It’s that time of year again; of warmth and hearth, family and friends around, as we celebrate joy, happiness, peace, and the triumph of goodness and light.
Festivals are the perfect occasions to gather, share, and shower love and gifts on our near and dear ones. But the end of the year is also a good time to reflect on the year past, to reach out to loved ones we may have not seen enough throughout the year, and to introspect and recalibrate our lives for the year ahead.
In the West, Halloween is followed by Thanksgiving, Milad un-Nabi, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year, Bodhi Day, and Easter in the Spring.
In India, the festive season begins in October with Dussera (the victory of good over evil), followed by Diwali (the festival of lights), then the various harvest festivals, BasantPanchami (the onset of Spring), Holi( the festival of colors), MahaShivratri, Shri Ram Navami, and the traditional New Year in April.
The festive season is for family and community. No matter where we are, almost every family makes it a point to celebrate at least one festival together. We allfind ourhidden child within as we look for places to hide gifts, ways to make others happy, and to enjoy and share our bounty.
Festivals have become about exchanging gifts – something more than buying something from a store. Instead we handpick the right gift, matching gift to recipient, using our knowledge of the person and our feelings for them. Everything has to be just right. We add personal touches, making each gift extra special. And we do this in anticipation of those special moments where smiles, twinkling eyes and hearts do the talking, expressed through warm hugs and happy smiles. Words do not do justice to express this heart’s exchange.
The festive season is the season of giving.
And even as we find it in ourselves to make our loved ones happy, perhaps this season we can do more than that.
Let us make the heart’s exchange even more heartful this year, by heeding the call to spread more joy – by doing at least one small random act of kindness for someone else this festive season. There are grand, but also subtle, modest gestures to bring joy to some else’s life – someone who needs it. I welcome each and every one of you to try this with me.
This festive season, gift your loved ones copies of The Heartfulness Way.
This is an article by Sanjay Sehgal.