Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Harvesting the Holiday Heart November 27, 2013

TurkeyTomorrow is Thanksgiving, and all across the country families and friends will gather together to enjoy a traditional meal accented with turkey and pie and various other special foods. And at some point likely they will “give thanks”, because in many ways that is what this holiday is all really about. While doing so – likely people will also reflect on those who are not with them this year, and those who are alone on this holiday or are for one reason or another less fortunate to be able to celebrate in the same way. On the news; you hear stories about celebrity athletes bringing pies to local food pantries, church and community collections to gather a variety of items to distribute to those who otherwise would not have a turkey this year. This time of year, when the temperatures drop, and while men and women are deployed overseas in the services, and the general populace is thinking not only about shopping and cooking and decorating – one can predict an up-tick in the expressions of gratitude and generosity. It’s a good thing.

And while I don’t want to throw a damper on what is truly a great expression of our humanity – I can’t help but find myself thinking about where this spirit goes during the rest of the year. After all, those who are in need and alone and the many gifts for which we are grateful on the holidays don’t magically appear on Thanksgiving and disappear on the first day of the New Year.

Back in 2001, after the tragedies of September 11th, for a while, it seemed that people were kinder to one another. There was a sense of a community drawn together in mourning and grief that in the horror of the moment were able to look at one another through a different lens than they had before – a lens of interconnectedness. There was a sense of shared humanity, of gratitude for life itself and of deep caring not just for those in our immediate lives but for the broader community. Is life such that we are only drawn together in this way in moments of great tragedy and of shared tradition?

My wish this holiday season is that we connect with this part of ourselves in a more enduring and constant way, that we appreciate all of the little blessings that we have in our lives and that we look upon one another through our hearts and not just our minds. So do your holiday thing; give thanks, donate, volunteer, remember and cherish – be fully grateful for the breath you draw today. And then tomorrow, when you are back on the highway during rush hour, when you are standing in line at the department store and impatiently rushing to finish your errands – use those eyes to see the elderly person who is driving slowly in front of you, the economically stretched parent who is paying for his child’s clothes with a pile of coupons and the co-worker who stands by your desk to chat too long each morning. If you can do it for a day, or a season, you can do it every day. Peace, happiness and gratitude to you and yours this Thanksgiving.

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Being David August 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 6:26 pm
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Let’s face it – the news out there these days is pretty depressing. The combination of tough times and the media’s propensity for sensationalism and exploitation combine to make a steady stream of less than cheerful headlines. So, unless you are completely out of touch with the world beyond your window or are made of some sort of emotional “Teflon” it is hard not to be effected by the daily onslaught of bad news. A couple of days ago – I felt that I had reached my saturation point – and was feeling a little low.  So, I posted on my Facebook page – that I needed some good news and lo and behold – I got some. From little reminders that the weekend was here, to posts about friend’s children, pets, simple bits of gratitude and little praises – my friend’s rose to the challenge. And I was reminded of two important things…

First. though we cannot deny that there is a lot of negative stuff out there – the fact is that there is a lot of positive, too. Though news programs may save the “human interest – feel good” pieces for the end of the broadcast – the reality is that there is a lot out there to be grateful for you just have to tune your vision to see it. It’s easy to get bogged down in the negative and quite frankly it should not be ignored – but finding a balance is very important to keep your head straight and your energy up to deal with all of “life’s news”.

And second, don’t underestimate the caring of friends and the kindness of strangers. There are a lot of good people out there who are more than happy to respond when you need a hand. It may not seem like a lot to do – to post a good thought on the Facebook of an old friend but small gestures can mean a lot. And don’t underestimate the capacity for these same people and others like them to offer grand gestures as well. There is a lot of good out there – allow yourself the opportunity to ask for help when you need it – and enjoy the beauty of people’s capacity to give to one another in this world where greed gets the headlines and warmth is the afterthought. Maybe some day – the tables will be turned.