The upcoming holidays seem to hit different Americans in one of two ways….overexcited glee, or dread.  There is very little ambivalence about the holidays, from Thanksgiving through New Years.  Of course, our society loads these few weeks with an amazing array of cultural assumptions, from what it’s OK to eat, to wear, to listen to, to how you can wish people joy of the season.  It seems to me that how we respond to these things is ingrained and informed in our upbringing…if Christmas was important and celebrated when you were a child, it’s probably so for you now. What an amazing example of how our childhood still exists in our adulthood.
For me, this year the spirit comes haltingly.  As I age, the more my mind is filled with today and the immediacies of tomorrow.  The distractions of technology’s instant gratification can fill hours with the seeming of busyness. Leisure for reflection and the open heart and mind for acceptance are harder to come by with every passing year.
I just finished a book, given to me by a friend, called “The Go-Giver”.  While I am not usually attracted to the parable style or to business books, this one had several points of interest, notably the idea of “Receptivity”.  In business, I always find those who aren’t receptive to new people, things, ideas curious.  After all, no one holds the entirety of creation in their own mind. That person or idea may be the very thing you were looking for, but by placing gatekeepers and mental blocks, you will never know. In the book, this is taken even further, in the sense that life itself is paradox and dichotomy, that to push is to pull, and that these opposites are necessary outgrowths of the other.  This is not a new concept in any fashion.  But put simply, in order to give, you MUST be open to receiving. And that to receive, you must therefore give and give some more.
This is a particularly meaningful message this season. We accept the cultural norm of “giving” at Christmastime, without ever really giving it thought.  The most obvious is in the giving and receiving of gifts. We accept it as course, without considering the universal imperative behind it, the energy and synchronicity of giving and receiving.  As I open myself to receiving the spirit of the holidays this December, I do so by giving, and offering, and serving.
May you find peace and plenty this season.
 

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