The other night, as I finished up some gift wrapping, I was struck by a wave of gratitude for the last three weeks. Like many of you, my December has been extremely busy; I had a final exam to complete, my daughters birthday party to plan, holiday celebrations and events to attend, my day job to manage, and of course Christmas. By all accounts I was completely “behind” in my Christmas preparation this year. In fact, if I compare this year to other years I should be extremely stressed. Yet as I reflect on the month that is coming to a close I can honestly say it has been a month full of abundance and very little stress.
In his book, “The Little Book of Life”, Neale Donald Walsch, encourages us to view abundance beyond stuff.
True abundance has nothing to do with anything I am having, and everything to do with what I am being. And when I share my abundance of beingness abundantly with all those whose lives I touch, everything I sought to have came to me automatically, without my even trying to have them.
He goes on to say that regardless of our financial situation, everyone has something to give. And when we give of it freely, we will experience true abundance. I tend to agree. I believe that one of the main reasons my month has been so easy and enjoyable is that I have been extremely conscious of being grateful each and every day for the gifts I have been able to give to myself (forgiveness, love, acceptance), the gifts I have been able to give others (compassion, support, guidance), and the gifts that are all around me, but that are so easy to take for granted.
- Connections – I can honestly say I have never had a month with as many connections occurring as I have this month. There were new friendships created and existing acquaintances strengthened through the Happiness Sprinkling Project and the 90 Day Gratitude Challenge. A few friends that drifted away reconnected and shared new experiences, challenges, grief, miracles and sentimental moments. My sweet and inspiring cousin ignited a spark with a brilliant idea for sharing positive energy and news and I am excited for the road she is yet to travel. Locally, I had an amazing evening of synergy with five wonderful, life-long friends, as we welcomed the light of Winter Solstice.
All of my relationships are gifts.
- Timber – In mid-November we finally decided we were ready for a dog and within days we found the perfect one. The only problem was, he was not to be ours. We got the kids on board and were ready to welcome a lovely adult dog into our home, but before they could meet him, he was gone to another family. Devastation. We told the kids that the right dog would come to us and within a couple of weeks, Timber came home. He has turned out to be more perfect than we could have ever imagined him to be. Kind, gentle, loyal and loving. We have all experienced the abundance of his love, attention and playful nature.
- Food – It is everywhere this time of year. I have experienced the most amazing Christmas cookies, lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks. Dinner with the girls, potlucks, Christmas chocolates, the basket of cookies at work, and birthday dinners and cupcakes – it has all been delicious and fulfilling and although some may not be the healthiest of choices, I have decided to enjoy every last nibble because it is often in the sharing of food and drink that we experience the emotions of joy and love.
- Snow – Over the last few weeks Kamloops has become a perfect landscape for this time of year. With our new four-legged friend around we have been enjoying the hills behind our house and the snow has made solitary walks extremely peaceful and walks with the kids extremely playful and fun.
- Time – What I often perceive as one of my biggest challenges is having enough time to do everything I feel I need to do and everything I want to do. During December, this can be exceptionally difficult, but I decided this year I would change my thoughts about the whole thing and the most amazing thing happened. I had just enough time for everything.
On the day of my daughter’s birthday party I discovered I was short three small items for a goodie-bag. I had one hour to get to the store, buy what I needed and return home. It seemed impossible on a Saturday afternoon in December, but I kept telling myself, “I have exactly enough time to do this.” So I arrived to a full parking lot and found an amazing spot – easy to get in and out. I entered a packed store with wild shopping carts going every which way and found that the three items I needed were exactly where I found them a week earlier. Then I walked to the express check-out and noticed the longest line-up I had ever seen. So I kept walking down the isle to scope out all the options. Every one was jammed with people leaning on full carts until I arrived at the second last one where the cashier was just finishing up with the one customer in her line. She smiled at me as I peered around the corner, I smiled back and I was home with 20 minutes to spare.
I am willing to see this differently. I am willing to see love. ~ May Cause Miracles
This time of year it is easy to appreciate the material abundance that is all around us. But as you celebrate your traditions and create new memories over the next few days, I encourage you to pause for a moment to appreciate that which is not physical. Appreciate your own humour, someone’s laughter, the sun, the energy from a kiss or the smile of a loved one. I think you will find that the effects of that feeling will endure beyond that moment and it may just impact the experience of those around you.
From my cozy corner of the world to yours, whatever you do to celebrate the holidays, I wish you abundance and joy. Thank-you for the gifts you have given me this fall by reading these posts and sharing your own experiences.
With love and thanks,