by Milissa on November 28, 2010

in Philosophy

With the holiday hustle and bustle in full swing—especially the countdown of shopping days before Christmas—I’m happy to stay on the sidelines. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, my husband and I have a tradition of observing Buy Nothing Day, instead of joining the throngs at the malls.

Though I shop for, wrap and send only a few holiday presents, it’s not that I’m adverse to giving—and receiving—gifts. It’s just that I tend to look for deeper meaning, and the ritual of gift-giving during this season can feel a bit empty to me. Years ago, a friend of mine called herself “a meaning junky.” That’s my addiction too, and, like anything we’re hooked on, sometimes it might be better to let go.

But I can’t just go along with the crowd, and I continue to seek meaning. And sometimes it finds me! Recently, I was inspired by a practice suggested in an email from Lynn Jericho: Looking back over the year and noticing what’s been given and received.  So I am asking myself: What are the gifts I’ve been given this year? What are the gifts I have received?

There are a multitude of things that I am grateful for: increasingly good health, a more peaceful mind, loving relationships, opportunities to serve. I actually could put all of these things under both columns. It is because I have received so much support and guidance and love this year—and in years past—that I am able to give more of myself than I had the energy to before. And, through giving to my community, I receive so very much.

A real gift for me is the opportunity to blog. When I saw Avatar, I resonated with the Navi greeting, “I see you.” To be seen in my deepest essence, and to see others in this light, is truly what I live for. It is my hope that I will gain courage, as I venture into this new territory of writing for the blog, and show more of myself. I am grateful to not be the only “meaning junky” out there.

So, tell me: What gifts have you been given this year? What gifts have you received?

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