Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis the Season

The holidays make me think (which is something I do a lot of). What is it about the holidays that bring out the best/worst in people? As a kid, you can't sleep, eat, rest or anything else, because there is stuff under the tree with YOUR name on it!!! Well, to be fair, you can eat...candy, nuts, pies, sugar, etc. They say that the child is full of wonder and sees the good in all things. Yet, if you don't put any presents under the tree with the child's name on it, you'll see how "full of wonder" they are. Like, "I wonder where the !@#$ my booty is?" Well, maybe not exactly like that, but the sentiment is the same. So, here we are, a youngster awaiting the opening of the gifts. Their joy knows no bounds. The adult, on the other hand may have their own Christmas spirit (albeit, from a bottle), but it is spirit nonetheless. Now, let's fast forward to a week later, The kids are exhausted and covered in broken toys, sleeping off their Christmas high. The adults, however, are uncorking the bottle, yet again, as they open their Christmas bills. Its almost like going through withdrawals. You get the anticipation, the high, and the eventual let down. Now you don't have to be a drinker to anesthetize yourself. You can do it through whatever guilty pleasure suits you, be it sugar, caffeine, two day naps, etc. Here's the thing, do we really want to do this to ourselves? I mean, I like getting new stuff as much as the next person. But, is my life really enhanced by this stuff? I guess it depends on what it is. I'm not suggesting that we stop with the gifts. All I'm saying is that there should be limits. Maybe there should be more traditions and rituals to offset the money drainage. The bottom line is, is it worth it? Some people suggest that we live every day as if it were Christmas eve. Is that even possible?  I look at it this way, the lows (and yes they are inevitable) make the highs that much better. We learn from contrast. If everyday was a euphoric field of happiness, would we be getting all that life has to offer? I try to appreciate each and every day. I attempt to "stop and smell the roses" so to speak. I take note of something, no matter how insignificant, to appreciate. When the lows hit, I try to see them as a formidable opponent. Not something to fear, but something to overcome. I see it for what it is: LIFE. So, for 2011, I, for one, shall attempt to walk through the forest of life with perspective. See it from a higher point of view, like a river. You can stay stuck in the sandbar, or you can take flight and see the whole river. You can see the beauty of it and how it flows on and on. You can savor the scenery before you reach the end of the river and traverse a whole new world. Merry Christmas, Happy Life Day (which is every day)!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

While I Was Out.

As I've been busy doing "very productive" things, a prominent blogger has recommended three books for the holiday gift giving season. Over here.   I am a contributor in book #1, so, if you have an inclination, check it out. Or, for that matter, check all three. Passing along the written word is a wonderful tradition. Expanding one's mind is about the single most important thing you can do. We are all trying to get through this thing called life, just like everyone else. The key is to evolve in a positive way. Remember, you don't drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there. They say we all have friends on the "other side" who are whispering in our ears from time to time. Stop and take time to listen. Even if you don't believe in an after life, you can surely believe in your own intuition. It is that inner spark which tells us we are doing something right (or wrong). It continually guides us along our path. It is connected to our emotional guidance system which tells us if the advice fits. You know, the feeling we have which tells us if something makes sense, no matter how bold or not, it might be. It lets you know if the voices in your head are good or misguided. If we take time out, even if only for a few minutes, to reconnect, we can nurture our inner spirit. Meditation doesn't have to be ritualistic. Just take some deep breaths, let them out slowly and close your eyes. Let your imagination do as it will. You may see some strange things and maybe, like a puzzle, some things just might make a bit of sense. Here's to sitting down occasionally on the park bench of life and taking a breather. Then, when you start traversing you life's path, once again, it might seem just a bit nicer.