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Yes, Beautiful Readers


Beautiful Readers,

So it’s that time of year again. Corporate hands are in your pockets. Little children scream for toys they will use twice and lose or will only help them to numbly waste more time in their precious lives. Everyone’s family seems to love and appreciate them more than yours loves and appreciates you. People you know put on a pale show of holiday perfection. The whole snow thing makes no sense if you live in a part of the country where there isn’t any, or maybe whoever is in charge of snow doesn’t get it together in time for your holiday.

Santa’s mitten is out on every corner. Especially desperate shop owners want to convince you that hand-made 24 karat, holly shaped, key fobs are the only Xmas present for those who are truly special in your life. They’re made in the Ukraine, sustainably, by orphaned nuns. And the few special people who receive them will feel their value when they unwrap them. Do you love those people enough for 24 karats? Every shop and restaurant reeks of industrial strength charm. Extra charm. Charm with lip plumper and 5 inch heels on.

Cynical? Me? Sure, about cynical things. About tricks. About things that toy with some very deep and sweet emotions. But I am most certainly not cynical about the holidays. The real holidays are very dear to me and to my family. In fact, I believe in keeping Christmas, or Hannukah, or whatever holidays you celebrate, safe and true, by protecting them righteously against cynicism, so you can open your tender heart wide to the real and lasting gifts that the holiday season can bring.

During the real holidays, as opposed to the sham ones, even the most defended may for a time, bravely dream of a better world, for themselves, for the people they love, for everyone. Even the most shy or self doubting will, for moments, be Santa Claus in their mind. The most disempowered will feel glimmers of the magic inside them.

The most alienated and rejected may dare to dream they are beloved by all. The most bitter can sense that they could be a force of healing and love in the world and thereby heal themselves. The insecure may imagine they have all the safety they need within them and could use it to protect the people they care for.

The real holidays give you the right to be hopeful, foolish and gullible. A tender time to forgive yourself and others for past weaknesses and foibles and failings, and believe, for now, that, despite what cynics say, everyone can change. That you can change. That the world can be a better place because of you.

And the regret and discomfort that can accompany the holidays isn’t really about the holidays at all. Its a gift. And those feelings which can sometimes feel intolerable, are tolerable, so take them for what they are-a message, a warning, a dare to Ebenezer, to be better and stronger in this life. Challenge yourself to patiently claim responsibility for starting to heal in the ways you may know you need to. It’s the most important thing of all and the rest of us need you to be well.

So bravely allow the sappy songs and tender tales about real family, real love, genuine kindness, and sharing, to seep into your heart, even if it hurts a little, and believe, really believe, that all things are possible. You can change the world, even if that doesn’t make sense to you now, because the world is much greater than the sum of its parts. Love can prevail, and does all the time, even against the most incredible odds.

Happy Holidays and thanks for reading,

Alexandra Florio
Beautiful Fitness

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