Holiday gift giving has a long tradition in our house. Stacks and stacks of presents, spread so wide you couldn't get into the room, was how I grew up and how I was with my kids when they were little. I totally understand where my mother is coming from but things have changed (thank goodness) and priorities made.
Take a look at your house/room right now. With so many "things", do you really need more?? We live in a society where we have so many possessions which, in my mind, means more things to take care of and worry about. Do we put that much energy into taking care of ourselves?? Most of the time I don't see that we do. We are usually last on our list. It also begs the question of how much of a sense of self and happiness comes from the external world?
Excess is everywhere yet often we feel a sense of lack, low fulfillment, emptiness even. We have bought into the advertiser's thought pattern that more is better, that the latest is the greatest, and that a world filled with electronics of every shape and application is the way of the future (until the power goes out). I'm so glad I love books... the touchy feel ones that you use your fingers to turn pages, not a button.
Looking at the material world for health and happiness (ultimately, true personal wealth) is the wrong direction (depression is high for lottery winners). Health and happiness comes from shared community, presence and connection with others, and taking in the good that already exists in life. Joys come from shared intimacy and creative adventures.
After I returned to my house earlier this year after the fire, I was very purposeful in only bringing in items that I felt were important or needed. I didn't need to bring those "extras" in that would just sit there, taking up space, waiting for me to make the time to "play" with them. Do I miss a sewing machine every now and again? Yes, but I can also borrow my friend JoAnn's anytime I need.
Take a look at the gifts you're giving this season. It's really precious to show someone you care and appreciate them by offering something wholesome and meaningful. Step back and notice if your gifts are boxed and packaged in cellophane or with a homemade scarf. Did you need to take a price sticker off or are the stickers instead special stamps to commemorate a shared event? Let the true expression of the love and caring you have for another be your guide. Shower your family and friends with the gift of your presence, spending time being with one another to interact, laugh, talk, play games, create, and be inventive. Let the happiness last, not the credit card debt.
And make sure to take care of yourself as well. Put yourself as top priority on the list, not selfishly, but so that your energy and health are better aligned for the year ahead. YOU are the gift that needs to be shared this season. YOU are worthy of joy and abundance. YOU are special and needed. Share YOU from the Heart and ALL the seasons will be bright! And please check out all the programs, workshops, and classes coming up in 2014. in the meantime, stay in P
Peace and Many, Many Blessings!!
Mindfulness & Stress Management Coach