In Oaxaca, Mexico, where I move my office, for the winter months, they have a vibrant, indigenous, healing tradition. The prime tenant of this belief system is the principle that in our essence we are light. Our task here on earth is to nurture and build that light. This takes us on a journey of discovery and claiming. We must also protect and value that light, and be it and share it, in the world. I love the simplicity of these instructions, and when I go there, I feel my light shine brighter.
Here in the North Country, we’re in full-on holiday festivities. A significant focus of this is on gift giving. Everyone has to dance around this aspect of the season. Some people love it; others dread the task. Some opt entirely out of the ritual. Unfortunately, gift giving has lost its allure in a culture where many already have more than they need, and we’re all rapidly losing our enchantment with materialism.
The Art of Giving
But it’s important not to lose the original intent of why we give and to nurture curiosity and creativity about how to keep the integrity of this act. The art of giving is enlivened by a connection to the spirit of generosity.
In the hubbub of such a busy, noisy world, I often think the best gift we can ever give is the gift of our presence. Another way to say this is the gift of your sincere attention - fulsome listening, taking in the mystery of another person. Giving honest and attuned responses in conversation – attempting to make it a bit more real and vital. Another way to view this is: Can you be generous with yourself?
Be Generous by Giving of Yourself
Another way we can be generous is by tuning into this light that you are and being conscious about letting it to shine in your world. But first, you have to know what that light is – the unique and particular essence that you carry, then you need to nourish it, so it’s vibrant and fulsome, then you need to have the courage just to let it shine.
What Helps to Nurture your Light?
I find that what brings me pleasure, literally lights me up! My holiday wish for you is to allow yourself pleasure and be aware of how this nourishes you, in your essence, and then allows your true essence to be a gift in the world. It’s easy to be generous when we feel full – it’s almost effortless – it just spills over.
May your holiday be filled with the light of spirit!
Next entry: Living with Intention
Previous entry: Our Complex Relationship with Pleasure
“As I step into the classroom with Madeline, I am aware of a spaciousness that few other facilitators offer, giving adequate time for self-reflection and digestion of the material. The spaciousness is well-supported by experiential learning and practical teachings. Madeline’s work—both within her own life and in facilitating others—speaks clearly through the profound space she holds for learning, and healing, to happen.”