THE BLOG

Deeper Heart Connections or Deeper Shopping Discounts -- What Will You Choose?

11/26/2013 04:07 pm ET | Updated Jan 26, 2014

For many people the holidays are a time when our hearts are nourished by the deeper connections we experience with people we love. We open our hearts to others, we reach out and care for those less fortunate. We make new heart connections and our focus shifts from the busyness of hectic, scheduled days to appreciating all that we have, extending care towards others, enjoying the opportunity to catch up with family and friends.

There are fewer and fewer days in the year when life slows down enough to really do this together as a family. Thanksgiving is one of those days. Yet, it seems more and more there is an increasing intrusion into the holiday's purpose.

The past few years more and more retailers have opened on the evening of Thanksgiving; Before the dinner we've been blessed with can even digest, we're heading to stores to shop till we drop. This year, retail has gotten bolder: Some are opening early Thanksgiving morning, which this year is also the first day of the Hanukkah period.

Retailers would rather we open our wallets before our hearts. One motivating factor is the fact that there are less shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, as well as retailers being nervous about consumer spending and overall concern about the economy.

We're seeing desperate commercialism growing, yet so is people's longing for more heart connection. Many people feel this intrusion on our day of gratitude disconcerting. One woman went so far as to create a petition to Save Thanksgiving, and it's gotten over 95,000 signatures on Change.org, and there are dozens of others petitions on this website for the same reason.

Retailers are stalking our Thanksgiving -- with the intent to steal away one of the last treasured holidays reserved for connecting with family and friends.

Without the deeper resonance and nurturing of spirit that comes from deeper heart connections, the holiday season can become empty and meaningless, even depressing.

Perhaps you've been inspired by spontaneous heart-connected momentums, such as "pay it forward" at restaurants and coffee shops, "the desire to give back," and "random acts of kindness" that have gone viral. We're seeing these acts of heart and kindness in local communities being featured on daytime talk shows and the evening news.

It's inspiring to see companies like Dignity Health with their "Hello Humankindness" campaign and Johnson & Johnson's "For All You Love" campaign focusing on the nurturing emotions of the heart. These companies recognize that the heart feeling of "connection" creates loyal customers.

The desire for more heart is a growing momentum, one that people are drawn to by a nudge from their own intuition or conscience to listen to their heart more and to connect with their inner guidance. The voice or feelings of the heart have been referred to in writings and teachings through millennia. An increased awareness of the importance of the heart's intelligent input in life's discernment and choices is being experienced by millions of people.

Our purpose at the HeartMath companies is to help individuals, organizations, and the global community to incorporate the heart's intelligence into their day-to-day experience of life as well as expand their heart connections. These connections can be between our own heart and mind, between our family members, friends, colleagues, local community members -- anyone we interact with.

Let's remember that the holidays are a special time to nurture deeper heart connections, and this includes a deeper connection with our own heart. Yes let's enjoy some of the material fun of the holidays, but let's keep first in our minds what matters most -- sharing heart qualities of warmth, appreciation, kindness and love. We can always buy another scarf, another shirt or gadget, but what we can't buy is more quality time with the people we cherish.

We want to hear from you. Tell us what you're doing to nourish your heart connections this Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.