Sanctuary renews our spirit and feeds our soul. Not only is Sanctuary a time-out-of-time for self-care, it’s also a universal, time-honored way to care for others. Sanctuary is about “me” and “we.” When I was a little girl, my mother used to tell me and my four sisters to “make yourself useful”… even though we were still doing our chores.
Little did I know, my mom was teaching us not busyness for busyness sake, she was planting seeds of Sanctuary. By giving, reaching out, and being of service to others, we received gifts that money can’t buy—blessings of Sanctuary: compassion, abundance, and joy.
Here are a few simple ways to take care of yourself and make yourself useful to others—at the same time:
– As the days grow shorter, take time to pause… and say a simple thank you for the many blessings of each day—a roof over your head, friends, food on your table… maybe even a few extra bucks to buy some beans or a loaf of bread for someone else.
– Put on some soothing music and light a candle to remind yourself of the many miracles in your life… and to bring much-needed light and prayer into some of the darkest corners of our world—the 75% of people around the world who don’t have a roof over their head, who sleep each night hungry, hopeless, and afraid… who walk miles every single day in search of clean drinking water.
– Read an inspirational book—and then send it and a few more of your other gently used books to our service men and women. Take a moment and include a note of gratitude for all they do to defend our country.
– Give thanks. Gratitude changes us. Literally! When you say thanks with a full, joyful heart, your body produces more dopamine, which is why you just feel better when you reach out to others. As you extend gratitude to others—join us in the Seattle community on Tuesday, December 8, as we express our deep gratitude and keep vigil for four slain officers and their families. Put a blue light in your window or on your front porch in gratitude and remembrance.
– Take a walk—alone or with a friend or another loved one. In silence, as you walk, count your blessings… share them with your companion along your way—and for every step you take, consider donating some amount of your time to a local community center, school, church, mosque, synagogue, group home, or shelter… knowing that getting involved is just as important as your money, if not more so.
– Spend time in nature, focusing your attention on something you don’t normally notice—birds, leafless trees with nests in them, rocks, colors, the sound of wind, rain, snow beneath your feet, your own mighty heartbeat—and remember that you’re part of nature, not separate from it. Care for all of nature as if it belonged to you, because indeed it does.
Enjoy the blessings of Sanctuary and the season—Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
The truly wealthy give until it feels good.
Pass It On!