Have you finished your holiday shopping? I haven’t. I ventured out to a mall the other day without realizing there was a special sale going on. The place was packed with frantic shoppers and PATIENCE was in short supply.
I found myself responding the same way, and hurried to find my gifts, afraid that someone might get to them before I did. I spent three hours in that mall and was miserable the whole time. It was definitely not my idea of a memorable holiday experience.
And I still wasn’t done; there was grocery shopping to do. Because I had exhausted myself, I didn’t have the energy to continue fighting the hectic atmosphere of this rapidly approaching holiday. This turned out to be a very good thing.
Because I wasn’t fighting, I found it easy to…
Let someone take a parking space near the store while I parked in the back and walked.
Let the woman with two young children and a full cart go ahead of me at the checkout counter.
Smile and have a friendly conversation with the cashier.
Consequently, as I left the grocery store I realized that I felt GOOD and even energized.
I had given something of myself to others and in return, my frustration and stress dissipated; all because of these very simple acts of kindness!
A friend of mine told me I had opened my heart chakra, which governs giving, caring, and compassion. These are all things I WANT to associate with the holidays, but often get lost in the busyness of the season.
What if more of us did this? What if we focused our energy on being kind and caring to the people around us, instead of rushing around frantically, feeling stressed during the holidays?
What if we chose to give the gift of an open heart?
Mind you, this is an easy gift to give. It doesn’t need to be bought or wrapped. You can give it freely every day. Here are some examples of how you might give the gift of an open heart.
Take the time to smile and speak kindly to people around you. A smile and kind word to a stranger can go a long way in making their day better.
Be patient when others are not. Yield to impatient holiday drivers. Let them into your lane. It’s not going to slow you down that much and it’s a lot safer.
When someone needs to talk, really listen to what they’re saying. Don’t give advice; just let them talk and ask them open-ended questions, like “What do you want to do about…?”
Give someone a really good bear hug. Physical touch can often relieve stress and help someone relax.
Make someone laugh. Laughter is one of the best ways to alleviate frustration, anger and tension.
These are simple suggestions, and I’m sure you have some of your own. Giving the gift of an open heart is a perfect way to celebrate the holidays. It’s the gift that gives back. By nurturing people around you, you nurture yourself.
I welcome you to comment and share how you are giving the gift of your heart this holiday season.