On Tuesday, July 25, I turn 68 years old. On my blog, “Flower Bear’s Garden-Growing A Life,” (www.flowerbearsgarden.blogspot.com), I wrote about the sacred gifts that I receive every day, gifts that money can’t buy but that are priceless experiences. I talked about the gifts that come through our senses and fill us with awe, joy and contentment. What I didn’t mention is that every year on my birthday, as well as Mother’s Day and Christmas, I give myself a gift. It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything huge, but it usually is something that only I would think to give myself.
One year I adopted a wolf. A wildlife organization was looking for sponsors to support their efforts to help the grey wolf population thrive while learning all about their habits and lifestyle. I sponsored an adult female wolf named Weyekin, a word that comes from the Nez Perce Indians that means, “spirit guide.” For the small amount of money that I contributed, I received her picture, her history and so much more. I learned about how wolves embrace the idea that “it takes a village to raise a child,” and how wolf packs work together, always, for what is in the best interest of all.
One year I treated myself to a workshop in how to find and pursue your passion. It was before I ever wrote a blog, although I had used writing in one form or another in many of the jobs I held over the years – work I did for someone else but for which I did not get the recognition (my boss got that). It was the first step on a path that took me to places inside me I never knew were there, and, coincidentally, I met a lovely woman who just happened to have a job for my at-the-time unemployed self. Talk about a return on your investment.
Another time I gave myself a weekend at-home retreat. My oldest daughter had given me a “Retreat In A Box” for Christmas but I had been too busy to use it. I choose a weekend when I knew my family would all be busy or away, turned off the phone/computer/TV, etc. and treated myself as if I were at a center for spiritual healing. I woke early, meditated, completed a morning yoga practice, cooked and ate delicious, healthy and organic meals (planned and prepped ahead), took walks, wrote in my journal, meditated some more, did some more yoga, took a long, spa-like bath, read, and turned in early each day (I started on a Friday night and ended it on Sunday night). It was the best stay-cation of my life and all it cost me was the price of the food I prepared. I coasted on that high for weeks!
The best presents we can give ourselves are the ones that heal our body, mind and soul, and that enable us to share our gifts with the world. When we are healthy, happy and whole, those around us reap the benefits as well.
This week’s assignment is going to ask you to talk about how you can treat yourself to a gift that keeps on giving. As always, have fun, and keep writing!
Peace and blessings.