The Christmas season brings into sharp focus the idea of gifts and giving at this time of the year. Last year, my New Year resolution was to give the gift of my time to my community. I joined iAct which stands for Interfaith Action of Central Texas. Every Wednesday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, I have gone to their ESL (English as a Second Language) program and helped refugees from different corners of the world master the intricacies of the English language. And my heart is always full at the end of my shift when I say goodbye to the students and they beam their appreciation back at me. I love giving so much that I now have joined another organization called “Infinite Family” which allows someone to mentor youth in South Africa. In giving, I have received such treasures!
Ariana Huffington, author to “Thrive”, says that happiness depends of 5 major cornerstones: a mindfulness practice, service to others, self-care, wisdom and a sense of wonder. Ariana Huffington is also the owner of the Huffington Post. Her book is a biographical story of how her own workaholic habits cost her dearly with her health. So she took stock of her habits and started a practice of mindfulness that bloomed into a wonderful advocacy for true happiness in the world of business and industry that actually helps the bottom line as well.
So I encourage you to ponder how you may, in your own way, and not just for this Holiday season receive the gift that keeps on giving in your own family and your own community. I shower blessings of peace and joy on each one of you.
I look forward to hearing from you –
Engracia B. Gill, LCSW, MBA
3536 Bee Caves Road, Suite 204
Austin, TX 78746