“Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you? I’ve looked everywhere – I’ve been to the Mall of America – the largest mall in the US and I didn’t find you there. I visited Santa at 3 different malls and you weren’t there either. I checked off everything on my “to do” list when I finally finished at 2 AM and only felt emptiness. WHERE ARE YOU? I’m doing everything they said I should do to have a “Merry Christmas”, but I don’t feel a thing. I’m disappointed. I’m sad. I can’t find you. I have changed. I have grown up.”
“Whoa! My darling child, don’t you know that all of the “to do” lists and carols, gifts and decorations – everything you’ve been told to do in order to have a Merry Christmas have meaning only AFTER it flows from your heart?”
“Oh, but how do I get it to flow from my heart? How do I feel you? I purchased 5 books on “how to” have a great holiday and it said nothing about Christmas first “flowing from my heart”! You must be out there, somewhere! Perhaps another mall…..”
“You can only see me “out there” if you feel me and experience me first on the inside. I am the still, small voice in your heart – not in your head or on the loud speaker at the mall. You’ll recognize me when you relax and let go of all those ‘shoulda’, ‘coulda’, ‘oughta’s’. You’ll feel your heart warm when you slow down and spend time within. All the lasting gifts you really want are stored there and they are all ready for you to unwrap! When you spend time within, you will at last feel your worth. Feeling this, you will be filled with genuine love. With that “knowing”, THEN go to the mall and celebrate FROM that love; you’ll feel me and see me everywhere!! Christmas is an ‘inside job’. It may seem awkward at first, but oh,,,,,,,,,,Ho, Ho, Ho, you’ll find the Christmas that never ends there!”
Today’s “leaping” exercise: Before going to the mall, baking, writing cards or the many items on your “to do” list, allow yourself 15 minutes to relax in a quiet place. Put on some quiet music, or just enjoy the silence. Breathe slowly ….in and out, in and out at least 10 times. Try to quiet your mind by focusing on your breathing. Relax. Relax. Visualize your heart being surrounded by love (this can be in the form of visualizing a light beam, or musical notes, or anything that represents love to you). Then, think of the people you will be shopping, baking or preparing for. Include them into your love-heart circle. Again, focus on the visualization rather than on activating new thoughts. Allow yourself to feel the experience and feel the love that is being generated there. Next, feel gratitude for yourself and these people. Allow yourself to feel the love generating from this visualization. When you feel you are complete, take a few moments to enjoy your new state of being……….then, in love, go shopping!
Loving Christmas from the inside – Joan Kappes
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