In a world where commercialism dictates the trends in material gift giving, it is fascinating to explore the other options that exist. While many scramble around at holidays, birthdays, anniversaries etc, trying find the perfect gifts to express the depth of love and appreciation they have for certain individuals, it is almost amusing to pause and realize that the most meaningful and impactful gifts are often the ones which cannot be found in a store or bought online. They have no specific price tag, yet are the most valuable gifts we could ever offer. Our words, our actions, our appreciation, our very presence; all of these have the ability to impact others in a way that is more profound than we can comprehend.
Within the context of our Thai massage practice and teachings, expressing loving kindness through actions is most often done through the application of mindful touch. It extends beyond touch only though, to include the very mindset and approach that we incorporate into each consultation, treatment or follow up. We should never underestimate the effect of a sincere smile, genuinely expressed concern, caring follow up, and ongoing care.
Even when we are outside of the treatment environment, we have wonderful opportunities to share gifts of love with those around us, without having to scan them at a cash register. Giving meaningful gifts begins with a sincere thought, and that thought should be the guiding force and inspiration for whatever gift is given. So next time you are seeking a gift to give someone, I urge you to pause…and reflect on the true thought behind it. WHY is it you want to give this person a gift? HOW do you hope they will feel in receiving it? WHAT do you want to express?
As these thoughts come to the front of your mind, why not simply (or eloquently) communicate them? Using your spoken or written words? Or by creating a unique experience? By drawing on your own ability to interpret and convey the depth of your care and love?
Yes, including such a priceless component into your gift giving may require more time, reflective thought and energy, than simply purchasing something with an impressive price tag. But the possible effects are well worth the investment. Whether alone or in combination with a more tangible item, the opportunity for someone to hear and truly feel their own importance, value, and impact is truly invaluable. It is something that people crave, often without even being conscious of it. Something that gives worth and meaning to anything else you may give.
Keeping these thoughts in mind, for those who are in any role of therapeutics or in the service industry, remember that although your clients and patients are more distant than people in your personal circle, they should still be individuals that you give the gift of your care and service. And if so, the same questions should help guide the way you impart your specific area of expertise: WHY do you want to offer this service or treatment… HOW do you hope the receiver will feel… WHAT do you hope to express?
As you reflect on your intentions and actions, hopefully you are able to truly enhance the depths and value of giving in each unique interaction, whatever the context may be!