Merry Christmas, my wonderful friends! It has been a busy month, but today I am lounging in my pajamas, eating delicious leftovers, and enjoying time with my family. Happiness. I hope you are having a peaceful and a joyful day, as well.

This week, I received a suggestion from a friend: Why don’t we have a service challenge about taking care of ourselves? I loved that idea. Many of us spend this time of year preparing gifts for others. And if you’re like me, you’re feeling a little bit tired. So here is my challenge to you this week: take time to relax and rejuvenate if you can. Reflect back on this year, the things that have ben wonderful, and the things you might want to change a bit in the future. Because next week we’ll be back, and we’ll be planning some wonderful things together for 2015.

If I may pass on a bit of advice: When I was pregnant with my son, I was dealing with some pretty heavy depression. Between the constant sickness, the crazy hormones, and the stress of caring for my toddler when I could barely lift my head off of the pillow, I felt completely empty inside. Desperate for help, I went to a therapist, and I’m so glad I did. In just a few sessions, I felt much, much better about life. Here is one of the most important conversations I’ve ever had.

“So what do you do for yourself that makes you stronger?”

Blank stare.

“Um … well, uh – I read a lot.”

“Why do you read?”

“Well, because when I read, I escape from life and how I feel.”

“Okay. That’s not a bad thing. But that’s not making you stronger. It’s just escaping for a few minutes. What do you do to build yourself up?”

At that point, I was in tears. I realized that I was wasting a lot of time just trying to escape from my sadness, but I couldn’t think of one single thing I was going to make myself actually feel better about life.

So … what makes YOU feel better? What makes you feel stronger? I’d love for you to give this some serious thought. Do you feel better about yourself after working out? After creating something beautiful? After spending time with loved ones?

This Christmas, give a gift to yourself. Do something that makes you feel more optimistic about life. Because another wonderful piece of advice I’ve been given is this: you can’t serve from an empty platter.

 

So this week, fill your platter.

And next week – let’s serve!Merry Christmas!

 

 

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