Missing a Loved One? A Tip to Help You Move On

by Patricia Spadaro

While the end of the year and the holiday season can be a time of joy, it can also be a time of loss and grieving as loved ones pass on or we are reminded of those who shared the holidays with us in the past. The final months of the year do seem to be a time of physical passage. In the last few months, several of my own friends have had to deal with the passing of parents or long-time friends.

Here’s one way to make the passage a bit easier for you, especially if you were not able to say your last goodbyes. In my travels, I once met a German woman who seemed upset and was having a hard time enjoying her vacation. She told my husband and I tearfully that her mother had recently passed on unexpectedly and she had never been able to say her last goodbyes.  As I shared this same advice with her, her face suddenly lit up.  It had lifted a bit of the burden she felt, and she was very grateful.  (You can adapt this same ritual to help you move through and honor the ending of any relationship or incident in your life.)

1. Carve out some quality time alone.

2. Take a clean piece of paper and write a letter to the heart and soul of a parent, partner, or friend who has moved on. Tell them in this inner message how you feel and what you most appreciated about them. Let them know what you didn’t get to tell them, perhaps even what you regret about your relationship over the years and any pain you felt.

3. Even if you had a difficult relationship with this person, make a point in your letter of recognizing the gifts that he or she passed on to you or the strengths you developed as a result of your relationship.

4. Then burn the letter (be sure to do it in a safe place!) as you ask God (using whatever name you prefer to address the creative Spirit of the universe) to carry this message at inner levels to those who have passed on.

Physical rituals like this can help you bring closure, find a sense of peace, and move on more quickly.

Remember: The greatest gifts that loved ones give us are the gifts that still live on within us. We honor those who have passed on by discovering what they have given us and allowing those gifts to express through us.

Think about this:

•  Are you missing someone in your life?
•  What gifts did he/she give you?
•  How will you continue to express those gifts in his/her honor?


Is Giving a Gift Always the Best Choice?

by Patricia Spadaro

P2070238You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. —Kahlil Gibran

Let’s face it—many of us are still rushing around to buy the people we love the most their holiday gifts, huffing and puffing all the way.  Here’s a story that’s a perfect reminder of why getting a physical gift for someone may not always be the best choice. We have so much more to give…

Margaret has been operating for most of her life on the premise that the time we share with a friend is far more important than giving or getting a physical gift. Born and raised in Ireland, she grew up in an environment where children, not adults, received gifts for holidays. One year, Margaret explained how she felt about gift-giving to Sandra, a co-worker who had become a good friend. Margaret pulled her new friend aside and bluntly told her: “It’s time for me to give you the lecture I give all my friends. Don’t get me a Christmas present or a birthday present, because I don’t want one. What am I going to do with more things? If you want to go out to lunch with me, that’s fine because then we get to spend time together. But if you get me a gift, you’ll just have to work harder to pay for it—and then you’ll have even less time to spend with me.”

It was Sandra who shared this story with me. “I actually felt relieved when I heard this,” she admitted, “and I appreciated my friendship with Margaret even more.” Sandra went on to tell me that a few years ago for Christmas, she had decided to do something similar. She told her relatives and close friends that instead of buying them material gifts, she wanted to spend some time alone with them. “It was the best Christmas I ever had,” she recalled, smiling. “I was able to spend time with all my favorite people and I wasn’t rushing around shopping. I didn’t even go to the mall once!”

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to be a good giver. It’s your inner gifts, the ones that touch another, heart to heart, that are the most precious offerings.

(Story taken from “Honor Yourself: The Inner Art of Giving and Receiving”)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Just this week a young mother with three small children told me a similar story that reflected her values: “My husband  and I are choosing to work less so we can spend more time with our children rather than buying them lots and lots of stuff, which they don’t really need. We want to give our children as much time and attention as we can right nowwhen it’s most important.”

Not all of us have the option of working less, but we all face a similar decision point: What’s more important—spending quality time with the people who mean the most to me?  Or spending time away from the people I love to make more money or do the things I think I’m supposed to be doing to get ahead?

(And by the way, that picture above is of my kitties,  who are constantly trying to teach me—with mixed results—how important it is to spend time in the “now” with the ones we love.)

The Power of Focused Attention

by Patricia Spadaro

One of the most significant gifts we can give in this modern, busy time of ours is our time. With so many demands placed upon us, we often find ourselves talking or listening to someone who needs us while we are also driving, watching TV, answering our cell phones, text messaging, making dinner, going through […]

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