Festivities, family gatherings, religious celebration...the magic of Christmas is behind us now or is it? As we face the challenges of aging and the events of a new year how can we harness that magic to help us year-round? Three concepts- faith, giving/receiving, and celebration- define the winter holidays and each are strong enough to create magic in our lives every day of the year. Nurture the magic in your life for greater year-round joy.
The word faith most often describes religious devotion but faith broadly means: complete trust or confidence in someone or something. To create more magic in life explore your sense of faith. If you have religious or spiritual faith you know its power. Will you resolve to increase your trust in belief or practice during the coming year? Explore other aspects of your life for ways to increase trust. Are you trusting in dreams? Do you have confidence in personal goals? Do you experience trust in aging or confidence in transitions? Do you feel confident that struggling family members will work things out? Do you trust in your own ability to cope with challenges? Are you faithful to friends? Faith is a powerful mechanism at the center of winter holidays which can create light in our darkness and empower greater confidence and trust year round. Strengthen and share faith for year-round magic.
Giving and receiving creates magic. It's a Wonderful Life, above, is a dramatic portrayal of that concept but how does it function in our daily lives? I asked a couple, 60 something in age, how they experienced the spirit of Christmas in their lives. He said holiday spirit comes alive in our giving. She said holiday spirit is about receiving. "We're a match made in heaven," she quipped, and we laughed. Yet her deeper answer came in illustrating a powerful experience they'd encountered in their hometown this month. When a local farmer and church member fell off his tractor suffering serious injury and creating hardship in the family the community quickly mobilized to raise money and support. Her eyes teared as she relayed the gratitude and surprise this formerly self reliant family expressed at receiving community love and generosity. That's magic. Neither giving nor receiving alone creates it. Magic is energy flowing between open hearts; a sincere exchange of love, spirit or goodwill. Tragedy inspires magical exchanges but we don't need tragedy to increase the effect in our daily lives. Cultivate greater love and openness and you'll discover the many small opportunities each day to give and receive with magic.
"Let's Celebrate it's alright," Kool and the Gang croon in the 1980's clip above. Celebrate. To increase magic in your life try attending more gatherings or host friends and family. There's always the potential for warmth and magic in community. During the holidays we sometimes feel pressure or obligation at gift exchanges now we have the other months of the year to slow it down and enjoy the communion of friends. "Celebration. Let's all celebrate and have a good time." they sing. It's as important today as it was in 1980. It's important when we're young and old. If you don't like gatherings or aren't feeling well celebrate privately by practicing gratitude for our daily gifts and mercies. If you Google "Celebration AND Life" you might get a list of funeral songs like I did! Don't wait until you or a loved one dies to experience the celebration of life. As Kool and the Gang say, "There's a party going on right here a celebration to last through out the years."
Holidays highlight spirit and magic through a focus on faith, giving/receiving, and celebration. Practice and expand those principles in your daily life for more joy and satisfaction. Share the magic they create. Enjoy the reasons right here and now in our lives to celebrate, dear reader. Happy New Year!