True Gifts

I hope this holiday season delivers a measure of peace and joy along with the usual helpings of stress and anxiety. I’m a recovering scrooge since holidays when I was growing up were often a time of conflict and an opportunity for family dysfunctions to act out in the most dramatic fashions.  For years I would "seize up" just before the holidays, feel almost paralyzed by expectations…both good and bad. It would take half of January to recover from the feelings of somehow failing at doing Christmas!

A wonderful book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach provides some great insight on the role of gifts in the real Christmas story stating "those gifts (unconditional love, faith, joy, peace, generosity, compassion, wonder, acceptance, courage) were wrapped in miracles…which is why we can’t find them at the malls"!  Well said!

Good health in body, mind and spirit is enriched by the knowledge that whatever has gone on in the past or is going on in the present, we all have a choice about what to focus on…. which in essense defines our experiences. I’m always in awe of people who live through tremendous challenges, even tragedy and yet manage somehow to stay positive and grateful.  Using phrases like a blessing in disguise, a time to pull together, an opportunity for growth they move forward with hope and gratitude for what is good in their lives.  I’ve decided that to feel joy during the holidays (and always) I need to practice being joyful and focus on creating positive energy around me.  I won’t get the Christmas cards out until after Christmas, my packages will be wrapped without lovely bows, but I’m going to focus energy on giving my family the gift of joyfulness because that’s something they will cherish always. I wish for you a happy, healthy, joyful holiday season!

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