The winter holidays and the end of the year always demand a shift in my focus. They demand a more inward than outward facing gaze, a more grateful attitude than demanding, and they inspire more loving and connected relationships than disconnected. I’ve been inspired by wisdom that has arisen from unexpected people and places these last few months of 2019, and felt deeply reflective and excited for life all at once. For me they are also a time to do less “telling” via social media about what I’m taking in and instead more “experiencing”.  This last quarter of 2019 has included some exquisitely beautiful landscapes of the world, my heart and my spirit, and I am grateful to have shared and celebrated with so many of you some personal milestones and wins.

In August, I began a new health and wellness teaching role at The Dalton School that incorporates my passion for social justice, wellbeing, and a mindful and compassionate approach to thriving in diverse community. I feel blessed to be working with a badass educator dream team that the activist in me needed as confirmation that systemic change is possible, even if only in a small corner of the world of education to start.

In September, an unforgettable and long-desired opportunity to act with my sister (on Grey’s Anatomy, one of the most successful episodic shows on television!), reminded me less of my love of acting and the power of storytelling which I’ve never forgotten, but of my personal why I act. Reconnecting with my “why” is helping me reimagine the how to stay the course of an actor’s life despite it being among the most confronting tests of faith I have ever endured. Yet, my 20+ years yoga and mindfulness practice and my arsenal of self-care tools have literally reframed my ability to navigate those petulant acting waters in a way I once was unable to, and this feels like an exceptional triumph.

A souljourn to Southern France and Paris in October flushed  me with the thrill of life’s sensual and aesthetic treasures. My senses are still on fire with the food, wine, history, culture, architecture, design, fashion of this super sexy destination after somewhat of a fast from European travel, lol! I am inspired to keep creating trips like these for kindred, mindful travel spirits as often as possible. Sharing this trip with some of my dearest friends and clients ensured that crazy antics and belly laughs were abundant. We all returned from France so clear: joy is a revolutionary act, and silliness and laughter are nourishment for the heart and soul.

The fall also included completion of the manuscript of my first book contract with Shambhala Publications, a yoga and mindfulness resource for kids and the adults that love them. This project seemed to write itself, y’all, like for real. Working with my editor and team at Shambhala was a reminder that when something is meant for me, is truly right for me, it can feel easy and almost effortless, and I don’t have to panic and doubt that I deserve this gift. I am worthy. And so it is. Stay tuned for it’s early 2021 release!

Lastly, these last few weeks have helped clarify a need to tend more carefully and respectfully to certain people and areas of my life that I’ve neglected paying close attention to. I’ve been doing a lot of sitting and praying about some of this, honestly. As smart or not that I may be, the wisdom for taking the best course of action seems to require a more inspired resolution than my mind and heart has been able to come up with on my own. So I trust. I continue to pause, and I wait.

As some of you might remember, 2018 and 2019 for me were largely inspired by love. I have spent countless hours reading about love, doing a personal inquiry about the role of love in my life, exploring yoga and mindfulness as tools to support embodying, truly being a force of love in the world and more. In doing so I have been graciously reminded that what I put my attention on is literally what arises. I feel so deeply loved, y’all. I feel cherished and appreciated, seen and worthy of love. And what’s fascinating is how much love I feel I have to give. Oh, how I love love.

I used to underestimate the power of a pause, of quieter times, of doing less or even nothing at all, unnerved a bit by my compulsion to require constant stimulation. Today, years of devoted self-care have taught me to treasure a reflective and humble pause. I’m grateful for holidays that make doing so a lot easier.

I wish you all a glorious, love-filled holiday season.

With peace and deep gratitude,
Crystal