Is it Really Better to Give than Receive?!

The holiday season is in full swing!

Hustling-and-bustling is a time-honored tradition this time of year. There’s so much to do and so many (nice and naughty) people to see. Spiritual teacher Ram Dass once humorously observed that those of us who think we’re “enlightened” should spend one week with family to see how kind and peaceful we really are.

In the light of eternity we are all nice and no one is full-time naughty. (Yes, even that relative who activates your “Liver Qi”.) We all have naughty behaviors and personality traits waiting to be transformed and healed. The holidays are a perfect time to practice what so many of us believe and preach: love, centeredness, courage, wisdom, kindness.

As the holidays approach Love is everywhere… and so are our blind spots. The situations that drive us bonkers and push our buttons are opportunities to stay open and not close down. (You know, charming holiday traditions like yelling too much, eating too much, drinking too much, judging too much, silently seething too much, etc.)

How appropriate that Five Element Theory heralds the winter holidays as the beginning of the peaceful and purifying Water Season.  And the 2500-year-old Tao Te Ching agrees. The Tao offers us timeless guidance about how to thrive in this busy beautiful world. Be like water and take comfort in knowing the holidays are packed with family, friends and festivities so we can grow, grow, grow. (Not growl.)

Water always takes the lowest position.

Obstacles do not hinder it.

It accommodates whatever is in its path and continues to flow forward.

It never loses its direction.

By remaining low it follows its true nature and its fundamental direction is not influenced by superficial obstructions.

Water is always ocean-bound, seeking to reunite with the whole.

To follow the way of water is to return to one’s spiritual essence.

Here are four tips for slowing down and flowing open this Winter Water season:

‘Tis better to give than receive. You don’t have to be a “material girl” or “material boy” to know we’re living in a material world. Giving doesn’t have to break the bank or your heart.  A simple gift of gratitude and kindness can change someone’s world. Your time and attention are two of your most precious gifts to share. No credit card required.

Go to bed early.  Think about how bears hibernate during the winter.  When the days are shorter, our bodies need more rest. So put down the eggnog and get up to bed! Sleep is proven to be one of the most restorative medicines around. And your zzzzz are free.

Eat the sea. The Water Element is associated with the Kidneys, an organ that thrives when it’s nourished with simple non-processed foods like wild-caught fresh fish and sea veggies (e.g., nori, wakame, dulse). Other favorites include tofu and black bean soup.   

Give yourself a pearl of wisdom. Kick up your Kidney Qi and your Life Essence by practicing the “White Pearl Qigong Mediation.” Click here for details about accessing more energy, vitality and joy this season and always.

We hope you flow through this holiday season with the ease and purity of water.

Happy Holidays!

Love and gratitude,

-Chris & Parisa Shelton and the Morning Crane team