Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Keep The Season

Now that the holiday season is ending, we're sorting through gifts and packing away gift bags and bows for the next time. Now we want to leave the gift-giving and hoopla behind and focus on the coming new year. Really? Why would we want to do that? Is it custom--habit--what everybody does? How sad to not take the spirit of the season with us into our new year. If we feel it in our heart, we can call on it at any time. If not, we can work on developing it.

A long time ago I was head cocktail waitress in an NCO Club in Abilene, Texas. It was the month of July in the 1960's and the bar staff had some Christmas music put on the jukebox in the ballroom. What a brilliant idea. Our workdays and nights were transformed into joyful, happy, uplifting experiences every time we came to work. The patrons loved it so much our tips increased, and complaints disappeared. Then one of the managers decided it was not appropriate, and the music was removed. Of course, we were disappointed, but we kept the aura of the holiday that the music represented, and most of the time we maintained the spirit of the time. Over the years, this experience helped me take the spirit of each season with me into the new year. No, I'm not always successful, but awareness and effort have probably brought more joyful experiences than I would have had otherwise.

Of course, we feel fatigue and stress in a holiday season, but there are many ways to keep the peaceful spirit of the season alive throughout the whole year. We can give tangible gifts, but that isn't always necessary. Think about what made you and others happy during the season. What did you see, hear and feel? More smiles and kind gestures? More happy voices and inspiring music? Did you feel joy and peace in your heart? These are all free, and yours to create at will. Yes, grinches and bah-humbugs will always be around, but whether or not they spoil your holiday spirit is up to you.

What you express in your own life is what most others will respond to, so express what you would like in your life. Allow the good energy to move in both directions, and enjoy the movement of spirit in your world. Nurture each thought, action and feeling with love, and your year will be filled with the meaning of the season.

I wish you holiday spirit every day of the year.

Marilyn

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Make Miracles

Where there is great love, there are always miracles. Willa Cather

It's the holiday season, and you can feel excitement in the air. Holiday music is everywhere, and people are planning their gift lists. It would appear this is true for everyone. But a holiday season can also be a time of sadness. It depends upon where your mind is focused.

I like this time of year, but when I look at my children's pictures, I sometimes wish I could go back and re-live those times when gifts were under the decorated tree, and they were so excited they couldn't sleep. How they squealed with joy the next morning when they saw what Santa brought. Today, we're scattered around the country. I don't see them at all except for a week in the summer that passes too quickly. And I wonder where the time went.

I remember my family's yearly gatherings when we took the time to raise a glass to the wonder of the season, and celebrate another year of being together. We still have those gatherings, but now I look around and realize that some are no longer there. And I miss them.

I'm retired now, and nothing comes as easy as it used to. It would be nice to shop as I did in the past, but now the gifts are smaller, sometimes homemade. Sometimes the gift money goes to pay the electric bill. Yes, times have changed.

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. Havelock Ellis

No experience can be duplicated. We can't recapture what we had yesterday. But Spirit is changeless. It is the same today as it was twenty years ago or yesterday. Spirit is always now, and that's where our focus needs to be. Oh, I don't mean we have to give up old memories, missing the ones who are gone, or being realistic about a financial challenge, or anything else that takes your focus off of what this season is meant to be. Your memories and your love of people and things from the past will always be dear to you. Keep them close in your heart, but don't let the past or worrisome situations now inhibit your expression of love in the present.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present. Babatunde Olatunji

Send your love over time and space to those you want to hug. They will receive the blessing that your love carries with it. Then let your love flow into this season. Put your mind and heart in your gifts. No money for gifts? Love is the greatest gift you can give. I remember when a friend had no money to buy me a birthday gift, so she cleaned my house. I will never forget that gift or the precious angel who gave it.

Be an angel this season, live your life today, and make miracles that will last all year.

I wish you Joy now and always.

Marilyn

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Love Yourself

Our first and last love is - self-love. Christian Bovee

When we're children, most of us are taught that loving others is good, but loving ourself is self-centered and selfish. Therefore, if we feel any love for ourself, this will be followed by feelings of guilt. So we push our normal and natural self-love aside to ease the pain of guilt. We are so lovable, yet we deny ourselves love. What an insult to our beautiful soul.

Love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those closest to you despite their faults. Les Brown

Perhaps you don't see yourself as lovable. After all, you've got all those faults and weaknesses. And if you believe that's who you are, then of course you would see yourself as unlovable. But those faults and weaknesses are not who you are. They're issues you're working on in this life, so you can love the beautiful creation you are and work on those issues at the same time. Aren't we all a work in progress? Lighten up, and give yourself some slack.

Imagine when you look in the mirror that the face looking back at you is someone you truly love. Just imagine. www.isha.com

Wow. Wouldn't that be wonderful! The first step is to forgive yourself your shortcomings and begin focusing on the beauty that is you. Your heart knows that beauty, but you have to be willing to listen and acknowledge its presence. Make a conscious effort to search for what there is in you that is lovable. If you've been used to only seeing the negative, this may be difficult at first. But keep at it. There's a saying: I must be somebody, 'cause God don't make no junk. Believe it. Turn away from negative messages in your head, and acknowledge the truth of your being.

You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence will make others happy. Author Unknown

If we are to love others, that love has to come from somewhere. You can't get water from an empty glass. But if you keep pouring water into the glass, it will overflow, and everyone will drink from it. No one need go thirsty when the glass is full. We were born of love, and we have an eternal supply within us, but we can't expect it to flow freely if we keep blocking it with guilt and fear. It is okay to love yourself first, and then allow it to spill over to others. Then watch the love come back to you multiplied, maybe not always from where you want to receive it, but it will come.

I wish you joy in loving your special self.

Marilyn