The Inner Voice

And so it is that the end of 2011 has come upon us already—in the blink of an eye, it seems. The next few months will be a whirlwind of social events, holiday celebrations and family gatherings, a rush to cross all the names off our gift lists…quite the frenzied schedule we have made for ourselves.

It’s a common theme of this day and age.

For the last few months, I have tried—really tried—to live purposely, in the present: paying attention to my instincts, fighting the urge to schedule every spare moment of time.

And amazing things have happened.

Watching a deer lope gracefully across my backyard. A cup of coffee with a neighbor. A spontaneous meeting with a friend—after weeks of trying to schedule a date.

The contented sigh of my daughter’s dog as I petted him. Deciding to go to a football game at the last minute. Getting the perfect table for dining…without reservations.

Listening to my instincts. Simple delights. Joyful surprises.

“Go with your gut,” advises a recent Wall Street Journal piece. “In today’s flood of product options, feelings are more reliable than analysis.” Where once there was Cheerios, there are now Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios…11 flavors, all told. We’re taught to make rational decisions based on reason, but our brains are quickly overwhelmed by these sprawling menus of options.

It’s the age-old battle of reason and emotion. And personally, I have found that more often than not, my gut instinct is usually correct.

I thought about this as I read the article in this issue about vegetarian diets. When it comes to food, our bodies often tell us what they need, if we listen. I remember when I was pregnant with my second child, and for some reason, I craved liver! He was later born with an iron deficiency—it seems my body was yearning for foods rich in iron.

As the holidays approach, I hope to be more mindful of my activities…to not over-schedule, over-think, over-buy, over-cook, over-eat. It’s easier said than done, but the rewards are many.

Here’s to a wonderful and contented holiday season, full of simple delights and joyful surprises! a&s

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