In her annual New Year's video spiritual coach Barbara Biziou–aka, “the ritual lady”–notes that it’s important to “set your intention” for the year. Remember that the first twelve days of the year represent the twelve months ahead. Why not make each of those days about sharing? Below are some ideas to get you started. Don't worry if you didn't actually start on Day One. The key is to be mindful of what you want to create in the coming year.
Day 1. Share a discovery. Perhaps it's a place you love, a website you find indispensible, a recipe or a quote. Whatever it is, it's a private piece of who you are, and by lettting another person in on it, it becomes even more special.
Day 2: Share a skill with someone who needs it. Does a teenager need help with a college essay, a neighbor need a favor? Don’t wait for the person to ask. Offer and dive in. Even if it’s something that requires little effort on your part, you’ll feel better about yourself.
Day 3: Share a possession. You’ve probably gotten gifts over the holiday and have more “toys” than you need. Surprise someone–just for the hell of it–by loaning or giving them one of the presents you just received or something you no longer need. Ironically, the more you give, the more you have.
Day 4: Share a new idea with a colleague. Don’t hoard your good ideas–set them free and allow them to mingle! A great conception is usually bigger than the sum of its parts.
Day 5: Share your heart with someone you might otherwise take for granted. Isn’t there a teacher, a mailman, a salesperson who goes that extra mile for you? So often, we say thank you, but we don’t go further, telling that person just how important he or she is.
Day 6: Share a moment. As Oscar Wilde put it, "For one moment our lives met, our souls touched." Consciously slow down, so that when you go about your daily routine–say, the bank, the grocery store, the gas station–you spend a bit of extra time, commenting and connecting. You'll be surprised at how much that moment counts. If you need inspiration, watch this video!
Day 7: Share food. Bring a delicious snack into the office or to your poker group. Cook a meal for someone–a dish that gives you comfort or represents your roots. Even if you can’t offer much more than a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich, food doesn’t just feed the body. It’s a way of nurturing your relationship.
Day 8: Share music. Introducing someone to a new kind of music you love or to a particular singer or musician opens up a deeper level of conversation, a sharing of the soul.
Day 9: Share laughter. Whether it’s a joke that made you laugh or a funny incident in your own life, humor heals.
Day 10: Share a memory. Wonder how to stay connected to Sam who sat behind you in chemistry class, or Mary, that nice lady in accounting at your previous job? When you reminisce with a long-lost someone, it’s an opportunity to “re-view” the past with fresh eyes.
Day 11: Share a problem. Remind yourself that you don’t have to do it alone. Consider all the people in your social convoy–those closest to you as well as your everyday acquaintances. One of them will have the expertise or insight to help you see your situation in a new light.
Day 12: Share a spiritual insight. God, Higher Power, Divinity, Humanity, the Power of the Group–it doesn't matter how you describe it. A force that is bigger than you resides in all people. Through others in your life you will find wisdom, hope, and the reason you’re here.