Day 343/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
Amy Winehouse sings "I saw mommy kissing Santa Clause" as I write. That voice!
Wow, the internal conflict over Christmas presents! I almost wrote, "Woe! The internal conflict over Christmas presents. It would have been just as authentic, if not more!
This year my small family is joining another family group and all of a sudden we are receiving calls and text messages asking what would be a suitable gift for the this one or that. OMG! I am not a lover of the commercial approach to Christmas. It's been a very long time since I worried over what I should buy to satisfy all the social and family expectations at this time of gift-giving.
I'm not in the least bit religious so the Christmas story doesn't really feature in my consciousness. Mainly because I don't subscribe to the popular version of events. However Sarah uses the Christmas story to make a very good point about the meaning of gifting at Christmas.
She reminds us that a frightened young woman, Mary, and her partner Joseph had faith and courage to bring forth into the world, under extremely difficult conditions, a stable, after a long journey, the babe who would become the man to bring peace, love and a reality check to a ravaged and unruly world as documented in the old testament.
Sarah reminds us of the gift of generosity of the Inn keeper, and that of the shepherd boy, his prize sheep. Giving what was needed with compassion and kindness.
The magi who thought they were bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the future king, only to find him in a manger, putting aside their curiosity to bring wonder and acceptance, and a safe passage to Egypt to escape the rage of King Herod.
Courage, generosity of spirit, compassion and kindness, wonder and acceptance and cooperation are a few of the gifts that you can bring to Christmas. Add to those, thoughtfulness, authenticity of spirit, and other valued character gifts that enable others to feel safe and included in your presence.
Then the gift of opening our hearts to accept what is, the offerings of others as they find their own way of satisfying their inner most drives to make Christmas joyful, even when it doesn't match our own.
Happy gift-giving this Christmas season. 🎄
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.