December 2011
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Archive for December, 2011

Inspiration

Christmas has passed and we are heading toward the New Year.  It is a traditional time for new beginnings and making resolutions.  According to Merriam-Webster, inspiration is “…the act or power of moving the intellect or the emotions.”  As you relfect on the year that is passing and make plans for the year to come, consider inspiration; allow inspiring goals to take form; welcome the opportunity to inspire others;  let your creativity flow.

Traditions

Perhaps more than any other Season this time of year holds the greatest awarness of our traditions.  Solstice, Christmas, Hanakah, Kwanza and other winter celebrations have traditions unique to each.  And then there are family and individual traditions.  It is a very special time of year; a time to share; to give; to connect; to reflect; to create; to laugh; to cry; to pray; to focus on the best of human nature.

It is also a time that spotlights ‘need’ and the not-so-nice side of humanity.  As you go about the business of celebrating your seasonal traditions, I invite you to create a new one.  It can be as simple as saying a kind word or two to over-worked sales people; flash a hearty smile at harried strangers in the supermarket; say ‘thank you’ to the people who serve you all year long; make a donation to a favorite charity; support a local food-bank; be a Secret Santa.

Love is the greatest gift we can give and the finest tradition we can celebrate.

Lights

I love lights.  I am a huge fan of pyrotechnics; I  always have Christmas-like lights in my home in all seasons.  This time of year is a beautiful banquet of beams, sparkle, shimmer, twinkle, candlelight, lamplight firelight, white light and festivals of light.

Light is so necessary to our very existence in every sense; physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I invite you to enjoy, to relish the seasonal light show, including the most magnificent of all light shows…the starry heavens.  Winter brings clear, crisp, intimate viewing of the wonders of the heavens.  I saw a shooting star a couple of early mornings ago; brief and breath-taking.  It is also a time for deep reflection in the darkness of shorter days; a good opportunity for soul-review.

Invite the numinous; rejoice in the light.

Attitude

Attitude is everything.   We all face the challenges of embodied living.  We all experience some really good days and  some really bad days.  Yet, the feelings we entertain about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days are internal processes;  it is all about our attitude.

An experience from my childhood illustrates this well.  My Grandparents were taking me for a picnic and a swim at my beloved Putah Creek  (At that time there were no parks, you just found a good spot and we had a favorite).  It was a very hot day.  The anticipation of a good time in the water followed by eating the most awesome fried chicken in the world, had me positively giddy with excitement.  Then the unthinkable…a flat tire.  My Grandfather managed to get the car mostly off the road.  Then he got out to take a look at the situation.  As I watched him from the backseat a cloud of doom descended over me.  We were nowhere near our favorite spot.  My day was ruined!

Then my Grandfather disappeared.  I had not seen him walk toward the Creek which could not be seen from the road.  My Grandmother and I exchanged no words.  We sat in hot, sticky  silence; waiting.

Finally Grandfather was back.  He talked to my Grandmother and the next thing I knew we were loading our arms and backs with our picnic and heading off the side of the road through the weeds and rocks to the river.  There was no trail so it was a bit of effort, and did I mention it was really hot?  Then, there it was…he had scouted out a wonderful site.

We had an awesome day!  Late in the afternoon when it was considerably cooler, my Grandfather changed the tire and we headed back home.   Reflecting on this event many years later,  I realized the flexibility, the wisdom and the attitude that prevailed that hot summer afternoon.  The day wasn’t ruined because we  never made it to our ‘favorite’ spot.  There was no complaining, griping or other displays of frustration or anger.  There was a great lesson in attitude.

We seldom can change what happens outside of  us.  We do  have the power to change the attitude within us.