Many cultures, spiritual and religious traditions celebrate during this time of year. It’s been this way for millennia, reaching back to ancient times when humans lived in small tribes.
Even though the following quotes mention Christmas, substitute the name of your special holiday and the meaning still holds true.
My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? ― Bob Hope
As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same. – Donald E. Westlake
There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions. — Bill McKibben
Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. ~ Francis Pharcellus Church
When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness. ― Bob Hope
May these quotes inspire you to generously and compassionately share the spirit of the holidays throughout the year.
Phases of solitude are not the same as isolation. Solitude is stepping away from people and the world for a period with the intention of returning to it at some point, feeling refreshed. It can be meditative, a way to reconnect with yourself. It can help you get a handle on where you are in life and it can give you the space and peace to work on a new project or take your life in a new direction.
Isolation, on the other hand, is shutting yourself off from people with the intention of severing ties and connections either mentally, emotionally, or physically, or some combination of these. It’s usually motivated by hurt so it’s natural to want to step out of the stream of life in order to heal. But it becomes unhealthy when you stay there.
If you’re feeling really down, more so than what you feel is natural or normal for yourself, please contact a professional or someone who’s trained to help those in distress or crisis:
~contact your religious leader or spiritual advisor;
~contact a counselor or therapist;
~contact a health care professional;
~call a prayer line;
~call a crisis hotline;
~meet with a trusted and compassionate friend or loved one.
But if you’re feeling out of sorts, then here are a few suggestions of where you can go and what you can do to stay connected but not have the pressure of interacting with others:
~Sit in a coffee shop and sip a beverage of your choice;
~Go to your local library. Read the newspaper, a magazine, or a book;
~Attend a group event such as your town’s tree lighting ceremony or the carol sing or the annual snowman making contest;
~At this time of year, churches usually host special concerts that are open to the public and are often free;
~Civic organizations sponsor fundraisers this time of year such as pasta dinners or pancake breakfasts–why not give one a try!
~My favorite thing to do: drive around different neighborhoods and enjoy the lights and decorations on people’s homes.
Try one of these suggestions to help yourself stay in touch. Let me know which one worked best for you–or if you’ve come up with your own. Thanks!
I invite you to join me in doing a little experiment today.
Regardless of how you feel–glum, worried, frustrated, or something else–make it a point to smile at EVERYONE today–especially yourself. Scientists say that the arrangement of your facial muscles in the form of a smile is enough to begin the release of endorphins into your system. You don’t have to actually feel the smile or want to smile ; as long as your muscles have formed a smile on your face, the endorphins will be released.
Of course if you feel the smile, if your smile grows out of your cheerfulness and feelings of goodwill toward your fellow humans, then a greater amount of endorphins are released. But just the mere act of putting a smile on your face, whether you want to or not, is enough to press the reset button on your emotions and feelings.
How cool is that?! 🙂
And, I know for myself that if a stranger smiles at me, even if I’m feeling stressed or worried or frustrated, their smile helps take the edge off my emotions just a little bit.
What a wonderful gift a smile can be. And it’s FREE! Free to give and free to receive, although the payoff in helping you and others feel better is priceless! 🙂
So, join me in this little experiment of smiling all day long no matter what you’re feeling or what’s happening or who you’re with. 🙂
Let me know in the comments below how your day went!
Your local library!!
It’s amazing the products and services they offer. The good news is that there are many resources that, with a valid library card, you have FREE access to!! The other great thing about your local library is that they are VERY interested in serving the needs of ALL the members of the community so let them know the resources they have that you like as well as the ones you wish they had. Keeping in touch with them will assist them in continuing to be a relevant information source for your community. Check them out today! And get a library card if you don’t already have one–they’re FREE!!!
Community colleges, universities, and local branches of universities
Of course they offer classes and, naturally, communities of curious people studying variety of subjects that fascinate them. In addition, they offer faculty lectures as well as lectures, discussions, symposiums, conventions, etc., of visiting professors and thought leaders. Also, many offer low-residency programs as well as distance learning programs.
For a partial listing of participating organizations in OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute). Many universities and community colleges and communities are affiliated with this program. There’s probably a place near where you live!
Continuing Education and Adult Learning Programs offered by your local community
My town offers programs for kids and adults sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department. Of course they offer sporting programs, but they also offer introduction to Italian and conversational French; cooking; arts and crafts; many types of dance; trips to local museums, professional sporting events, shopping excursions; classes in meditation; how-to invest your money, and more.
Senior Centers, Ethnic organizations, Civic groups
Communities of people who have no intention of getting ready for the rocking chair on the porch of the “old age home”! Your Place of Worship
Although many houses of worship are concerned with attracting young people, they are also very interested in being relevant and helpful to all their parishioners. They’re also a good source of information for other offerings in your local area.
Of course there is the ever-present Internet. I certainly recommend you do searches on the specific information you’re looking for as well as doing searches on topics that interest and fascinate you. Also check out Meetup.com and AARP.com as well.
Checking out these resources ought to keep you busy! If you know of other resources, or come across ones you think can be helpful to us, please let us know in the comments section below. Thanks!
Also, please pass this post along to a friend who you think can be helped by it. Thanks!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since my June posts about goals. If you recall, I encouraged all of us to take a look at the goals we set in January and, instead of becoming discouraged if we find little progress, to tweak our goals so that we can still accomplish some, if not all, of what we set for ourselves to do in 2016.
You may remember that I talked about a few different goal setting systems–in particular the Seven (or Eight) Chakra system and Maslow’s Heirarchy of Need. I was surprised to see that these systems mirror each other. For instance the first chakra is concerned with surviving in the world and this is true for the lower levels of Maslow’s pyramid.
Also, the higher chakras are about connecting with and manifesting the Divine through you. This corresponds to Maslow’s highest level of self-actualization, realizing that there’s more than just us “out there” and finding fulfilling ways of bringing this into the world.
I am deeply fascinated by this and I want to focus this blog on self-actualization, what it is, what it means to each of us, and how we go about actualizing ourselves!
I don’t have all the answers but I am eager to discover them. I hope you come along on the journey with me. This is going to be FUN!
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction. Rachel Carson, from her speech when she accepted the John Burroughs Medal in 1952
Today’s a perfect day to be open to all the little “bits and bobs” of Goodness that the Universe has for each of us.