As the world busily prepares for the holiday season, let us recall that this time of year symbolizes and personifies giving. Giving, as an act, and as an expression of love, kindness and generosity, is a beautiful thing.
In today’s fast-paced society, the act of giving; moreover, the art of giving in its’ purest form, has been lost. It has rapidly become an extinct species; a fossil buried in the sands of time.
Giving has become part of the collective neurosis. For too many, it has become an act of labor and no longer a labor of love. We have discussed with so many clients over the years about this time of year and the challenges they face with giving. Their challenges with giving are typically overshadowed by what we call ‘the 3 P’s’ during the holiday season: procrastination, perfectionism and paralysis of analysis. These three mind/body control devices can easily create inner havoc for those who have to decide on, find and give just the right gift.
For those of us who are put off by the shopping experience, we delay the inevitable of purchasing the perfect gift until the eleventh hour when all hell breaks loose. For those of us who have convinced ourselves that we have to find the perfect gift for that special someone or our hard to please in-law, the anxiety of finding a gift can drive us to contracting SAMM (seasonal anxiety manufacturing madness). Actually, we just made that disorder up, although, who knows, it may be real for you!
For others, the holiday season may be a time of withdraw and hibernation. A time to be out-of sight and free from the pressures that this season can exude if we succumb to the tidal wave of commercialism, consumerism and materialism.
Beyond all this frantic doing, buried in the sands of time, yet always available to us, is the act and art of giving.
Now, more than ever before, we want to include giving, in its’ purest form, back into our lives, both individually and collectively.
Let us ask you two questions:
Do you know what giving really is?
What does giving mean to you?
These two questions, when answered honestly, will tell you whether or not you truly understand what giving is and whether or not your version is pure or distorted. Don’t despair or ruminate about your answers. We will give you the solutions.
Giving is an act. An act of conveyance, sharing, inclusion and recognition. It is also an art. An art that is innate and alive within each of us on the visceral and spiritual levels.
Giving, in its’ purest form, comes from an open and loving heart. It has no agendas, no expectations. Giving, in its’ impure and polluted version, is likened to a business contract: giving in the name of getting something in return.
During the holiday season, or during any time of year for that matter, we can always give ‘things;’ yet, not give in the purest sense at all.
The art of giving is a sharing of a gift. A spiritual gift. Like any spiritual gift, giving is an expression of love, kindness and generosity.
Giving, therefore, is not really anything you can purchase; it is something you already have and decide to share.
When we begin to understand the true meaning and importance of the act and art of giving, we begin to effectively change lives; ours and those in our circle of influence.
Let us for the moment, set aside the idea of giving as it relates to the tradition of exchanging material items. Let’s view it from a purely spiritual perspective.
There is in spiritual law an absolute truth that says, ‘I cannot give what I do not have.’ There is another truth that states, ‘All that I give is given to myself.’
What do these laws mean and how can we apply them to the holiday season and beyond?
First, ‘I cannot give what I do not have.’ No, this is not referring to money. It does, however, refer to a loving disposition and open heart. In this season, or any season, if you do not come from a place in your heart that reflects pure, positive, unconditional love, then you really do not have a whole lot to give. Love, or what we think it is, becomes a pale imitation of the real thing.
For this holiday season, then, commit to giving more from the heart and less from the anxiety-ridden mind and the wallet. Giving your most loving self to someone is the best gift you could ever give, and it’s easy on the spending budget.
The second law, ‘All that I give is given to myself,’ simply means that what we give to the world is returned to us today, tomorrow, or at some future date to be determined by the Universe. This is known as ‘karma.’
To live by this law requires us to become consciously aware of what it is we are giving to the world.
Know that what you give to others is returned to you. With that in mind, decide to give to others the gifts you want to receive yourself. Ask yourself, ‘What is it that I want most in and for my life?’ Your answer probably isn’t a thing. More than likely, it is a feeling. A feeling that makes you feel good. We can call this feeling anything we want; yet at the end of the day what we all want are the gifts of unconditional love and inner peace.
To give love and peace to others requires us to first be open to receiving love and peace ourselves. This season, commit to becoming more loving and more peaceful. These are selfless acts that you do for yourself so you can share it with others.
Love and inner peace are the most memorable and powerful gifts we can give any time of the year. All other gifts, wrapped nicely and adorned with ribbons and bows, become secondary and are soon forgotten.
When we give love and are at peace, we miraculously experience and receive the same in return. You see friends, giving and receiving are simply two aspects of the same thing.
Authentic giving and receiving know no boundaries and limits. Spiritual law tells us that life and all of its’ infinite possibilities (including love and inner peace), are available to us for the asking.
So, ask! Ask and it is given. Give love! Be at peace! Be the best gift for others and yourself this holiday season and beyond. And yes, you can put a bow on your head and even wrap yourself in ribbon.
Our gift to you is: 8 Tips to Create More Success, Inner Peace and Happiness in Your Life! Download it here.
Peace to you and yours!