Self-Generosity: Open Your Heart to Yourself
This is always a special time of year, the days between Christmas and Epiphany. In Germany we refer to this period with “zwischen den Jahren” / “between the years”. It’s a term that is rooted in the difference between the lunar calendar and the solar calendar, which results in these 12 days. For me it has always been a phase to naturally slow down and reflect. In my previous job, this was the most stressful and work-intense time of the year. After many years of this, I find I now particularly appreciate this time, and being able to enjoy its calmness. Stores are closed for Christmas and New Year’s as well as Epiphany, and many people take vacation days. I can feel this tranquility and relaxed atmosphere in the air and it naturally draws me inward, reflecting on what the old year brought and what I wish for the New Year.
The theme I want to focus on in 2019 has formed itself in my thoughts in the last few weeks now: self-generosity! Never heard the word? No wonder, I made it up. Let me explain what I mean by that. I am sure that like me you experienced a lot of smiles and hugs and “Merry Christmases” in the last few days. If people were authentic you felt the love that was expressed through all of it. This Christmas I noticed very clearly that this season of festivities allows us to open our hearts for each other, which makes it easier to have the best of feelings and hold well wishes for everyone. You could say it triggers our generosity towards others and that is exactly what I want to do for myself. I want to be as generous towards myself as I am towards others. Yes, you could say this is self-love, but to me it’s a very particular part of self-love.
I think of it as muscle training. I have very well trained muscles for seeing what needs to improve in my life, where something is going “wrong”. Yet the muscles of self-approval and appreciating all the good things, feelings and deeds I have and do definitely need help as well as training. Or in other words, it’s a matter of focus: When I am generous with others I don’t get to the nitty-gritty of what might be “wrong” with them. I take in what’s good about them and generously share my good with them. That’s the muscle I want to train for myself. So just as we open our hearts for others at Christmas I will open my heart more towards myself, taking in all the good and applying generosity towards myself.