Gift giving is on everyone’s mind. A corporate driven, consumption-based holiday season is in full swing. But beyond the re-branding of Starbucks holiday cups and the repetitive holiday music flooding malls – what feeds the holiday season? The easy answer for me is that the holidays are fueled by retailers pushing gift ideas and pressuring humans to become consumers.
However, before this post continues in that direction, I want to take a step back and say: Hey! It feels good to give. So think again, what feeds the holiday season? Well, a lot of it really is the joy of making others happy. The pleasure of giving can be more fulfilling than receiving.
We live in a society filled with obsessive compulsive consumption disorder (OCCD – yes, I just made this up). Living in a First World, capitalist society there exists an interesting paradox: the emphasis on being independent and individual through consumption. All year long we are focusing on what we want, who we are and what are our priorities. This leaves our ego fired with Self. We feed our ego with ideas of Self, and we feed our Self with “stuff” (hence OCCD). We are stuffed!! It feels really good to empty. It feels really good to give.
I recently read an interview with Manju Jois, son of Sri K Pattabhi Jois, Ashatanga Yoga Guru. Manju Jois, coming from India, was noting the large number of yoga teachers in the west. He said, “Everybody wants to be a teacher,” for Manju Jois this is not a good thing. Yet, in another light we can see Westerners are feeling a need to practice yoga to empty and let go. Many practitioners then want to share the teachings in order to feel fulfilled – in order to give the beautiful gift they’ve been given.
Capitalist society trains us to consume; but after being fed so much, we need to offer up our hearts, our coping mechanisms, our breath, our Self.
Often I hear people say the best thing they ever did was have a child or get married. We like to care for others. We take pleasure in watching loved ones enjoy life. We are (mostly) made up of love, and so much of love is generosity of spirit. Holidays are corporate driven – but they are fueled with our love for giving.
This holiday season, I won’t be gifting. I will be re-gifting. Re-packing bags of my kindly used “stuff” and giving it to friends, colleagues and family. This offering of my “stuff” will lighten my Self and seeing others smile will feel really good! Enjoy your holidays, whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate it!
Love is bound with Anxiety.
Undone with Generosity!
Peace and Seasonal Blessings,
Lauryn Elan Z xox