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Gratitude for Roots

“Root down to rise up” is a phrase that you may hear in a yoga class, and a cue that I have used myself when guiding students into tadasana (mountain pose). The idea of roots has been on my mind lately as I watch the trees shed their leaves to prepare for the dormant winter. As we approach Thanksgiving, my mind shifts to gratitude for my own roots - those provided by my family and friends who have helped shape me into who I am today. John will be traveling back to New Hampshire with me later this month for his first Thanksgiving celebration with my family. While I enjoyed experiencing the traditions of the Busch family during last year’s holiday season, I’m excited to share the traditions of my earlier years with John.

I’m grateful to my parents, who despite the fact that they were young when raising my brother and me, provided us with a childhood of abundance. We were surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents who loved us, and were always guaranteed to have plenty of toys, and of course, pets to entertain us. I learned the value of hard work from my dad, and amazing strength from my mom. My grandma, with whom we spent many weekends watching the Red Sox and making pancakes, had a fierceness and independence that to this day provides me with the extra push I need whenever I’m faced with something challenging. Our parents encourage us to do our best in whatever we choose to pursue, and to follow our dreams, even if it means packing up and moving 2,000 miles away.

My brother, Keith, has inspired me more than he knows. He left a job that didn’t inspire him in order to start his own business that has been tremendously successful, not to mention has made my pets quite stylish (check out CritterGear to outfit your four-legged friends). Keith somehow manages to run his business (for which he himself still makes most of the product), take care of five (yes, FIVE) dogs, a beautiful home, and essentially a full orchard (compliments of his tree-obsessed husband).

Then there are my friends – those fun-loving, big-hearted people who have loved and supported me without judgment through good times and bad. Those people who I can go a year or more without seeing, and pick right up where we left off when we do cross paths. We’ve laughed, cried, traveled, and had many memorable moments together. And while we might all live in different places, being with them (no matter where we meet) is home to me. They are as essential to me as the breath in my lungs and the blood in my veins. I only hope they all know how much they mean to me.

My family and friends, and even New Hampshire itself (which requires a certain degree of tenacity to live in), are my roots – my lifeline. This November 24, I hope that you pause and take a few moments to reflect on the people for whom you are grateful, and never lose touch with your roots.

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