November 30 will be the first Advent Sunday. So begins our journey towards Christmas. Already the air is changed; the quality of darkness is smooth and thick as velvet.
Everywhere we turn we are enveloped by the feeling of anxiety over the worldwide economic crisis. We are all feeling the pinch, one way or another. I have written before that there is a positive aspect to this crisis; it pushes us towards the essence of things. What do we really need? What ought we give?
I see this Christmas as the beginning of clear and conscious spending and giving–not just for the season but for the years to come. Because money is tight all around, we have to be more aware of where we put it and to be vigilant that our attitude towards it doesn’t become one of contraction. On the contrary, I feel it necessary to keep this energy of money moving but in positive and meaningful ways. Let’s put our money behind initiatives we want to thrive and flourish in the world.
I plan to make a list of people and things I would like to truly support next year and allocate whatever funds I may have already–in the beginning of the year–so that I am not blindsided by requests for help towards one thing or the other, mostly at the expense of my personal budget. Even in our giving habits, we have to be clear and organized! I have found myself giving towards something I didn’t plan on and then ending up with a personal deficit. That’s not healthy either. Part of conscious spending is keeping yourself in a position where you don’t have to scramble and panic because you didn’t leave enough for yourself.
You can make birthdays and Christmases all about giving to the projects you want to see happen and then just make–handmade is better–a card for whoever is having a birthday, reflecting your donation and a short description of the initiative, that may inspire that person to give as well. In other words, we shift the emphasis from the material to the spiritual-material. This is money well spent.
This economic crisis can bring us into healthier relationships with money, spending and giving, if we just put more thought and heart into what we have and what we want to make happen in our communities and the world around us. It is not a time to hoard but to make sure that we participate in the conscious movement of whatever we have–now more than ever–towards our greater reality. We do not have to give huge amounts, but whatever little extra we have can go towards that energy of including more individuals and communities in the changes that we need to make happen, possibly through courses that individuals can take to sharpen their skills–as teachers, parents, caregivers–however the opportunities present themselves in your life. We also have to put a stop to saying yes, just because we are being led by our emotions. This is a time for bringing true form and discipline in the energy of gift-giving, saying yes to those initiatives you truly believe in and no to those that do not resonate.
Everyone has something to give towards change. This is a wonderful time to put all your talents to true use and this begins by owning all the talents you have and deciding to put it to use for others. Our concept of wealth has to shift from “money” to everything else that really matters. Money is not the only things that makes this world go round. This financial crisis is proof of its destructive nature. Now, more than ever, we have to honor abundance where it has always been, discarding thoughts and feelings of scarcity that will truly manifest if we persist.
This crisis can be the very thing that can bring balance into the world at last. Let us do our share by making things right where we are and begin to give clearly and consciously towards initiatives that will create the changes we so want to see in the world.