In this season of wish lists, overcrowded malls and presents galore – how can
we help our families overcome the want of Christmas?
Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend shares four things to consider.
Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes
It’s hard to change your life until you change your point of view and one of
the best ways to change your life is to see another. Take your family to
experience another life this holiday season. Take everyone out of their
comfort zone and let them get a taste of working with people who are really
struggling to live. Visit a homeless shelter, start a sub for Santa for a family
in a completely different part of town. Volunteer at a charity, a school, a
prison or the hospital. Take time with your family to discuss what they saw,
have them connect to the experience emotionally. Invite them to explore
how truly blessed their lives are and redirect their attention from what they
want to receive to what other people might want or need in life and really
Act on A Prompting!
One of the fastest ways to learn to overcome the “WANTS” is to start listening
to your heart. There is much to learn from our hearts if we would just listen.
The problem is all of the “want” that we have is great for retailers, just not so
great for us to pay attention to our promptings. This season get back into
what matters most in life by committing to follow more closely the
promptings of your heart. Have a daily check in with your family and ask
everyone what prompting they acted on today? Whose life were you
prompted to change today and what specifically did you do. By focusing on
your promptings you may subtlely turn off some of the intrinsic wants that
come around this season. Amazingly you may also end up actually fulfilling
the wants or even the needs of another as you simply lead with your heart!
As Thoreau once taught, we must start living delibritely and confront the
essential facts of our live. The essential facts of life will come from the
promptings of our heart, not the selfish searching of our needs.
Many times we disguise our “wants” as something we really just “need.” We
build stories around things we want and create noble reasons that we must
have this or that. For example, I’ve heard people say “we need a bigger
house so we can have more friends over” or “we really need a boat so we
have an activity to bring us together as a family.” If the only way to bring
your family and friends together with you is to have a lot of things to lure
them over, than maybe you are in more trouble than you think. Think of how
few “things” that the greatest humans on earth ever possessed; a Ghandi, a
Mother Theresa, Jesus Christ or Buddha. In the end it’s what you’re willing to
give up that allows you to have the most. The things of the world only
distract us from being who we most need to be.
Take The Steps to Feed Another!
Mother Theresa once said, “When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not
happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened
because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”
Take some time with your family to discuss the critical need to give to other
people. Find specific people in your circle of influence and go out on a
mission to feed people. Take the money you would have spent on gifts and
gather your family together and go start spontaneously serving others in the
community. Let your children feel the spirit of being pro people in the world
and identify what you all can do as a family to feed another.
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