The ritual of gift giving is woven into the fabric of our lives for many significant occasions (i.e. Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversaries, “Just Because”). The gift may be something material and tangible that has been thoughtfully selected; or it may be the gift of service. It may be an outer expression of an innate gift of creativity, through a hand-created item, a homemade card, a song or personally written message. When this practice is inspired by feelings of love and gratitude for the recipients, or simply for the sheer pleasure of giving, there is a real joy and completeness to the act.

Sometimes though, our giving may be fueled with a heavy energy of obligation or assumed expectation. In these moments the potential for joy is restricted and muddied for both the giver and sometimes the receiver. For this reason, I strive to infuse a clearer intention into what goes into the gift and the giving. By considering what I have to offer, what I wish to share, and my hopes of inspiring happiness in another.

What I’ve come to value more with passing time, are the intrinsic gifts, the gifts that embody the spirit of the giver. They carry an expression of our soul’s essence, emanating naturally when we are in the flow of spirit. These gifts shine through in our words, our smiles, our touch, the things we create, and our way of being as we share our story.

Sometimes we don’t even recognize how often we are sharing our soul’s gifts with others. We’re unaware of how much we have graced the life of someone else with this expression. It is often so subtle. It may be in the smallest gesture, a phone call, a visit, a loving thought, a prayer. The value is priceless, and the cost is greater joy for the both giver and receiver.

When the giving of gifts, whether physical or ethereal, are met by the receiver with an open-hearted spirit of gratitude, then the circle of giving is complete, and an expansion of joy is experienced by all.

To my friends, family, clients and students who share your gifts of spirit so willingly every day, I thank you. Your presence matters to me. I am richly blessed.

May the gifts of Soul Light expressed inspire and delight you as this New Year unfolds.

In Light, Love and Joy,

Carole Wray