How many times have you wondered what gift you can give this holiday season? I love wrapped up surprises as much as the next person, but truly, the gifts that mean the most to me are the ones that touch my heart and change my life in positive and powerful ways. You do not need to spend money on these extraordinary gifts. In fact, they are absolute treasures that everyone would love to receive, and not just during the holiday season. Now is the time to decide how and when you will share these gifts.
1. Compassion – Open your eyes to what others are going through, and even if you do not know them, consider a heartfelt prayer or positive reflection and send them healing/positive energy. This gift is life changing. For someone to know that you understand or can relate to their pain, discomfort, or situation, helps them to feel loved and reminds them that they are not alone. Like all good things, the compassion you have for others will come back to you when you need it the most.
2. Generosity – Generosity is not about giving money or wrapped gifts, although those are nice. A generous compliment to someone costs you nothing. Generous applause at a wonderful show you attend helps the cast know that you recognize and appreciate their efforts. A generous hug for someone who really needs it, will help them get through the day. Generosity presents itself in every moment, and it is a gift that keeps on giving.
3. Listening – A good listener is a good friend and a good leader. If someone has a problem and comes to you about it, decide if they just need a non-judgmental listener, or if they are asking for advice, because they are two different things. Often, when someone is worried, they want to talk about it, which helps them put the situation in perspective. Giving them the opportunity to share what is bothering them is a gift that will help them move past where they are right now to something better. And again, if they do not necessarily want advice, just listen.
4. Thoughtfulness – I do not remember everyone’s birthdays all the time, nor do I unexpectedly drop cookies by a neighbor’s house. I don’t think thoughtfulness needs to be that prescribed. When you meet up with someone, start with a compliment or a question about how they are doing, and let them respond. Put the attention on them for a few moments and allow them to share something first. You can also wish others a joyful day, or bring them a small gift out of the blue. Thoughtfulness can be out of the box, and it always makes a big impact on the receiving end.
5. Forgiveness –What if someone makes a mistake? Are you understanding, and do you allow them to right the wrong or apologize? Do you help them work through it in a positive way? We are all human, and mistakes happen, but an angry response is not useful in any way. So, when someone makes a mistake that affects you, remember that you will make a mistake one day, too, and a little forgiveness goes a long way. Now is a good time to forgive someone.
6. Encouragement – You cannot know what others think or feel inside. You cannot see their hopes and dreams, just as they cannot see yours. In what way can you encourage them to push through, so their goals can come to fruition? Remind others that they can achieve. I can honestly say I would not be writing or motivating others today, if a couple of wonderful friends did not encourage me to do so. Encouragement is a gift of positivity, and positivity changes lives.
There are so many more gifts that you can add to the list. What is important to you? If it is important to you, chances are that it is important to someone else, too. The holiday season is a season of joy. Share your joy in a personal and profound way. Improve your own weaknesses, and make these gifts part of your strengths. Your words and actions are worth a lot more than a store-bought gift, and truly, they bring more happiness to others than you will ever know. Share your love and be a friend, and you will be the biggest gift of all.
My new book, Martial Art Inspirations for Everyone: https://goo.gl/Yco5GF (Amazon Link)
My book, The Martial Arts Woman: https://goo.gl/rTSaJA (Amazon Link)
Signed copies available here: www.themartialartswoman.storenvy.com (My online store)