mama earth snaps her fingers and just like that, fall dances its way in. the weather gets colder, drinks get hotter, and our loved ones come closer. growing up, my mom made a big deal about the fall. she always said it was a time where humankind could truly appreciate and admire the meaning of unconventional beauty – dying trees, lumpy & misshapen pumpkins, etc. that sentiment has always deeply resonated with me. i find myself always being drawn to the “unconventional,” as it forces people to look at things through different lenses. a shift in season brings a shift in perspective.

regardless of what is happening in my life, something about the fall grounds me down and forces me to look inward – observing my own thought patterns, habits, and boundaries. the pattern that usually becomes the most apparent to me is the giving-receiving deficit. like many people in today’s world, i realize that I have been giving a whole lot more than I have been receiving. we live in a world where “busyness” has become glorified. you may see a friend that you haven’t seen in a while and ask, “how have you been?” more often than not, their reply will be, “busy!” as we start to move into gift giving season that “busyness” grows into a more dominant energy in our lives.

don’t get me wrong, giving feels SO good. being able to give your loved ones exactly what they want/need, and watching the smile plaster across their face, is pure medicine for the soul. however, sometimes we forget that the only thing our loved ones TRULY want and need, is our presence. we spend so much time trying to find the perfect gift to give while trying to balance every other aspect of our daily lives, we end up running ourselves into the ground. now is the time to ask yourself, “what have I given myself lately? have I allowed myself to be on the receiving end?”

when you are able to give to yourself, first and foremost, you can give to others without exhausting yourself. You can receive from others without feeling guilty or selfish. when you let love and light in, love and light radiate outward.

here’s a challenge for this season: take the unconventional route with your gift giving. Instead of racing in traffic to the mall, or scrolling though endless online boutiques, give a gift with soul – something small that you crafted yourself. You don’t have to be an artist or even have a creative bone in your body to curate a gift that is from the heart. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can meet me at the Palace on November 7th, and we can craft something together at my gift giving workshop.

better yet, why don’t you give the gift of your presence? often times the unconventional can be the most beautiful... In a world where everything moving so fast, it is such a blessing to simply spend time with the people that love you the most.

happy giving + receiving season, SYP fam!

***Leigha is the SYP Social Media Manager and also teaches a “Mindful Movement + Meditation” and a “Vinyasa” class at SYP