What’s in Your Holiday Bag?

With less than a month before Christmas your energy may seem scattered between what you want to do and what you believe you have to or should do. Extra activities abound, extra “on the go” errands to run, cards to write, check this list, check that list – so much “doing”, but which way to turn first?

The media, with its attention on commercial buying and material gadgets, has our wish list filled with items that we may find we really do not want; the media has us dreaming in terms of gifts, but the true gift of the season could be to change our awareness, change our focus and change our status to “being rather than doing”.  Wouldn’t that really upset the commercialism’s apple cart?

Sure, some things have to be done – that is the season.  But what if you shifted your focus to the heart rather than your pocket book and head?  What if this season each of us found a way to limit our focus on the commercial and begin to bring our awareness back to what really matters in life?

Love and an open heart are the two main reasons for the season.  With love and an open heart we can begin to surmise that material things come and go.  Love with an open heart can remain with us forever – if we allow them to.

With love it is possible to see people for who they really are.  Love affords an opportunity to let go of labels, dismiss the number of gifts given or received and love helps you to find boundaries that allow you to be you.  And yes, you have permission to schedule some down time for you this season.  Love and time, when given from an open-heart perspective, are the all-important things that everyone really desires.  Many people will not tell you this, but it is true.

What does love look like?  Well, it may be a few minutes of your time with someone who has very little.  It may be a giving of a dish to someone struggling to feed themselves and their family.  In days of old, my mom always baked extra pound cakes or fruitcakes to give to friends and families.  This one gesture was a heart felt gift between friends that said, “I was thinking of you today and wanted to share something from my kitchen”.  Baking was one of my moms favorite things and it cost very little to make extra treats for others.  She did it from the heart and with love.  Following the baking, she sat down and smiled at memories she was making and the love she was sharing.  Following the baking, she penciled in time for herself.

Holiday Bag
What’s in your holiday bag?

Love might also look like a night of cards or board games.  Getting the family together to laugh and just “be” is a true form of love. The hardest part of this is getting everyone together.  So go ahead and pencil in a night during this holiday season to just “be” – with nowhere to go, just good family fun.  I love getting together when there is no pressure of doing or exchanging gifts.  A few snacks for everyone, a few laughs and jokes – a place to make memories that linger in the mind and heart of all who attend.  People will most likely not recall the gift received this year, but they will recall the fellowship of game-night.

What about that open-heart idea?  An open heart says it all.  When you do get together with family or friends, allow the outside world to disappear.  Put down the phones, iPods, and computers; be present with those around you.  Open your heart to feel.  An open heart says I feel free enough to show my own true spirit to those I am surrounded by.  An open heart allows you to laugh and let go.  Laughter is the best medicine you know.

An open heart is not a judging heart filled with the struggles of the past year, nor it is a heart terrified by what next year may hold.  An open heart allows you to enjoy the time together, decreasing the amount of doing.  An open heart puts focus on the here and now.  An open heart attends to what is at this present moment and whom it is that you truly desire to be with.  When you do things from an open heart, you allow the flow of life to arrive at your doorstep where you meet it with open arms.  Time flies in this manner; so does friendship and brighter days.

So as this festive season begins, I encourage each of you to look at your list of things “to do” and parse it down a notch or two.  Take time to be with those who truly add pleasure to your life.  Stop trying to be everything to everyone – what is it that you want?  Add some time for stillness in your life this season so that you can feel the heart, feel the season and find the love within.  Then share it with those most important to you.

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