I love the Christmas season. Joy is in the air. Kindness abounds. Hearts are open and soft. The focus is on giving.
Giving creates a flow… it reaches out…. touches….. comes back to the giver. A complete circle of Life.
Giving makes us happy. Researchers at Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia BC found that purchasing anything for someone else made people happier than buying same item for themselves.
Giving improves health. When we give, the stress hormone, cortisol dissipates more quickly in the blood, heart rate slows, blood pressure decreases and we experience a sense of calm and equilibrium.
Giving touches the soul. ‘ I have found among other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” ” Maya Angelou
Giving creates meaning and purpose. When we give we create signifigance and meaning…we change ourselves and we illuminate the world.
Imagine if the spirit of giving prevailed year round. The world would be transformed.
It got me thinking… what if I started a daily Giving Practice? I practice both gratitude and (more recently) meditation on a daily basis. At first I wondered if I could ‘fit’ these things into my busy life. It’s funny to think of that now, as both seamlessly weave into the fabric of everyday. Most importantly I’m peaceful, joyful and centered.
I wonder what a Giving Practice might look like. It would take many forms….monetary contributions to organizations and individuals whose work I support….meaningful eye contact and sharing a smile with a stranger…..making a gratitude call to someone who has impacted my life…… spending time with a senior and asking to hear their stories…filling an extra bag for the food bank when I grocery shop….finding ways to encourage, inspire, accept, support and love others. As I think about it I see there are limitless opportunities to give. I decide I will note how I gave in my gratitude journal each day. It will be an accountability check and reminder to be on the look out for giving opportunities.
Giving Practice begins today.
Merry Christmas….Happy Holidays and love to all,