Star of Wonder

2019-12-29 13.50.45“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy”
–Matthew 2:10

Imagine what it must have been like…
To have such Light brought into your Life,
So Suddenly, and from out of nowhere!
Unexpectedly, there it is, Gleaming in the Sky and Giving Light…

When you call the Integral Yoga Institute, they answer the phone, “How may I be of service?”
I always thought this was so Beautiful.
Of course it is one of the tenets of Yoga to be of Service (The pretzel poses are only one of the eight limbs of Yoga), but to offer this straight out, first thing… it’s Inspiring!

How is your Christmas going?

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Train Ride Christmas Eve Morning

Mine has been Wonderful… a whirlwind of dough and pots and

2019-12-24 09.43.37

Same Train Ride… They are not carrying any packages! Did they all send electronic Gift Cards?

pans and egg yolks and children and train rides and carrying shopping bags to and fro…
And it’s still only the Fifth Day!

I sent this picture to a friend of mine last week and texted it with the caption, “My World at Christmas!”

2019-12-21 10.43.24

My World at Christmas

Stroufeli. My Mom loves it! She’s close to 93. And so I make it!
It is labor Intensive, and I feel so connected to my grandmother and my heritage, every holiday when I go through the painstaking labor of this exercise.

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My Nephew reads his Nephew and Niece a bedtime story

The kids were here — my grandniece and grandnephew from Japan. They are simply Delicious — with the most wildly Delightful Imaginations! The littlest one (3 years old) would take a book at night and pretend to be reading a story. He cannot read yet, but he would turn pages and narrate making up a story, as if he were reading one. He and his Uncle Dan were the SuperHeroes of his story. I asked if I was in his story too, and he declared with all the sureness of a 3-year old, “YES!” then adding, “You are ArniePoop!”

So, amidst these several weeks of preparations, wrapping, shipping — so many trips back and forth to the post office — planning, shopping, cooking, and hosting, mounds of dirty dishes continually piling up in the sink… evenings of wanting so to get to sleep, but the Season is Upon us, so, no going to bed yet… amidst all of the stress and extra To Do lists, there were so many brief, and not-so-brief, moments of rapturous Joy!
The face on my 92 year old Mother when her 5 year-old Great-Granddaughter would say in her sweet little voice, “I Love You!” and throw her arms around her for the biggest hug…
My nephew, now in his thirties, reading a story to the children just as I did for him in my thirties, and adding his own phrases about siblings sharing with one another and getting to sleep when they’re told to go to sleep…
My Partner inviting my other nephews and nieces to stay with us Christmas Eve so that there were eight people waking up in our tiny apartment Christmas Morning…
Christmas Gatherings with Friends…
Just a few funny perfect gifts that landed just right…
Boxing Day with my Partner, opening our presents to one another, keenly aware the entire time that the Greatest Gift of All is, has been, and always will be One Another!
Just sitting together and watching ELF last night, which most folks who know us believe to be a biopic of my partner! And YES! He makes me feel like Jovie!

2019-12-28 20.13.19

MOM with her Great Granddaughter

These were some of the glistening moments of Light like that suddenly appearing Star of Wonder!
Moments So Full Of Wonder!
Lighting days of laboring for Good…
For Others…
For the now-largely-out-of-fashion reason of simply expressing Love and Bringing Joy to Others…

But mostly, it has been two or three weeks of decorating and heavy lifting, wrapping and boxing and cooking and cooking and cooking for a family, like most families nowadays, filled with vegetarians and vegans and food allergies and all kinds of special needs — so usually making multiple meals at every mealtime…
Like most of a perfect Christmas Celbration, it feels
Exhausting and Glorious! And with piles of sheets and towels to launder afterwards…

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We who have lived awhile have observed how those who make money off of us attempt to shift Christmas from a Holiday of Giving and Sharing and Loving and Kindness to a Holiday of Purchasing Gifts to please oneself! It doesn’t work though! The Joy of this Holiday is found in being of Service!

Most of us have some family members with whom we don’t get along as well as others.
Most of us have childhood baggage which comes to the surface when we are around our families.
Most of us have lots to complain about.
But to dwell in any of that is to miss the very point of the Holiday!

A friend told me last night that her brother-in-law started the Christmas Day meal by asking everyone to take hands and look at one another, then saying, “No! Really Look at One Another! We don’t know how long any of us are here! But we are here today and for now we are together, and that is the whole point!”

And I would add that the more we can find the Willingness to be of service, the more successful our Holiday Season will be!

Sure, for many people the Holiday ended yesterday, or the night of the 25th — for some, it could not end soon enough! Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, and let’s be done with it! Well, if you like…
But for me, today is only the Fifth Day of Christmas!
It has been a time to Be of Servvice! And it continues to be…
So, why not enjoy Every one of these Twelve Days!

Savor the Moment!
And Be of Service to Whomever,
And in Whatever ways may be Possible!
Create Magic!
Create Light!

These moments of, simply put, making Life Less Difficult for Others, are the Bright Radiance of the Star of Wonder!
We are here for such precious little time.
What does one person get in their Lifetime?
A hundred Christmases?
For most of us it is less than a hundred Christmases…
Less than a hundred chances in a LifeTime to drive ourselves mad with Helping and Giving and Doing for Others…
Less than a hundred opportunities to put Kindness Forward as the priority and, consciously, the Driving Force of our Actions…

MOM with her Great-Granddaughter

Let the boorish piggish Hate of certain government officials not be our Guiding Force, nor an example to us!
Rather, let us Create our Own Examples,
Let us BE the Example for Others to follow…
Let us Be of Service so that others may do the same…
We are the Light!
Now, Shine!

Merry Christmas Season!
Happy Holiday Season!

2019-12-26 14.17.49

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  1. Flo

     /  December 31, 2019

    Love you honey!

  2. Blessings, Arnold to you both and all your extended family and friends. You give me hope❣❣❣❣

  3. Arnold, you are special in so many ways.


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