Posts tagged ‘gift’

March 14, 2014

Lessons from a Russian doctor: Life, too, is only an instant

The following quote is from the poem “Wedding” at the end of Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago:

For life, too, is only an instant,
Only the dissolving of ourselves
In the selves of all others
As if bestowing a gift.

I often comment on the importance of maintaining your sense of individuality in life — of standing up for what you believe in, of honouring and acting on your life dreams and gut instincts above all else. This quote reminds us that it is also important to open ourselves to the people around us, to trust the process of social interaction, to knock down any walls built on fear and embrace the friendships, relationships, attachments waiting on the other side.

And it reminds us that life is indeed short. We are each of us just a moment in time, just a small part of the history of humanity and of the earth. Soon, that moment — your moment — will be gone. So live it while it’s here, and live it fully, as if you were a gift to the world. Because you are a gift to the world.

December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays

The best gift you can give is

the gift of your time;

the gift of an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on;

the gift of an open heart.

Merry Christmas.

June 22, 2013

In the abyss lies the treasure

I like this quote from American mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell about life’s hardships and the gifts they can give us:

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.  Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.

How true.

May 18, 2013

You can make a difference

Today’s food for thought, courtesy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.

Happy long weekend!

April 29, 2013

Heartbreak – a journey (in three quotes)

Heartbreak: a journey (in three quotes):

The breaking of so great a thing
should make a greater crack.
(William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra)

She took a step and didn’t want to take any more,
but she did.
(Markus Zusak, The Book Thief)

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.
(Mary Oliver)

December 1, 2012

December challenge: Step off the holiday merry-go-round

As December progresses, it’s not unusual to find ourselves run ragged under a heavy load of holiday-related errands, engagements and obligations. Because the “holiday rush” often creates more stress than cheer, December’s challenge is thus:

At some point during the month, when you feel commitments and to-do lists pressing in on you, follow these steps:

  1. Stop. Stop moving, stop rushing. Sit down and breathe for a few minutes. Then give yourself wholehearted permission to get off the holiday merry-go-round and take a mini break from it all. (Trust me: the world will not end if you do this!)
  2. Clear space in your schedule for a holiday date with yourself. Cancel an appointment, bow out of a social engagement, opt not to rush to the mall post-haste in search of that perfect gift. Instead, give yourself a gift. Whether it’s a day, an evening or just a few hours, create a pocket of time for some much-needed self-care.
  3. Use this time to do something special for yourself — something that will make you feel happy, lighter, lifted. Maybe you want to make a pot of tea and cosy up on the couch with a good book, or go for a walk in a natural setting, or cue up some tunes and prepare a flavourful meal that you can enjoy at a leisurely pace. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that brings you smiles instead of stress!
  4. Keep your date with yourself — no matter what! You are worth it. Trust me on this; you are definitely worth it.

It can be difficult in our fast-paced, do-it-all society for people to stop, take a break, say “no,” put personal well-being first. But it’s OK to do so. It really, truly is. No guilt required, either! Holiday “obligations” will pile up, no matter what you do. Let them pile. Your holiday season will be no less bright because of this little bit of time you’ve taken for yourself. In fact, your season might sparkle just a little bit more because of it.