A Helpful Resource for the Holiday Season
As I write this there is a thin blanket of snow dusting the branches of the trees and bushes outside my window. The sky is greyish white and the snow has almost stopped. There’s a special kind of stillness in the air, encouraging me to pause and step away from the bustling activity that surrounds this time of year.
While nature does what it knows best, quietly retreating, conserving and replenishing energy through the colder months, our tendency is to do the opposite as we strive to prepare for festive celebrations and wrap up the end of the year. Often our intention may not quite fit our actual experience and our need for space and time to care for ourselves is hard to find.
Gratitude – A Practice in Receiving
I’d like to share a simple practice and helpful resource that came my way recently via Suzanne Anderson, psychologist, author, thought leader, speaker, coach/facilitator.
To give some context, a client and I were texting on Whatsapp. She was sharing some good news and thanked me for my help. I didn’t feel I had done very much but was very happy and pleased for her.
I returned to my inbox and there was a message from Suzanne that spoke to the latest research in gratitude.
‘Let yourself receive 2% more gratitude as it comes towards you.‘
Have you noticed how it is often easier for us to give gratitude rather than receive?
Our tendency may be to belittle gratitude as it comes our way, shrug it off or sweep on to the next thing, diverting attention away from ourselves – as was the case with the text message I received.
I went back and read the client’s text message again, taking a moment to fully and consciously accept the gesture of gratitude I had received.
It was a completely different experience, I felt a softening in the body and around my heart. I was also reminded of the value of meaningful connection. A lovely, effective practice to linger in.
Micro-moments of Self-Care
So my wish for you during this holiday season of giving is to find micro-moments where you can be open to truly receiving, as Suzanne explains ‘to feel into your own heart that appreciation of YOU.’
Micro-moments are just that, 10 – 20 seconds is all it needs to shift your state of mind and feel the benefits.
As we begin to move towards the end of 2021, in what ways can you acknowledge and create a sense of appreciation for who you are and what you do?
What gesture can you offer yourself as you do so? A touch, a smile, a hand on your heart …
Share a micro-moment with me and let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
This poem, also shared by Suzanne Anderson, expresses the value of receiving so beautifully:
Note to Self: How to Receive Love
“Do not shrug off
the gift of the
the friend’s embrace,
the grandchild’s hand
There are so many ways
to receive love.
All of the offerings,
small and not-so-small,
together could fill
your hungry heart,
if only you would
welcome them in.
All your life
you have wished to be
one of those regarded as
open-hearted and loving,
The truth is,
it is not that
you give insufficiently.
It is that you do not
replenish the supply
by accepting fully
all that is offered
Warmest thoughts for this festive time. May you and your loved ones stay healthy and well.
One of the real pleasures at this time of year is the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate connection. I welcome and value our connection, thank you for being here.
PS. If you’re interested in learning more about the Science of Gratitude. Here’s neuroscientist Dr. Andrew D. Huberman’s insightful video. Or you can listen here.