Hello spiritual friends!
I hope this letter finds every one of you well. This is the season of goodwill, good food, good times and good cheer. Many of us also celebrate the holidays with gift giving to our families and loved ones.
It is a time of year when marketing across radio, TV, newspapers, social media, the internet, billboards push advertising for products, gifts and experiences that are bigger, better and bound to make our loved ones happy and our holiday season the brightest ever. The promotions are everywhere. And I’m sure many of these opportunities are wonderful.
Today, I’d like to invite you to consider a more powerful holiday gift. One that will help generate what our inner spirit craves most at the holiday season. Connection and emotional intimacy. A heart-felt connection.
After all, why do we do all the baking, cooking, searching the internet for the most perfect gifts? Why do we plan those dinners, parties or travel to meet with family, friends, coworkers and clients? Because at a deep soul level, we want that heartfelt connection.
Sharing Creates Connection
Sharing a story or a memory, especially one that others can also remember, helps create that connection. Like, remembering that first time you learned to ride a bike, or that 21st birthday party . . . We share a moment, remember a moment. Those memories connect us together and invite our hearts to open. Sharing encourages others want to tell their stories too, and the mood expands.
Sharing a personal awareness, like one of those moments we recognized something about ourselves or turned an important corner in life, helps others understand our true nature and can be tremendously inspiring. "I was struggling with that car payment and finally got it paid off this week." Or "I started this new healthy eating plan and can finally get into my old jeans." How many times have you discovered your own motivation for personal growth when someone else shared their experience? Many of the important teachings from the Bible, stories shared by talented public speakers and even marketing testimonies do exactly that . . . they inspire us to be our very best self.
Sharing an acknowledgement or recognition about what someone else has accomplished helps them appreciate themselves. It helps remind them that the world perceives them in a positive way. Even an appreciation about the mundane things of life can become powerful acknowledgements. Noticing someone who washes the dishes after every meal or takes the dog out for a walk in the evenings, can be a wonderful gift of recognition. Someone is reminded that the family appreciates those small things they are doing. Someone feels loved and it opens their hearts for a beautiful connection with you.
Sharing also helps us discover more clarity about our own truth or perspective. We may have creative ideas brewing on an unconscious level, a goal or challenge begging to step forward, a solution to a problem that we aren't sure is plausible. When we bring our ideas into a conversation with someone, and the light of day shines upon it, it begins to crystallize. Emotional issues below the surface begin to process, we find more inner awareness and clarity. For this reason, I gently encourage sharing in all my classes.
Some people anticipate a quiet holiday this year and may be asking, how would this apply to me? We can certainly reach out to others by phone or Zoom and find opportunities to share. Holiday cards and letters with loving sentiment that includes a shared memory or acknowledgement can open the door for that gift of appreciation.
Are you a listener?
Some of us are better listeners that sharers. I fall into that category, myself. I wasn’t invited to share as a child, so I had to learn to open up as an adult . . . and I’m still learning. I find it easier to sit back and listen to others who "I think" have better stories to tell. But the truth is - listening is my comfort zone. When I hesitate, I remind myself about the value of sharing. It is all part of my spiritual growth in this lifetime.
Good listeners tend to be attracted to folks who share well. We fit together like a lock and key. But we listeners have an opportunity to build this sharing muscle at any time. We crave to express ourselves just like our friends who share easily. Our next step in personal growth is to create opportunities to share. Then step out into the new territory!
Is it time to form new habits?
Some of our long-time relationships or even groups with history like families, may have a certain pattern of relating with each other. These can become habitual. Maybe we have a way of being together as a family or group that causes us to stay in the comfort zone of listening. Maybe it just feels easier, or we wonder if they want to hear what we have to say or we can't think of anything to share. With some of these conversational patterns, we may need to break through that barrier of our old comfortable zone.
We can decide on a time, a story and then -- just do it. Or, for more intimate relationships, it may be helpful to set aside a time for personal sharing. Make an appointment, so to speak.
Sharing opens the door for heart-felt connection when we are given the opportunity to understand another’s deeper perspective or personal experience. Why not bring more personal connection into your holiday experience this year? Give your loved ones the gift of your personal sharing.
Blessings to you on your spiritual journey!