“Neglect not the gift that is in thee.” – 1 Timothy 4:14
The traditional gift-giving season has arrived, and that scary shopping days countdown clock is ticking. But, instead of buying into the frenzy, stop and take a breath. What do you really want to give and receive this December? Are the flashing lights and colors at the mall really the heart of matters?
All the days, months, and years of your life are precious gifts to be welcomed with joy and thanksgiving. Maybe you don’t get to spend every moment exactly as you want to—you might have to fix breakfast or shovel snow or finish that sales report—but who is to say that those tasks can’t be filled with love and deep appreciation? You have the choice to open your heart and grow in spirit every day. This December, why not make the closing of the year a soulful gift of celebration and love to yourself?
In the historic holiday song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” love gives colorful, material gifts such as golden rings, swimming swans, and a partridge in a pear tree. I’m sure you can think of other, better gifts that “love” could give. What about the gifts of healing, spiritual growth, compassion, and inner peace? Anyone who received these gifts could become a powerful giver of healing love to others. A gift that keeps on giving!
Honor this true spirit of gift-giving by creating your own 12 day celebration of soul-growth this month. Here are some ideas for your personal 12 Days of Healing:
1. Look Within – Begin your celebration of the soul by renewing your meditation practice. If ever you needed your soul connection, now is the time. Don’t let a hectic holiday schedule tempt you to pass up your daily meditation. Instead, give yourself this most essential gift of peace, comfort, and joy.
2. Seek the Wisdom of the Ages – Now is the time to follow your heart into spiritual study and practice. What traditional wisdom has to offer can inspire and ignite your soul’s gifts. I found my calling and discovered my spiritual gifts by pursuing knowledge of the sacred, and you can,too.
3. Invite Help from up High – Your angels, your spiritual guides, and your ancestors, all are bending near at the winter solstice. Ask for their help and their close attendance as you embark on the transition to a higher awareness this December.
4. Do Unto Others – The spirit of giving that is a pillar of holiday tradition is a cue for looking closer at your relationships with others. Are they really “others” or are they merely manifestations of the same Source that created you? Doing for others, in whatever way, inspires a feeling of unity, the underlying truth of our existence. Truth warms and heals.
5. Look Out the Window, Open the Door – After looking out at the wonders of the natural world, you’ll be called to open the door and walk forth into whatever setting awaits. It could be as simple as a walk up the street, paying special attention to the seasonal changes at play. Listen to the sounds of the wind or the birds. Watch the play of light and shadow. Feel the chill or the warmth on your face. Nature connects, grounds, and heals by putting you in touch with all the miracles of life of which you are part.
6. Tell Your Story – What could be more healing than letting your innermost thoughts and feelings flow onto the pages of your journal? Even if you feel you don’t have a single moment to reflect, make the time to record your experiences this season. The hectic days are those you most need to stop in their tracks and talk about. Your soul will thank you for paying attention.
7. Laugh – Feeling holiday stress? Make a point of seeking laughter to relax, refresh, and heal. Keep everything in perspective and laugh off the small stuff—those things that make you want to growl when you should be smiling. Gather the family for a viewing of the movie Elf and laugh your way to a happy ending.
8. Eat and Sleep Your Way to Heavenly Peace – Your body is a temple, and while the world seems to move faster and faster around you, you can decide to step back and take extra good care of yourself this season. It’s a perfect time to eat mindfully, choosing healthy and healing foods. And sleep? It’s your body’s natural rebuilding tool. Long cool winter nights invite you to rest and restore.
9. Gather Together – When I ask myself, “What creates healing?” the one answer I know for sure is connection. December is a traditional gathering time, and you can practice two healing strategies here. First, rise above negative feelings you may have for some people in your circle. And, second, contribute to the healing of our world by bringing someone new to the party. Who’s an outsider? Who is lonely? Gather them in.
10. Oh Be Thankful – Nothing heals like gratitude. Like manna for the soul, gratitude nourishes you in both obvious and untold ways as it reverberates through your energy field and out into the world. Reflect on all you have to be grateful for and pass your gratitude along in the form of kindness. A word of thanks to those who least expect it, is a gift you both give and receive.
11. Connect to Source – In addition to meditation, I believe that prayer is one of the best practices for increasing your light and keeping your soul healthy. Prayer can come in many forms—your personal request for closer connection with Source through any practice that feels right to you. Traditional worship services, music, art, yoga, walking in nature, or serving food to the homeless can be your personal form of prayer.
12. Do What You Love – Dedicate time this holiday season to doing something you love. Give yourself the gift of using your unique talents and abilities and you will be living your life purpose, fully engaged, filled with love and enthusiasm. The world needs your uplifting contribution and your soul delights in the experience of self-expression. Doing what you love is your soul’s praise song.
Try giving yourself 12 Days of Healing this December and amazing discoveries will unfold. As you heal yourself, you will bring healing energy and light to a world waiting for the power of your example!