A Gift

From suffering to peace.

In an effort to make sense of this holiday season, today I started to think about what are the gifts that 2016 stands for in my life. As life unfolds, every year really does make for a different experience and gives us a different reference point.

Christmas Eve is such a fun day. It feels like the gift of a moment when your real life is put on hold and you can take a breath to maybe tap into something that you don’t get to because of the usual hustle and bustle. No surprise that I headed to yoga to take this day on. And on my mat was the usual gift of tapping in to a level of my life that I rarely find possible in other settings. As I waited for class to start, I closed my eyes and thought what is the gift I would ask for if I really did have the luxury of sitting on Santa’s lap and the dream that it would come true. And there it was just as plain as day…the tears. Tears that you thought were gone and had been cried enough. It was the tears of missing my brother. This is the 6th Christmas that I will have without him. My heart can make it through so much. This year was no exception. And when Christmas rolls around I realize I need nothing…but, if I could be asked what do I want? I want my brother back.

Just that simple. 

He was the one piece of my heart that still aches. 

He is the one person that could make this holiday complete. But acceptance is all I am left with. After the tears poured, it brought me to another place of understanding. The reality that life is hard. That when life is hard, we get to accept the invitation to find softness in our heart. Maybe the suffering that we face as humans is only to make us learn how to feel the true peace in our heart and to start the most treacherous journey of acceptance. 

All of this to make me realize that Christmas time is nothing more than a chance to see what we can bring to our lives in that metaphor of a manger. What is the little child that you want to foster in your heart and grow into something larger in your life? What is a tiny spark of light that is in you? What can you bring to this planet that is something only you can do?  

Through the chapters of pain and loss, it is still our job to find our way. As I keep walking down this path of life, I will use this holiday season of lights on trees to remind me of that tiny light in my heart that remembers love and joy even when sadness can feel overwhelming. 

Maybe light a candle. Maybe just stare at the Christmas tree. Just a moment to connect with your heart and what is buried there to feed your soul for another year. With love and joy. Happy Holidays!


Holiday Season

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” 
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Peace and Joy!

All I can think of this season. Remember the days when you made your Christmas list? All of the favorite things you saw on the commercials that you needed to make your life complete. Hoping Santa would read that list and at least bring a few of the items you dreamed of. And of course, a couple of big surprises were also necessary to make that Christmas morning complete.

As time goes by and the December flurry of shopping, decorating, wrapping of gifts begins, it is interesting to feel the difference of seeing the season as a time to celebrate your gifts that are in your life instead of dreaming of a list of packages to open on Christmas day morning. How many gifts do you get to experience every day? Who makes your life feel like you have been given a present that you had dreamed of Santa bringing? I thought of this today and realized that peace and joy seems to be what runs through all of my thoughts. Peace in my heart, peace on earth, peace in the hopes that good is going to outweigh the bad.

Then I took a quick recap of what my 2016 gifts included. And it became as simple as looking back at my lunch on Friday. And my 2016 gift that topped my list is laughter. I have a group of people in my every day that I can truly sit and laugh with. Most recently, my lunch hour has been filled with the silliest of lighthearted conversations. How can it be that laughter is the gift that can bring you so much joy? And if that is what Christmas is, my season is complete. The laughter begins with that smile, a circle of friends and the freedom to just burst into the rip roaring giggles that fill the air and your heart with that one and only feeling of joy.  

Maybe your joy is different and maybe it comes in a different form. But, joy is top of the list for me this year. The light of heart that lets you feel the gift of joy. Seeing friends and family and really sharing some time together. Laughing, talking and maybe just being in the same room together. Joy. Three letters. Pretty simply. Find more, share more, seek more – joy!!!  ‘Tis the season.