As Thanksgiving approaches with the remainder of the holiday season nipping at its heels, I tend to turn inward this time of year for a period of personal reflection. For the most part, my family and friends are back in Oklahoma. Because of this, I lack the distractions normally associated with a busy holiday season built around endless gatherings and festive parties.
The little monkey in my brain that chitter-chatters all day long wants to focus on some perceived lack for not having a picturesque and idealistic Norman Rockwell holiday season. However, I have learned to distract the little critter by setting another task in front of it. One that is inevitably more healthy and positive. What am I grateful for?
With the pandemic, I spend even more time in my own company. I have literally adapted to communing with nature as though they are my family and friends. I often refer to them as such and experience overwhelming gratitude for the simplest things these days. That is, when the little monkey is behaving.
Finding gratitude in nature, and particularly plants, takes no time at all. As I sit here at the computer, I realize my house, floors and computer desk are all made from wood. As I pause for a moment to take a conscious breath, I realize that without plants there would be no oxygen. I am thankful for trees.
For lunch, I had brown rice pasta with green olives and olive oil. Topped with oregano, parsley, garlic and pepper. Along with a nice cup of matcha, I consumed eight different plants just with lunch. We have access to a nearly endless supply of plants with which we can create savory, memory-filled dishes. I am thankful for farmers.
While doing my daily midday walking meditation in my backyard, I delight in watching the birds, squirrels and rabbits. Without plants, what would they eat? Where would they build their homes? I am thankful for the plants that house and nourish my animal friends.
In my bathroom, there are dozens of plant-based products. Ranging from toothpaste, mouthwash and shampoo to aloe vera gel and witch hazel. But, the products I enjoy the most in this room are the essential oils — most of which are floral in nature. Their scents are both magnificent and therapeutic. I am thankful for flowers.
My medicine cabinet is filled with botanicals. From daily supplements to those for a specified need, I have a wide variety of tinctures, syrups and powders. I am thankful for them.
Lastly, since I am not sitting here at the computer donning a fig leaf or two, I am ever so thankful for plant fibers. And, I would imagine, so are my neighbors.
So, if your holiday season perhaps seems a little lackluster this year for whatever reason, I humbly invite you to practice plant-based gratitude. It can actually make you happier, reduce stress and improve your health. What are you grateful for?
Arianna Kelley Rawlsky has an M.S. in horticulture and is the director of Bringing People and Plants …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment