Archive for December, 2011

The Perfect Gift

The holiday season is here, and people both young and old are busy, in some cases frantically shopping in search of the perfect gift. After all, this is December, the gift-buying season, 31 days that serve as a magic carpet ride into the New Year.   Bombarded by advertisements, sale papers, and commercials designed to lure us into stores, instead of being a joyful season, for some of us, the month of December becomes a time of despair, not to mention debilitating debt.    Sadly, for far too many of us, the holiday season is now defined by the number of video games, flat screen televisions, Smartphones and other electronics we purchase; the numbers of gifts we receive; and do not forget about all of the money spent for the exquisite dishes we prepare.  

Before you call me Ms. Scrooge, give me an opportunity; allow me to write a few lines to explain.   Please do not misunderstand my statements for I enjoy the holiday season, and I relish spending time with friends and loved ones during the holidays. My statements come from a caring and concerned heart; my feelings come from deep within my spirit as I painfully watch misguided value systems, low self-esteem, and internalized oppression make people think that gifts, trinkets or designer labels can soothe the emptiness that lingers in the depths of their souls.   

For most of us, it takes a long and sometimes-difficult journey before we realize that spiritual contentment brings inner peace. Personal empowerment comes not from the depth of one’s bank account, but from the condition of one’s spirit. Contrary to the feelings of some people, I believe that the caring and nurturing of one’s spirit does indeed matter, and in fact “the state of one’s spirit” contributes tremendously to one’s ability to find joy, achieve their desired level of personal success and most importantly to live soulfully.  

I was moved as I sat in a Caribbean Media Conference (CMEx) in Barbados several years ago, listening to now deceased former CNN news anchor Andria Hall tearfully share that all of the thousands of dollars she was being paid at the time were not enough to quench the spiritual thirst that she felt deep within.  Hall explained that peace came into her spirit the moment she began to honor a higher power, once she redefined her life, and only after she filled her spirit with positive thoughts and authentic people. Ms. Hall glowed as she shared that her tears were not coming from pain and despair, but represented a level of spiritual awakening that she wished everyone could enjoy.    Each of us, if we are to ever attain inner peace, we must answer a higher call to service and spiritual wholeness; we must learn to walk our own path to personal greatness in divine order.   So, as you think about the perfect gift for your friends and family this holiday season, or as you look for the perfect stocking stuffer, ponder some thought about giving gifts that inspire, encourage and give voice to the achievement of personal aspirations and dreams. Yes a diamond may be forever, but a gift that enables someone to carve out a path that meshes his or her personal passions with his or her talents will forever outshine the sparkle of that jewel.  Helping someone to feel valued, championing someone’s dream, words that inspire and other acts of thoughtfulness can help people treasure one of the greatest gifts there is, and that is the unique gift of self. 

 Look deep within and make a personal vow that during this holiday season and in the New Year you will strive to expand your thinking not just outside the box, but far beyond it, allowing your creative mind to consider limitless possibilities. Decide to challenge yourself, creatively use your talents and begin to live a fuller life that includes dusting off your innermost dreams, and persisting forward to the achievement of your true-life goals. Using your gifts and talents in service to others brings personal success always, but most of us give up when we meet the first bump in the road. Change your mindset this holiday season, because in the end A times A equals A (Attributes X Attitude equals Altitude), and we control the direction of our lives with the choices we make.    

  Give the ideal gift this holiday season; the gifts of self-awareness, self-growth, self-nurturing, self-encouragement, self-respect, self-love, self-forgiveness, self-definition; all essential spiritual seeds that sprout into the perfect gift, YOU

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