Cherish the Season with Compassion

The Earth has entered the season of stillness, encouraging us to go inward. As we go inward, we give ourselves the gifts of reflection, healing and clarity while uncovering the gifts of gratitude, peace and generosity of spirit.

Natural Awakenings South Central asked three local contributors to share peaceful holiday reminders to help make the season more meaningful: Reverend Dan Landis, senior minister at Unity of Harrisburg; Rickie Freedman, reiki master/teacher, physical therapist and owner of ReikiSpace & Learning Place; and Jose Johnson, owner and chief instructor at Jose Johnson’s Chinese Martial Arts and Wellness Center.

“The holiday season is meant for us to take time to reflect on our gratitude and experience peace.  But all our obligations of the season can create stress and discord,” notes Landis. “An important spiritual practice helps keep us grounded. As you breathe out, say, ‘There is no stress nor discord.’ As you breathe in, say, ‘I am peace and harmony.’ Complete a cycle of seven. Then, simply be still and feel the energy of your gratitude and peace. Be the Peace!”

Freeman suggests, “Remember what you love and what brings you joy. Create more time for these things. Forgive yourself and others for the sake of peace. See with the eyes of compassion remembering that we are all doing our best. Choose loving, peaceful words and attitudes. Keep things in perspective. Remember to breathe. Allow yourself to receive, for this allows others the joy of sharing. Find the balance of quiet, service, connection and play.”

Johnson affirms, “Don’t allow the bustle of the holidays to be a buzzkill. Take advantage of all of the people and energy around you as opportunities to practice generosity. Hold the door open for others every chance you get. Offer to help someone load their bags in their car or return their shopping cart. Standing in line for coffee? Pay for the person behind you. And above all else, smile!” 

Rev. Dan Landis, 927 Wertzville Rd., Enola; 717-732-9773; Ricki Freedman, Sturbridge Business Park, 2793 Old Post Rd., Ste. 10, Harrisburg; 717-599-2299; Jose Johnson, 2233 Paxton Church Rd., Harrisburg; 717-540-5345;

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