You can't give it if you haven't got it.
It doesn't have to be big or expensive, but it CAN be perfect. I know of only one gift that my perfectionist self can give (and confidently relax that it's perfect).
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I am going to loan you something - it's my gift to you.
It's something simple and easy from my own spiritual traditional practices. As someone who has been making effort for most of my life to become a true meditator, it now makes me laugh with delight to share how really very simple it is to become more mindful. And to meditate.
When you MEAN IT
When you really (Really) get tired of not being able to control your own moods, emotions, feelings and thoughts, it sort of breaks you down to a place where you REALLY want to. (It is your own mind, you know. How weird is it that we feel it controls US?)
Stop getting ready
Yes, meditation is a rehearsal, but eventually you just decide to get in the game and stop getting ready. As a teacher of mine says - it's finally time to stop doing push-ups in the locker room, getting ready. Go ahead and get out on the field. The game is on.
Can you do it now, here, while you are reading this? It will only take a few minutes. Decide - I am going to take a few minutes and try this.
Sit still. Straighten your back and decide not to move (say five minutes or so)
Take some deeper longer breaths
Don't try to stop thinking but don't relate to your thoughts - don't follow them anywhere, don't believe that you have to think them for these next few minutes. Don't connect to them, just - let them in, let them out.
Keep making the deal with yourself - not gonna think that, or that or that.
I am right here, only here, only now.
Then decide - Today I want to feel a happy feeling. I want to have a happy mind. I am going to do that right now.
One mind I can think with right now is a Giving mind. A mind of gratitude.
So now I invite you to think of something that you are grateful for - make it easy and simple and natural. You are welcome to allow a list of things to come up, of course, but it really only takes one.
Hold your attention here - a thing or a person or a situation.
Now, while you have it, feel it here. Or feel the person here. All the way.
Notice if you have a feeling in your body anywhere and hang on more closely to that place or feeling. This is an energy appearing - it's nature is grateful. It's voice is appreciation. I am grateful for this.
Keep letting yourself feel this. Keep deciding to stay with it, moment by moment.
Think: I am ALL IN. I am going to let myself feel this ALL the WAY.
Now, after these few minutes, appear someone else that you know or have thought about recently that you are sure would love to feel this too. This good feeling you are now having.
Just bring them to mind, gently and easily. Picture them as clearly as you can, doing what you think that they might even be doing right now.
Don't worry - if they are far away, busy or upset or even seem to be oblivious or ignoring you - you just think of them. They can't stop you from thinking of them...
Sit with it. Feel it. Then, just pretend that they feel the same good feeling of your gratitude energy. (I like to pretend that they suddenly, somewhere, have a little feeling that they have no idea where it's coming from. TeeHee)
So right now - you are in the game - you are both giving and receiving. Giving them a good happy feeling AND you are receiving the good feeling OF them having the feeling. (everybody wins this game)
Then, if your time commitment is over now, allow it to fade inside you, but it's ok to believe that it is there to remember throughout your day. You rehearsed it, so it's yours.
So maybe you are with people today, maybe not. Maybe you have a busy day, maybe not.
But here's the healing part: all day long, you can dip back into the memory of feeling this way. And especially if you start to feel bad feelings or feel your mood darken or tighten up.
It's energy YOU created. So guess what? You can do it again.
What a GIFT. First you buy it, in the moment, for yourself. Then you have something to give someone else.
You have an actual gift, your gratitude. It's perhaps a secret - but make no mistake, it's valuable and valued.
Thank yourself. Thank others.
And, I thank you.