Friday, November 30, 2007

Meditation: Give Yourself a Gift

In this season of gift-giving, it is easy to become so preoccupied with searching for the perfect gift to give someone else that we forget to take care of ourselves. The altruistic spirit is a nurturing spirit when it is fully expressed. To be fully expressed it must come full circle-nothing in nature continues to exist only with the outflow. Everything flourishes in giving and receiving.

We all have the same amount of time, which flows, for eternity, in an endless stream of "now" moments. The illusion of not having enough time comes when we face the options, requirements, and opportunities that life presents to us as if we had to choose them all, or as if we cannot choose the ones we want because of obligations and forces beyond our control.

Here are some gifts you can give yourself that can make the holidays seem less hectic and more meaningful.

The Gift of Spirit:
The spirit with which we enter into everything influences its effect on us and on everyone around us. Before you go to any event, or even out shopping, do an attitude check. Use your option to say, "No" to those activities where your spirit will be agitated rather than lifted.

The Gift of Release:
Decide to let go of any rituals or activities that no longer have full meaning. Your family and friends may be just as ready to simplify their lives. Trim your card list; engage in meaningful activities and practice serenity in everything.

The Gift of Time:
Spend some time by yourself, either doing nothing or engaging in an activity which is refreshing to you, one in which you will come away renewed--not frazzled. You may also choose to combine one or more of your other gifts to yourself with this one.

The Gift of Music:
Music has the ability to soothe, uplift, renew, and inspire. Choose to have music, which evokes pleasant memories and feelings, in the background of your activities. Listen to soft music as you drive, prepare meals, or as you soak in a luxurious bath.

The Gift of Balance:
A frantic holiday season comes from keeping our attention fixed on all we have to do, or on the negatively imagined results of not being able to do everything. The ability to see and appreciate the sacredness and beauty of life comes to us only one moment at a time. Balance your activities with time alone. Allow enough time to get to where you are going without being pressured.

Opening Your Gifts:
You can begin by consciously choosing to align the way you spend your time with the needs of your body, mind and spirit. Bring your shopping, relationships, work, and resources into balance within the framework of the gifts you are giving to yourself. It is not so much what we do, or how much we do, as it is how we do it that produces a creative and peace-filled life.

To have a happier holiday season answer these question when you feel stressed:

  1. How can I change the way I perceive this event? This person?
  2. How does what I am doing right now contribute to the quality of my life or the life of others?
  3. How can I bring the highest that is within me to this moment now?
  4. What can I release, remove or rearrange to bring peace to my life?

Use these steps to remind yourself of your commitment.

  • Be true in your actions to the spirit of your heart.
  • Clarify your thoughts and focus on one thing at a time.
  • Orient your choices toward satisfaction, flexibility, compassion and contribution.
  • Affirm: Today I am at peace in my world. I move in my world with a deep spirit-nurturing attitude. This is my gift to myself and to the world.

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