“Abracadabra! Abracadabra!!” I shouted with unmistakable enthusiasm. The Story Lady leading the reading circle at my elementary school had asked us, “Who knows what the magic words are?” and I just knew that I nailed it until I saw her quiet, blank stare. As a lover of all things magic and make believe, my heart sank, and my confusion grew while she gently steered away from my exuberant reply. She intended to introduce us to the words please and thank you instead of pulling rabbits out of hats and drawing endless kerchiefs from lapel pockets. I remember thinking “How could she not understand the power of Abracadabra?” I used please and thank you all the time and those words were far from magical! I’m certain she went on to read a tale about how wonderful things happened when we used please and thank you, but I had the distinct feeling that I was being tricked into believing that magic as I knew it didn’t exist and instead the real magic was courtesy and politeness.
Offering thanks is an important piece of sharing and relating to others yet thank you can also lead to a deeper practice of gratitude. The idea is that when we are grateful (in both words and feelings), we gain perspective about what is going well. From the abiding presence of gratitude, we can quiet the noise of stress, pain, and loss. Gratitude can improve our immune system, clear our minds, and increase the flow of positive neurotransmitters in our brain. The words thank you evoke a profound and sincere magic.
In relationship with others, please goes a long way. Please is a form of vulnerability. It’s reaching out to another to say “I am asking you for something,” or “I am in need—can you support me?” Brené Brown researches and writes about the power of our vulnerability noting that when it is shared in safe space, it deepens connections, boosts our sense of hope, and equips us to handle life’s struggles with strength and grace.
We are in that time of year when we more frequently give thanks and I would like to offer my own. Thank you to those who have taken the time to journey with me through these writings or have joined me in the many classes and events offered by the Center. Thank you for allowing me into your space to offer presence, share experiences, and cultivate hope for living a life filled with vitality and balance. Truly, I am grateful to be able to do this work in support of healing, growth, and the opportunity to become our best selves.
On the Horizon
Continuing our journey together, I am excited to invite you to join me in celebrating an exciting change coming in January 2019: the Center for Vitality and Balance will have a new home in Naperville, Illinois! This beautiful new space affords room for amazing opportunities and healing experiences. Two of the most exciting features of this new space are a large multi-purpose room to host healing yoga, meditation experiences, well-being classes and other community gatherings to find healing and support. Plus, there is a full kitchen allowing for a broader offering of wellness activities related to mental health and nutrition, mindful eating, and hands-on experiences with various foods and resources.
Joining our pathways to vitality are Jen Frazer, registered yoga instructor, who will lead a number of yoga classes offering gentle support for the mind and body. Annette Licitra, Integrative Health Coach + Wellness Chef, who will join me in leading exciting classes to teach ways for increasing vitality and balance one bite at a time.
So, while Abracadabra is still fun to say, may you find all source of reasons to be thankful this season. I look forward to sharing in the forward journey of life and please join us at the Center to heal, grow and become.