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What do the holidays mean to you?

Sentimental memories, the joyfulness, and laughter of children. Helping the needy, and until covid, the gatherings of family and friends. Now that the world has changed, holidays may be a time of introspection and a time to ready oneself for the hopeful awakening of a new world more interested in the “we” than the “I” or “Me.” We have way too much to give for a starving world with so many having so little. This time of year reminds us that who we are is defined by the difference we make in others’ lives.

How do you best deal with stress during the holidays?

I don’t sign up for stress. My emotional state is like a financial investment; therefore, I do not invest in the emotional triggers that do not serve my highest good. I am a believer that “as you think, you become.” Stress is the delivery of a willing emotion when one is out of control. I firmly believe in a saying I wrote on a piece of paper that has now been on my refrigerator for over 40 years: “I trust in the process of life.” With that belief comes the comfort to recognize that change is all that is real. My power lies in my ability to see a vision that serves the greatness of humankind.

How do you juggle your professional and personal life during the holiday season?

In the “old days” when I “thought” I had to prove something to myself and others, my professional and personal life were a juggle and a struggle, but with time comes not only age but wisdom and experience. My spiritual path has led me to the understanding that juggling, like struggle, is a life choice. I do the best I can; I accept in earnest, that I, as are others, am human and can make mistakes. I learned long ago that my standards are high and life moves quickly. Looking back, I missed many important personal interactions as business came first. I remember what I missed; however, I don’t remember the deals that I made. I have learned discipline, discernment, and respect my limits.

What is the best way that you stay present and grounded during the holidays?

The same way I stay grounded every day. I AM a grain of sand on the beach, a star in the sky, a drop of water in a rainstorm. I am here to be my greatest self, of service to others, a communicative deliverance of kindness and gratitude. One of my greatest Christmas holidays was adopting a young single woman and her nine-year-old child last year. They had recently moved into an empty trailer, having lost everything in the Paradise fires. I worked together with “my tribe of women” to provide bedding, blankets, clothing, socks, pj’s, bathrobes & slippers, books, games, medicine box, office supplies, flashlights, food, personal hygiene, a battery-operated DVD player, and 40 Disney DVD’s–not forgetting yummy treats and of course financial assistance. The best way to stay grounded is to think of others–friends, family, strangers–who I can grace with a full and open heart with my privileges, for which I am, every day, blessed.