For what it's worth
Editorials by Ed Note
Christmas Stress or Year Round Bliss
Recognizing and applying mindfulness this holiday season, will increase the quality of your thoughts and bring more joy unto your family, community, and the world…
I’ve been asked to voice my understanding of how stressful the holiday season and in particular gift giving can be. I could not begin to imagine a better outlook, approach, and understanding of this topic than Exclasius’ Christmas Dissertation by Masmalio on YouTube. I highly recommend watching this, for it has amazing grace and impact. I will do my best to bring its value and pertinence here and address some alternatives to stress.
The Concept of Christmas and the Holiday season has turned to being about mandatory obligations, worry, creating unnecessary debt, and stress. How stress? Well, people traverse this time of year with great stress and anticipation as they feel it mandatory to make their last-minute gift purchases and God help them if they fail to remember everyone they NEED to get a present for this one time a year. Check and double check the list. Others suffer stress organizing travel plans and finalizing their new year’s resolutions. All things that are advertised as Happy and Joy filled things to do but alas – stress over them!
What is a useful way to deal with such stress? Proven to reduce stress is to live in the moment. I suggest you just clear your mind and appreciate the holidays. Appreciate every moment given to spend with loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and those who have been an influence in your life, or with whom you have been an influence in theirs. The holiday season affords such opportunities.
Be mindful of the positive moments shared and dismiss all the things that you believe others have negatively done to you or the things about them that you disagree with; this is the most positive gift you can give and/or receive. The holidays are the last mass acceptance of the truth that it’s best to love, accept, forgive, appreciate, and edify each other. Although I understand that it is most useful to do this every moment of our lives, our culture has set aside the Christmas holiday to accept and recognize this. So, don’t stress; observe and apply.
Be mindful of the feelings of warmth, love, and compassion, of giving and receiving. Know that there is great peace and joy to experience, once you take a moment to appreciate the company of others. Meditate, pray, and embrace nature during this time, it is widely accepted and practiced. Recognize how it feels and hold on to that recognition. In doing so, you can take the holiday experience along with you the entire 365 days of the year. Where’s the stress in that?
An important step to reduce stress and suffering for you and others is to think about anyone you may have wronged and anyone who may have wronged you or upset you at some point in your life whether done intentionally or not. As you picture them in your mind, say out loud, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I forgive you, thank you.” I recently read about the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono, which is the practice of forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness and reconciliation are often major goals of most new starts. New Year’s Resolutions maybe?
I reiterate that giving; whether tangible gifts or gifts of assistance, compassion, love, and/or positive reinforcement, is most appropriate and useful when done the entire year, contrariwise to the capitalistic commercialization of the season. Realize that using whatever techniques you can to access a higher level of awareness of the warm and satisfying feelings you experience during this time of year will allow you to give year round. You’ll encounter an even greater satisfaction in giving when done as you wish to give as opposed to giving because the holiday dictates you give.
Once you see this mindfulness, you will enjoy the holiday season without stress; even appreciate the truth that whether you gave or received some tangible commercialized proof of love; that unconditional love and compassion given anytime is a greater gift. Yes, Recognizing and applying mindfulness this holiday season, will increase the quality of your thoughts and bring more joy unto your family, community, and the world. You will naturally participate in this truthful gift giving year-round.
It is said that once you occupy a few minutes of quiet time in your day, relax, engage with your surroundings, and recognize the positive influences given and received in your life, you will realize that you, too, are a creature of the natural world, and are perfect. Truly, what better gift or New Year’s resolution could you make?
I’ll end here taking from Exclasius’ Christmas Dissertation by Masmalio
“… my constant present to all … I give my hope for everyone’s safety and wellbeing every moment of my life. I give peace for those in stress. I give an ear to those who have no one who will listen. I give honesty to those who are lied to. I give cheer to those who are sad. I give a smile to those who are frowned upon. I give love to those who feel unloved. I give myself to those who have no one. Without question or condition, I give my heart and Spirit to All – every moment of every day.
Merry Christmas / Seasons’ Greetings / Happy New Year / Peace on Earth / And Good Will Towards All.”
Always in Spirit and Truth
Ed Note, Editor Emeritus
Total Thought Enterprises
[Christmas Dissertation by Masmalio
A message about Gift giving only on Christmas - Speaking on giving, is it only Christmas that we take the time to give or is it more useful and meaningful to give every day?] I do hope you take a moment to watch:
I’ve gotten some interesting feedback and responses to these writings and I appreciate them. I’ll always take a moment to respond to those emails. Thank you all for your interest and feedback.