and there are multiple strings that go up to a long wooden neck.

One musician played the kora. As a self-taught artist, he shared his raw experiences and rich stories. Much of what he said about race, love, people and truth resonated with me. And one thing stood out – music is universal. In fact, I thought of the Pinecastle members and smiled. Music truly has no boundaries. It speaks to all and brings us together. PerspectiveKeep your ears open to receive storytellers and melody makers. 

Blessings to you all during the holidays. May moments surprise, teach and move you.


5 Comments

Kinney Harold · December 27, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Thanks Deb for sharing your holiday experiences from the
lens of perspective.
You have made me aware of the struggles with my perspectives of friends, family, coworkers and getting older. I’ve noticed that age has made my perspective more closely tied to my emotional state. Which seems to be quite the roller coaster ride these days. My best management skills for this is my meditation practice especially at the beach. Thanks again I do really enjoy blogs
Kinney

    cooldeb · December 27, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    Kinney, thank you for co-hosting the open mic and jam perspective session! By inviting new voices and welcoming different voices, we have an opportunity for new lessons. I know your meditation also helps with this and balances you. Thank you for sharing your voice. (And Aunt Popcorn is still in my memory bank)!

Toni H · December 27, 2018 at 11:48 pm

This makes my heart swell! Perspective is everything and when we “flip it and reverse” anything, we allow for expansion of the heart and connection of the soul. Thank you for sharing these learnings. Reminded me of the last time I shared Hanukkah with my dear friend Toni Alperin Goldberg year’s ago. I need a “jam session and storytelling”. I love for this. Thank you!

cooldeb · December 27, 2018 at 11:59 pm

Thank you Toni for inviting me to Pine Castle, a special part of your world and everyday perspective. All new to me and humbling to see family in a new light. How one’s heart is defined and the jobs we choose to do…also humbling and redefined. Grateful and happy you’re a new friend. Here’s to more times at Pine Castle…

Kay M · December 29, 2018 at 2:04 pm

Your perspectives enlighten us all. Loved this.

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