I can’t think of anything else that would make the last week of the year and the arrival of the New Year better – loving and giving or give and love – whichever way you want to see it.
This year Christmas was on Tuesday, an auspicious day of the week when I light lemon lamps for the Goddess Durga (the other days are Fridays and Sundays). I prayed for everyone’s health. Y’all all know I have a hotline to God, right? And a healthy, growing list of requests. I looked into God’s eyes as I pray and shamelessly asked her to fulfill my friends’ wishes. Why not? God is the Almighty, and everything is possible for her. (Yes, God is a she)
Just like all special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations, I arranged a special lunch at my local welfare home for girls (Seva Sadan). There are about 100 girls in the age group of 5 to 16. I love going there.
I also distributed food in the form of buns and biscuits outside the temples where lots of homeless people gather on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I used to cook and make packets and distribute, but one Thursday, I didn’t’ have the time and bought buns instead. And then, someone in that crowd who was a regular, actually told me they prefer buns and bread to rice-based stuff as they like to keep it for the next meal and eat it. I loved that – the value of feedback!
My year around gift box
I have a large trunk to which I add things I would like to giveaway. I find it easy as I can grab something as I go out every day. The weather is suddenly much colder here, and I know that all my regular folks who live on the streets could do with a lot of extra things. I benefit from a happier heart.
A habit of loving and giving is born
This idea is something I learned from my elementary school teacher. Her name was Mrs.D’Abro (she taught two generations of our family, who attended the same school). She had a very pretty house. Back in the 60’s, we found the concept of curtains, table cloths, ovens, etc. very novel and fascinating because in our house, the cooking was done with firewood. We had no fans, no dining tables, no refrigerator (got our first one when i was 22)… we ate, sat and slept on the floor. There were just a couple of chairs for special visitors – the rest of us just used mats.
So…the teacher’s pretty bungalow with its floral curtains and lace table cloth was like a place out of a fairy tale. They use china tea sets and cups and saucers. Her kitchen always smelt of baking. She had a garden with fruit trees – and best of all? She had a generous heart. It was always a treat to go visit her.
Now she, at the entrance to her house, had a porch and near the shoe shelf, had a decorative chest sort of thing. (Always made me think of Sindbad the Sailor). We would expect all sorts of magic to be in it. And know what? There was. After she let us enjoy ourselves in her garden and in her “parlor” and gave us goodies to eat, she would send us off lovingly, giving us a small gift from the chest. I ate this fruit for the first time at her place when I was about six years old and she called them love-apples – she would give us lots to take home, too.
This lovely practice has always stayed in my memory. Just as soon as I grew up, I too had a trunk where I put stuff I would like to give away. Today, I have a trunk of toys full of fun magnetic toys for kids who visit. Nobody leaves my house empty-handed or with an empty heart. I have a trunk in which I add stuff all the time to giveaway. Extra benefits of the bin? I can:
- Be Clutter-free, knowing the extras I have are putting a smile on someone’s face
- Feel good
- Be more with less
- Experience the joy of loving and giving
I’ve joined my friend Julie of Just Jules in an exercise of gratitude. It is easy. Every day I use the hashtag #365daysofthanks to express what I am grateful for. Go ahead and join in. Saying thanks feels good.
#365DaysofThanks Today I am thankful for the friendships that are meant to be. Those people you just click with in unexplainable ways.
— Julie (@Julesmpg) December 21, 2012
#365daysofthanks Today i am grateful I have extra warm clothes to give to someone who doesn't have any
— Vidya Sury (@vidyasury) December 18, 2012
See how easy it is?
My friend Arvind Devalia just published his latest book Love is All That Matters This beautiful book is a simple yet powerful manifesto to bring more love into your life and into the world. Each short chapter concludes with a daily exercise – carry out these simple exercises and watch in wonder as your life magically transforms into a life filled with love, kindness and understanding.
And finally, some fantastic printables:
Ken Wert never fails to thrill me with his writing. I just read “The Happiness Pledge” and highly recommend that you print it and put it up where you can see it often. Some of us need just that little push to propel us forward towards what we would like to do! I found that list highly energizing and motivating.
Tess Marshall, the guru on zapping fear offers 35 small ways to create a life of awesomeness – they are easy and instantly do-able!
And Sandi Amorim at Deva-Coaching shows a wonderful way to look within to start 2013 off exactly the way you want to, with her post Telling the truth (the whole truth and nothing but the truth)
How did you celebrate Christmas, dear friends? And what plans for 2013?