creators home
creators.com lifestyle web
Daphne Oz

Recently

Foods by the Decade Last week on ABC's "The Chew," we celebrated a decade each day, starting with the 1950s on Monday and ending with the '90s on Friday. Our aim was to conjure nostalgia and celebrate the famous foods of each decade, giving our viewers …Read more. Cookie Wisdom Whenever I go to Chinese restaurants, I find myself unusually drawn to the pithy one-liners that pop from my fortune cookies. Typically, I'm not a very superstitious person, but I like guessing at what "Expect the unexpected" might be …Read more. A Whole New You With the end of my three-week cleanse in sight, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on why any of us should bother to take inventory and do a little cleansing — in mind, body or spirit — every now and then. I'm a firm believer in …Read more. Cleansing Bad Habits Week two of my time on the Whole Living 21-day cleanse is wrapping up, and I am 8 pounds lighter, with eyes whiter and skin clearer, energy renewed through better sleep and purer food for fuel, and a positively outrageous permanent smile plastered …Read more.
more articles

Finding the Holiday Spirit

Comment

I find it slightly ironic how quickly a season that is meant to be about peace, love and gratefulness finds its way to the other end of the emotional spectrum, rife with stress, anger toward your neighbor (specifically the one who swiped the last cable-knit cashmere cardigan you'd been eyeing for your sister) and a constant feeling of inadequacy and unpreparedness.

The holiday season started out as a time to celebrate holy days, the focus on religion being primary. These days, religion is more often appropriated as a means of selling us something.

What should be an opportunity to reflect on our growth as human beings, our connection with one another and our affection for a higher good is derailed by holiday parties, competitive gift giving and general materially minded madness. But is there a way to refocus our energies? Can we rediscover spirituality in these last few weeks of secular celebration?

For me, "spiritual" simply means interior, something we experience within ourselves as a reflection of external experiences. We are evolving spiritually when we exhibit internal growth and change as a direct result of how we perceive the world and our place in it. Most crucially, spirituality is not always about structured religion or God, at least not directly. In our everyday lives, an opportunity for spiritual growth exists in every social interaction.

The easiest way I can see to demonstrate how we struggle to see the forest for the trees is the tradition of giving presents. I have been tempted on more than a few occasions to judge the caliber of my relationships by how much I like or dislike a gift. After all, if she really knew me, she would know I hate the color orange. If he had listened at all, he would know I already owned "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (not that you can really ever have too many copies).

It couldn't have been a lucky (or last-minute) guess that my co-worker knew how much I absolutely love to collect huge tea mugs; she must really know me!

This, of course, is ridiculous. True, the psychology behind selecting a present gives us an opportunity not only to consider our important relationships and why we maintain them but also to think about the recipient's likes and needs. It's a crucial bonding activity, but that is not to say that everyone is very good at it.

This material thing cannot possibly contain all the complexities of a human relationship with its giver, yet we always try to read into how well the chosen object can approximate this. This is the sort of thought process that drives us insane and makes us unhappy.

Ultimately, a gift is just that: an object given to you, whether you like it or not. It should not add or detract in any way from the emotional content of the human relationship from which it stems.

Focus on your thoughts as a gift recipient. Ideally, you want to accept a gift and be able to appreciate the thought and effort that went into its procurement, feel affection for its bearer and be grateful for the relationship that it acknowledges. If the scarf your aunt Mildred knit for you is itchy and a hideous pus green, chances are you don't ever have to wear it. Heck, it can go straight out the door to someone who might love it.

But when you receive it, let the feelings you generate come from your higher self, not your lower, materialistic self, which is full of doubt and insecurity. Your higher self never would ask these questions: "What does this gift mean? Does Aunt Mildred hate me? Why else would she give me such a gross scarf?" Your higher self would recognize gratitude not necessarily for the item, but for the relationship it came from. This sort of spiritual awakening is the true holiday spirit.

Daphne Oz is a co-host of ABC's "The Chew." To find out more about Daphne Oz and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM


Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Daphne Oz
Feb. `12
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
29 30 31 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 1 2 3
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month