August 1, 2010
Every Day is "Gift Day"


I have not been able to get "gifts" off my mind for the past couple of weeks.  Gifts come in thoughts, experiences, words and actions; they comprise abilities expressed and lessons learned; they represent new twists to old knowledge and old wisdom to new adventures; they include what we give and what we receive; and, they cannot not be used because they are both ability and responsibility.  Gifts are unwrapped by the taking the risk of experiences.  By living we share gifts, and life is a gift.

For the past two weeks, I have been in the Czech Republic.  The first week was to teach photography and the second was primarily for vacation with Kim.  I taught in Plzen and we toured in Prague.  Throughout the time, my thoughts and feelings reminded me that every day of breathing is a "gift day," and we err by designating some days for gifts as if the other days don't provide opportunities for using, giving or receiving them.

When a few people asked, "This is your first trip out of America and you chose to come to the Czech Republic?"  I replied, "Yes, it is and for my first trip out of America I came to teach photography."  The location mattered less than the purpose, though I am blessed by the experience in the Czech Republic and by the students with whom I spent the week.

Photography, teaching and opening others to themselves as creative human beings with things to say comprise the abilities I brought, and, as I told the 11 students from the Czech Republic and Ukraine, for each gram of anything that I gave them, they gave me a kilogram in return.  Every day was "gift day" by being open, giving and receiving with mutual respect and appreciation.  And so should it be in life.

In a format different than Listen to Life, I could write much about the students, what they shared, how they grew and why I miss them.  I could talk about the week of sightseeing, learning, observing and living.  What I heard in the words and saw in the moments was to never stop sharing genuinely or accepting humbly the gifts sincerely offered from the heart-be they actions, words, or simply attention given.  Every day is a day for gifts-don't designate just a few.



Listen to Life is a  free ewsletter about learning and getting more from life by paying attention to our own stories and the stories of others, based on the presentations, writings, photography and workshops by Dion McInnis (www.dionmcinnis.com).  Copyright 2010 Dion McInnis.  All rights reserved.

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