December has arrived. It is a time of the year with many beautiful intentions of joy, peace, light, giving and receiving. Each year I seek ways to keep the season meaningful despite the onslaught of consumerism and over-consumption that lures us into high expectations and perfections. Whether it is an idea of merrily buying gifts with hot chocolates in hand, or decorating our homes with smiles and joy in our hearts, or celebrating in festivities with energy and lightness in spirit, we are instead met with impossible wishes to fulfill, debt, pressure, physical and emotional exhaustion, and strands of broken lights or burnt cookies. Still, the marketing of the season is a powerful force to contend with and not that easy to ignore. Who doesn't want to fill that picture of joy and gratitude, even if unrealistic? In response, I've decided that throughout the month of December I will consciously receive everyday for the entire month. I am going to be specific and make note of everything that is given to me throughout the day, on each day, until the New Year. Everything from the sunlight coming in the window in the morning, to the train being on-time, to my children starting the day without any grumpiness, to my dog greeting me like I am the best thing on earth, to the feel of my partner's arms around me, to the blue sky, food in the refrigerator...you get the point. I am going to receive like an over-indulged child on Christmas...except that everyday will be Christmas. I am going to be as full as Santa's sled!
If anyone wants to join me in this, I welcome your company. I am going to acknowledge each offering by consciously naming it and saying thanks with a pause and a breath. "This is here, thank you." I will also acknowledge everything that made that thing possible; it didn't get there by itself. I'll report back to you and let you know how it goes. Let me know if you will join me by writing your name in the comments or sending me a message. If you are wondering about the giving part...I trust that when we genuinely receive what is before us, we naturally give in response, much like focusing on the exhale and trusting the inhale will happen on its own.
Wishing you all peace, light, and the recognition of abundance through the season.