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When you are not ready for jingle bells…

When you are not ready for jingle bells... by Keri Kettle

I’m in the midst of a six month training program to learn to sit with the dying, the sick, the grieving and those that are just going through one of those times in life when it feels like your whole world has unraveled.  In many ways, I’ve been training for this for years as I’ve continued my education in my work as a family and elder law mediator.  For reasons I don’t claim to fully understand, I often feel called to learn more to help walk folks through the more difficult phases of life and I love nothing more than also being there when they come out of muck and they are ready to dance again.  The holidays can be particularly challenging for those that have only recently crawled out of the shit ditch.

The holidays came up fast and furious this year, as they often do.  Perhaps because I’m in the middle of this training, I’m noticing how many people aren’t feeling ready to jingle all the way from Halloween to New Year’s.  I get it, I’ve been there, too.

What I want you to know is that it’s okay to not want a bright and shiny holiday season.  It’s okay to want a quieter, more low-key path through the tinsel and glitter.

It’s also okay to want the full shebang with a thousand lights and Christmas tunes blaring since July. There is nothing wrong with you for wanting to hang the wreath on your car and to be there at dawn with the Black Friday shoppers.

There is space for every kind of celebration.  The loud and boisterous or the sacred silence.

All I ask is this – have the holidays YOU want to have, not the ones you think you SHOULD have.  The only celebration that rings false is the one that isn’t a true reflection of where your heart is right now.

Joyfully bake the cookies or don’t bake them at all.  Wrap those gifts with love or skip the shopping this year.  Choose your own adventure.

The only rule is to be true.

Getting out of the shit ditch…

Getting out of the shit ditch... by Keri Kettle

You don’t have to go it alone. You don’t have to suck it up or power through.  If you need to melt in to the couch and snuggle with your partner, your kid or your dog or a pint of ice cream- it does not mean you are weak. It takes a lot of courage [...]

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The magic of the red chairs…

The magic of the red chairs... by Keri Kettle

I made a short video for you about red chair magic and how to get a little red chair magic into your days. I hashtag the pictures I take at the red chairs in our backyard #redchairmagic. Sitting at the red chairs is the pause I give myself permission to take. When my honey and [...]

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The Lies Parents Tell Themselves…

The Lies Parents Tell Themselves... by Keri Kettle

When we first moved here, we were sweetly invited to a dinner party so we could get to know our neighbors.  We soon learned that the people at the party all had children who were off to college, or headed that way shortly.  They had raised their kids together, here on this block.  At one [...]

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What happens when you look into her eyes…

What happens when you look into her eyes... by Keri Kettle

Photo credit: Catherine Just Photography After the Saturday Farmer’s Market, I see her as I’m loading my bags of produce and flowers into the car – straggly gray hair, dirty clothes, wearing slippers and carrying a battered, white handbag. She stopped short in front of my car exclaiming, “You are the prettiest one I’ve seen since [...]

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