Hippo Manchester
December 8, 2005

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Pinings: It's the most "beautiful" time of the year...
by Sherry Hughes

Itís that time of year again when we open our wallets and just let the money fly out, willy-nilly, to anyone and everyone who owns a retail venue.

Iím all for shopping and holiday gift-giving, blah, blah, blah. But I try to avoid debt in order to give gifts. I know, old-fashioned concept, huh?

Anyway, Iím feeling a little cynical lately (pissy is the real word) and am not feeling all that spiritual. I like the holidays and love decorating and cooking and entertaining. But Iím kind of in a bad mood, if ya know what I mean. Iím feeling spiritually challenged, I guess. A good friend died, I havenít felt well and one of my coworkers is getting on my last nerve.

I asked a good friend today if our sense of center comes back naturally or if we have to (ugh, eye-roll) work at it. He says, unfortunately, we have to work at it. I am not in the mood to work at it, or to work at much of anything. Iím tired, cranky and like I said, in a bad mood. He did, however, have a good suggestion for a prayer, a metta meditation, he called it, that has helped him come back to a spiritual place. He says itís like those really amazing breakthroughs people have (or had, in my case) when we are really stoned but know we wonít remember it.

First, say it in the first person, over and over until it resonates in some way. Then, say it using other peopleís names. Thatís the yucky part for me.

 Think of it as a Hail Mary sans the Catholicism.

Happy holidays.

The meditation:

May I be safe and protected.

May I be peaceful and happy.

May I be healthy and strong.

May I have ease of well being.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. E-mail her at sah103@hotmail.com.