Saturday, December 5, 2009

Giving of Ourselves: Do You, or Do You Gift?

I love my Saturday yogi. She has inspired me to take teacher training & further instruction in Yoga. Sorry...had to give my grace today, as she also inspired this blog post via her story this morning. Her theme: "Giving of Ourselves: Do You, or Do You Gift?"

We all know that "giving back" is important - especially in this economy. But what does that mean to you, especially in the holiday season (when GIVE usually = GIFT, thanks to media & societal pressure)? I've learned quite a bit from a variety of people & personalities over the last year - very humbling experiences, many of which I had to "see" after several months of ignoring. I'd have to say the best lesson I've learned, is the gifting of myself.

I used to be very retail-driven (and sigh, I still heart a really good shoe sale. Damn you, Jimmy Choo). Can it "Jones-like" or "be the best by what you earn," many of my benchmarks were set based on the financial status it gave me. I'm in a transformational stage to "flip the wallet," so to speak - meaning, can I pay for the gift I'm about to give someone, or is it priceless?

So without further ado...5 ways to give priceless gifts this season.

1) Pick up a phone. This is where I'm the worst...I have many friends, and they laugh at the fact that I really despise the phone (it comes from years of sitting in a marketing position, getting tons of aimless phone calls from salespeople. Ayeee!) I've realized though, that to have substance, a phone call just needs to be an "I'm thinking of you." It can be 5 minutes or an hour...and you never know the state the recipient will be in on the other end. They just might really need to hear the sound of your voice.

2) Email's okay too. Dropping a line, or a text, still has meaning (I'd probably draw the line at "tweeting," but hey, it is the digital age). Again, it's the message and the thought that makes the difference.

3) Where has all the "dish drop off-ing" gone? I'm fortunate to live in the South...where we like to bake people things as a hobby (and a gift for everything, from new babies to sympathy to sickness to graduation). Bust out the red velvet recipe and make cupcakes (the "gift of 2010") made by you. Sugar always ends up in a smile. :)

4) Offer an idea, solution or helping hand to a friend or family member in business (or become a pseudo-intern or advisor). Or forward a friend's resume on who just lost their job (and go the extra mile some calls on their behalf). My old company had a favorite "ism" on their wall - "It's a quick trip from the penthouse to the outhouse." That could be you - so be humble.

5) Give yourself in the best way you know how. Spend time with your kids. Volunteer if an opportunity arises. Take care of a friend's children to give them a few hours to holiday shop (your idea, not theirs). Create a journal of great inspirational thoughts for a friend. Teach a yoga class to kids who could never afford it regularly (okay that's mine, but if you're a yogi, you know all about selflessness and community).

The point is, instead of whipping out your credit cards this season - could you give of yourself in a way that this recipient will appreciate even more? It's tougher to do and takes more/extra time, but it's worth it in lasting benefits. Don't worry - I'm definitely not there yet either, I'm a work in progress too. It helps to have a little nudge though!

Happy holidays - best in health, rest, family & life. Namaste Rock Stars! :)

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