Monday, November 16, 2015

Connected and Conscious Gift Giving


"There is an Infinite Law of the Spirit, or Law of Life, which tends to multiply our gifts, because in so doing it multiplies its own experience, its own pleasure, its own fruition.” 
                          - Ernest Holmes

As we move into the holiday season, we start to bring our attention to gift giving. For me, that involves a measure of anxiety, pressure and resistance. The anxiety comes from the deadline that is Christmas for having it all done – the decorating, the cooking, the cards, and yes, the gift buying and wrapping. The pressure is self-imposed for sure. It is the pressure to get just the right thing for each person. The resistance is there because in my heart I know that this yearly celebration is not about the material gift giving but rather a celebration of love and light during this otherwise dark and cold period of time.

And so every year I intend to give more consciously, more mindful of the person and their unique needs and personality. I want each gift to be from my heart, an expression of my love for them. It’s a tall order though as this kind of giving requires planning and forethought.

I am also acutely aware that I - and by I, I mean we, for the most part - in this country, are so blessed. Most of us have all that we need in the way of material things. We are sheltered; we have food and clean water, educational opportunities, freedom… What I truly think we are lacking is a sense of spiritual connection.

In psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs he addresses the basic human requirements for a full happy healthy, life leading up to self-actualization. When our basic needs are met, we have the opportunity to reach further and explore our place in this vast universe and marvel at the complexity of creation, of which we are a part. If we are open to it, this privilege of having our needs met allows for our connection with our higher, more spiritual nature. For me, this is the message of the spiritual traditions; that we are all a part of God, Goddess, Love, the Universe – whatever you choose to call that energy – and that we are offered through these traditions a chance for birth and rebirth over and over again.  Of course, it is our choice to embrace the opportunity for connection or not, but sages and prophets and yogis have encouraged us to do so from as far back as things have been recorded and so we are wise to give it a shot.

Spiritual connection brings its own gifts. We find peace in the knowledge that there is a bigger picture and that we don’t have to control every detail.  Our hearts can be opened to our fellow travelers on this journey when we come to know that we are all in this together and no one person is any better or, in our true essence, any different from the next.  We come to a place of joy when this awareness of this unity and connection is realized in us as we are joined in a beautiful web of love and light and peace that truly surpasses all human understanding.

What better gift is there? And how can I give this gift? I can give with my presence by spending my time and energy with a person or persons. I can give with my money, donating to a cause or providing something that may be of use to that person or that group. I can choose a gift that I feel will encourage this spiritual connection within the recipient, such as a meditation cushion, a yoga mat or a spiritual book. There are so many ways to do this. But it does take some planning. So here I go, a little earlier than usual.

This week’s podcast is all about conscious gift giving and we give you some of our ideas for giving in a way that is not all about the material. I hope you will start to think about this with me and join in the conversation on our Facebook page. Namaste and happy, healthy gift giving.

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